In a case of simulation imitating life, high school students in Hawai’i are faced with finding solutions to a theoretical oil spill. The problem eerily mirrors the massive oil spill now occurring in the Gulf of Mexico. Robots are being used in the attempt to shut off the flow of oil, but so far none have been called in to help in the actual clean-up efforts. A quick search with Google turned up this post on robots designed to actually clean up spilled oil, but at the time of the article these bots were only a concept.
Maybe the high school kids have come up with a real working model. Check out the article below for the details of the competition. It was scheduled for today, but so far I have found no results online.
What about the idea of using robots for environmental clean up? Let me know what you think.
"Thirty-one Hawai‘i student robotics teams from across the state will put their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education to the test at the 2010 Hawai‘i Regional Botball Tournament Saturday (May 1)."
"This season’s game theme encourages students to research, understand and generate solutions to an environmental disaster. On the simulated competition field, an earthquake has caused an oil pipeline to rupture sending thousands of gallons of oil into the pristine “Lake Capek.” To be successful, teams must apply sorbents to the oil slicks then rescue and clean oil contaminated ducks, release the clean ducks back into the wetlands, and save the frogs trapped on an island all in 120 seconds with two autonomous robots."