The Coral RASA is a coral reef monitoring device, which features a 360* rotational camera, hydrophone, water tester, and bleaching detection. Reefs provide billions of people with food, tourism revenue, coastal protection, and new medications worth $375 billion/year. They’re among the least monitored and protected natural habitats in the world.
Protecting coral reefs is one of the greatest challenge in the crisis of bio-diversity. It is made more difficult by the paucity of accurate and timely information on the condition of reefs, particularly those in the proximity of so-called development activity such as port construction and commercial fishing. This solution addresses the urgent need for improved monitoring systems that can provide essential early warnings.
1. Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the challenge posed to you? Did it get you excited and why?
60% of the world’s reefs are under imminent risk of collapse through human pressures. If they go, they will take with them about one third of the world’s marine biodiversity. Reefs provide billions of people and hundreds of countries with food, tourism revenue,coastal protection and new medications worth $375 billion each year. They are among the least monitored and protected natural habitats in the world.
Creating a device that really would improve upon the current methods of monitoring the coral reefs. Much of it involves diving down to the reefs with charts and comparing colors and data while underwater. The goal was to minimize the amount of dives needed, and to maximize the amount of data retrieved. Making sure this device wasn't too invasive to the life in the corals, was also a challenge. This is why i decided to have be mounted into the floor rather than in or on the corals.
What excited me most was probably the freedom i had with the form of the device. Being something that will aid in the monitoring of the coral reefs, it left me with a very inspirational environment.
2. What point of view did you bring to the challenge? Was there anything additional that you wanted to achieve with this project or bring to this project that was not part of the original brief?
The starting brief was to simply design something that can help improve the environment and its ability to sustain life.
3. When designing this project, whose interests did you consider? (Discuss various stakeholders, audiences, retailing, manufacturing, assembly, distribution, etc., for example.)
I mainly considered the interests of who would be using the device, such as environmental organizations, local governments, and community groups. I also considered bringing awareness to the world about the current condition of the coral reefs. This is possible through a live-stream online using the 360* rotational camera that would allow anyone to take a look at the reefs at a given time. Donations could be made to help cover the costs of putting these devices in the water.
4. Describe the rigor that informed your design. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) If this was a strictly research or strategy project, please provide more detail here.
Looking at how the coral reefs are currently monitored allowed me to find a solution that would help improve their methods and efficiency. This helped me choose what technology would be most appropriate to include in the device, and how the device is used on a regular basis.
5. What is the social value of your design? (Gladdening, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, labor-mindful, environmental, cultural, etc.) How does it earn its keep in the world?
Its educational, sustainable, labor-mindful, and environmental. Its a device that will enable/assist the coral reefs in sustaining life so that life on earth can continue to benefit from them.
6. If you could have done one thing differently with the project, what would you have changed?
I would have re-worked the retrieval system, the buoy launching system may not be done in the best possible way.