Exploration of the deep sea is currently hindered by the excessive expense of running cameras that can operate for long periods underwater.
Academics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have created a battery-free, wireless underwater camera that is 100,000 x more energy-efficient than others on the market. Even in low-light conditions, the camera captures colour images.
“MIT researchers have created a battery-free, wireless underwater camera 100,000 x more energy-efficient than others on the market“
Sound is used to propel the device, transforming mechanical energy from sound waves in water into electrical energy for its photography and communications apparatus. Data is transferred from sound waves to a receiver, which recreates the picture.
The benefit of this camera over others is that it can operate for extended periods, up to several weeks, without needing to be updated. This means scientists can investigate remote areas for unknown types of animal. Additionally, it can picture ocean pollution or track the wellbeing and development of fish bred in aquaculture facilities.
Senior author of a research paper on the camera, Fadel Adib said that “one of the most exciting applications is in the context of climate monitoring. This technology could help us build more accurate climate models and better understand how climate change impacts the underwater world.”
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