The ocean is Earth's largest biome covering over 70% of the planet, but is also threatened by multiple stressors such as bottom fishing, marine pollution including litter and climate change. Coral reefs support the livelihoods of almost half a billion people (read more about it here); marine litter affects around half of all marine mammals and kills almost a million seabirds per year (read more about that here). These threats require our active and urgent intervention through habitat remediation and restoration to ensure global sustainability of human livelihoods and biodiversity. Addressing these tasks is time consuming, and habitat remediation or restoration can only be achieved in small patches for the moment. In the case of repairing damage to deep sea ecosystems these tasks are also too dangerous for direct human intervention.

The CoralBots collective is a team of marine scientists, computing (artificial intelligence) scientists and engineers committed to addressing these threats using novel state-of-the-art innovations in computing, marine biology, and undersea robotics that will revolutionize how we deal with these threats. Get to know our core team here. Our key idea is to combine autonomous underwater robotics with 'swarm intelligence'. Nature shows us how groups or swarms of organisms achieve complex things just by following simple rules e.g. bees, termites and wasps. We plan to deploy teams of autonomous underwater robots to restore and rebuild damaged coral reefs. Our first future mission will restore reefs damaged by hurricanes and ship groundings in Belize. In May 2013, we launched a project on to help turn this into reality.