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ADMIN posted a blog entry in FDF Online NewsRecently, the Indian Government passed the first phase of Drone Regulation in the country, which takes any remote-operated flying object into consideration. When we usually talk about drones, we mean unmanned aerial vehicles that we've seen in the movies or smaller scale equipment used for cinematography and surveying. Actually, a drone is not just limited to the air, as we've seen multiple applications of similar remotely operated vehicles underwater, as well as on the ground. Bomb defusing squads have been using ground vehicular drones for years now and hundreds of submersibles are responsible for making sure that oil is drilled without any spillage or that our internet cables are safe. © Trend Hunter One such spectacular application of drones is being seen at the Great Barrier Reef. Australian researchers have unveiled a robot submarine able to hunt and kill predatory crown-of-thorns starfish. It has been named RangerBot and was developed with a grant from Google. While a plethora of issues are still plaguing the reef, including coral bleaching, pollution, industrialisation, and over-fishing, human beings are no saints and are definitely the root cause of the destruction of the global flora-fauna, however, there's someone else who's responsible as well - the crown of thorns Starfish. © BarrierReef The Starfish has been known to cause depletion of the reef by eating the coral in mass outbreaks. It has been recognised as one of the three major threats to the World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. The RangerBot can identify these notorious Starfish' and instigate an injection that is fatal for the Starfish only and doesn't damage anything else in the reef. Other than neutralising the Starfish' it also can monitor a wide range of issues that the coral reefs are facing, including coral bleaching, water quality, and pest species. The drone can stay underwater almost three times longer than a human diver, meaning it can easily scale more area and map the wide expanse of the reef. © Jon Hanson / WikiMedia The project is a collaboration between the Queensland University of Technology, Google, and the Great Barrier Reef Foundation. "RangerBot is the world's first underwater robotic system designed specifically for coral reef environments, using only robot-vision for real-time navigation, obstacle avoidance and complex science missions," said Matthew Dunbabin, the QUT professor who unveiled the submarine. Source: Queensland University of Technology