This robotic snake is able to detect water pollution and pinpoint the exact spot where the contamination is coming from.
Water pollution is one of the most heavily discussed topics in the world right now. In fairness, it has been for a number of years. However, previously most would have assumed that things like petrol and oil were the only substances damaging our oceans worth worrying about. While they are big issues, there are other materials and chemicals that should be on our radar.
The main issue right now is the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our oceans. That's one of the reasons single-use plastic bags are slowly being done away with around the world. Plastic straws are the latest item to be placed in the hot seat as more and more restaurants and even larger companies are replacing them with paper and other alternatives.
That may slow down the rate at which we are currently damaging our oceans, but what about the damage that is already done? We have got something of a clean-up project on our hands and it isn't going to be easy. Thankfully, we have technology on our side, and this new robotic snake developed by researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne.
This snake is here to help us battle water pollution pic.twitter.com/oWZRfNcdn9— Mashable (@mashable) October 13, 2017
The snake is five feet long and, as you can see from the video above, swims around looking for water pollution. It can cover pretty big areas and feeds the results back to the scientists on the shore in real time. Not only can it detect water pollution, but it will also sniff out where exactly the source of the contamination is. Pretty handy for tracking types of water pollution that we can't physically see.
As mentioned above, and is clear from the clip, it's not exactly the biggest contraption in the world either. Researchers in Switerzland explained via Mashable that due to it being so small and easily transportable, it can be taken to bodies of water far off the beaten track. No need for cars or trucks, just a scientist and a backpack. The aim for the future is to upgrade the snake's sensors so that one day it will be able to detect heavier metals.