Microplastics are a substance that can be found anywhere, from the top of Mount Everest to melted Antarctic snow. They are even proven to be found circulating in human blood. Despite the bizarre fact, Earth’s oceans are greatly affected by their presence. Plastic is the only material that finds a home in the deep oceans and tends to break down over time into tiny bits consumed by fish and wreaks havoc on marine ecosystems.
These harmful effects have forced scientists to work on finding advanced techniques to get rid of them for good. And the solution has come in the form of fish-shaped robots that can clean up the oceans while swimming.
In a study published in the journal Nano Letters, researchers at Sichuan University in China, it is revealed that a fish robot has been introduced that can absorb microplastics. The founders believed that this invention could be used to carry pollutants to another region where they could be compiled and appropriately disposed of. This robot can also be used for detecting and monitoring microplastics in harsher climates that humans can’t scrutinize easily, like the frozen waters of the Arctic.
A statement regarding its qualities read,
“The proof-of-concept robot is demonstrated to emphasize its maximum swimming speed of 2.67 body length per second, whose speed is comparable to that of plankton.”
This artificial fish is built of composite material that’s stable for marine environments and physically responds when a near-infrared light laser is focused on it. It can also stick microplastic material to its body, like suckerfish do to whales and sharks.
This development is a huge turnover for the environmental activists and a creative solution to the chronic problem of microplastics in our polluted oceans.