Robots Roam Where Humans Can’t Go in Brazil’s Amazon

In an area of approximately 370 square kilometers (143 square miles) of Amazon rain forest and in the midst of communities that in many cases lack even electricity, five robots help gather data on the region, facilitating decisions and data analysis on one of the world’s most sophisticated and wide-ranging ecosystems.

The robots are part of the Cognitus Project (Cognitive Tool for the Amazon), one of the three components of the Piatam Project (Potential Impacts and Environmental Risks of the Petroleum and Gas Industry in the Amazon), developed together by the Federal University of Amazonas and Petrobras.

The robots are on display during the four days of the 1st International Piatam Congress, taking place in Manaus between December 11 and 15.

The Cognitus Project is coordinated by Fernando Pellon de Miranda, a geologist who does research at the Petrobras Studies Center (Cenpes), and José Wagner Garcia, a scientist. They propose to establish a new parameter of scientific production by reconstituting the general bases of these activities.

One of their biggest challenges is to perform a detailed study of the historical sequence of variations in the hydrological cycle of the Negro and Solimões Rivers – whose levels rise and fall as much as 14 meters between dry and rainy seasons.

In addition, they will be able to indicate what ecosystems need to be protected in case of accidents involving oil spills.

The Hybrid Environmental Robot is also on display at the Congress. "Equipped with a combination of mechanical, electrical, computational, and communication systems, the Hybrid Environmental Robot will be a forward unit for men in areas of the Amazon Rain Forest that are still inaccessible to human presence," affirms Garcia.

Similar to a remote-controlled toy car, the robot was tested in the Solimões River and succeeded in crossing the current and the mangrove swamps, among other obstacles. Ten robots are expected to be in operation by the end of 2006.

Adopting a novel form of observing natural processes and conceiving of nature as a thinking being capable of leading scientists to the most varied kinds of knowledge, Cognitus gathers biochemists, biologists, physicists, artists, philosophers, geologists, and engineers "in a cross-disciplinary effort that reaches the interfaces between science, art, and technology," those who are responsible for the project believe.

Agência Brasil



You May Also Like

UN’s Atomic Energy Agency Singles Out Brazil as Example of Cooperation

The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed El Baradei, praised Brazil's nuclear ...

Brazilian industry

Who Is Really Afraid of the FTAA? Brazil’s Big Business

Although every Latin American government pays lip service to integration, taking the concrete steps ...

Brazil to Build 800 New Airports and Take Bullet Train from Drawing Board

Talking in Paris, Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, told reporters her government intends to build ...

Brazil’s Northeast: The Largesse of the Destitute

Severina Ferreira do Nascimento, 71, is next in line. When her name is called, ...

Brazilian Beef Exports Are Down 14%, But Revenues Up 22

Beef exports by Brazil dropped 33% during November following a significant contraction in global ...

After London Killing Brazilians Ask: “Who Are the Terrorists?”

The July 22 police execution of Brazilian-born electrician Jean Charles de Menezes on a ...

Amnesty Uses Brazil Violence to Promote Gun Control in the World

During the course of 2006, Amnesty International plans to present its report entitled "They ...

Brazilian Police After Thieves of Rare Albino Alligators

Brazil's federal police are investigating the disappearance of seven albino alligators from the UFMT ...

Austria President Signs Technical Cooperation Accords in Brazil

The President of Austria, Heinz Fischer, was received Monday, September 19, by Brazil’s President ...

Brazil’s Lula Spared New Scandal as Former Ally Backtracks

The former chairman of Brazil’s ruling Workers Party, Silvio Pereira, on Wednesday, May 10, ...