Heading off on a holiday is current fraught with the danger of being stuck away from home or having to leave unexpectedly — and that’s assuming you are allowed to leave your home to go on a holiday. One of Australia’s greatest attractions and soon to be added to the UNESCO list of endangered natural sites, the Great Barrier Reef, is a long way away from home for so many of us but now you can visit it without having to embark on an expensive holiday.
Teleport.Fish now allows everyone the opportunity to visit the Great Barrier Reef from the safety and comfort of their own home. The website is the project of documentary-maker Adam Cropp and “enables visitors to dive to the Great Barrier Reef.
The website connects via the 4G network to an underwater robot (drone) anchored 30km offshore on the Reef. The robot then streams real-time “HD video to YouTube allowing the user to control the robot with less than 200ms latency”.
At this stage there are two robots stationed at the Arlington Reef, just off Cairns allowing users to swim with the sea creatures and explore the Reef how they want to. Creator Adam Cropp said that:
“Our ‘guests’ get to ‘swim’ alongside a myriad of coral and fish species including reef turtles, sharks, sea snakes, cuttlefish and manta rays. Seeing the degradation of the reef I wanted to open it up to visitors without them having to worry about their environmental impact. The robots are solar-powered and have obstacle avoidance, they have much less impact on the reef than a typical tourist.”
While steering around the Reef you can take photos as you are driving the robot after which the images are uploaded to the Teleport.Fish gallery. For those gamers, steering is via keyboard keys, just as you would in a game. Of course, being connected to the web via 4G, the Great Barrier Reef robots can be controlled from anywhere in the world with educational and personal sessions available.
One hour of diving will cost you between $30 and $50 and you can sign up to an account at the Teleport.Fish website. If you are looking for something educational and fun to do with your kids while they are stuck at home now would is the perfect time to check out the Great Barrier Reef – before it disappears entirely.