Marine Skin is an artificial skin filled with sensors to perform a minimally invasive monitoring of animals living in the ocean, such as dolphins, whales, and sharks. These wearable sensors can provide scientists information on the targeted fish movements, as well as continuously measure of water salinity, temperature, and depth.
Marine Skin is a minimally invasive tracking method
Developed by King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, Marine Skin was designed to be attached to the shell or skin of marine animals.
When they are in the water, the Marine Skin wearable sensors have the weight similar to paper clips. The lightness of the material allows even the smallest marine animals to be monitored, allowing them to swim freely and without causing any discomfort to them.
The Marine Skin artificial skin wearable sensors technology is a breakthrough because it is much less invasive than other methods of tracking animals, such as the classical method of injecting or shooting marine animals with trackers.
Researchers plan on using these devices on 200 species by the end of 2019
The sensors work with a small battery, with the durability of one year. Also, the elements used in the production of the wearable devices are very light, including copper, tungsten, aluminum, and silicone.
Momentarily, the single flaw this device has is that the prototype currently transmits the data to a smartphone, tablet, or laptop but only via a Bluetooth connection which is limiting the devices’ capabilities. Now, the developers’ main goal is to implement an automatical wireless transmission of the data when the animal goes to the surface. But, this will only happen for the next generation of Marine Skin sensors.
The plan of the researchers involved in the development of such devices is to apply the Marine Skin artificial skin wearable sensors to at least 200 different marine animals species by the end of 2019.