In order to study the behaviour of marine animals, a smart patch called marine skin can be used. This thing Marine skin can be turned on a wide range of sea creatures in order to study the behaviour and is based on stretchable silicone elastomers which can be subjected to sharing, stretching, and twisting without getting affected. The Marine skin does not get affected even when exposed to high pressures when in the deep water. Integrated flexible Electronics that have been used in this smart patch can track down an animal’s movement as well as it’s diving behaviour. It can also be used to judge the surrounding marine environment in real time.
So much about the Marine ecosystem can be learned through the ability to Monitor and record the environmental parameters as well as the animals movement. While existing systems that have been developed for the tracking of marine animals have been bulky and therefore uncomfortable for animals, this new Marine skin is extremely thin, has very light weight and is non-invasive in terms of operational lifetime of a marine animal. Additional sensing capabilities can be added to this Marine skin in the near future so as to include the sensing of psychological state of the mind of the animals who are tagged which can subsequently help in understanding about the correlation of ocean chemistry with the health and activity of the marine animals.
Currently, data is retrieved by wireless connection when the tags removed. This new invention has been developed by two groups, one under the guidance of Professor Carlos Duarte and the other under Professor Muhammad Mustafa Hussain, and is a collaborative effort of Buddha groups. The Marine skin has been demonstrated and tested after being glued onto a crab. In the future the team plans to study dolphins and whale sharks by tagging them with the Marine skin.