This project addresses open questions and challenges in search theory, energy-efficient networked robotics, and fish biology. A network of robotic boats which can track many fish in shallow waters over extended periods of time are deployed in invasive carp infested waters. Provably correct cooperative search and tracking algorithms are developed, energy efficiency is studied at multiple levels including navigation, sensing, communication and complete system, communication protocols for controllable mobile entities are studied, and data analysis algorithms are developed.
The project provides a means to sustainably reduce invasive carp populations in US lakes without impacting other wildlife, thus solving a major environmental problem. Robots are shown to serve as a major scientific instrument for environmental scientists. The educational activities promote the results of this research to high school, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as educators across the country. A summer research experience is offered which blends mathematics, computer science and biology. Participation of students from under-represented groups is ensured through collaborations with predominantly Native American schools, as well as Central State University which has a 96% African-American student population. The project simultaneously raises awareness of environmental issues and attracts students to science and engineering.