Australian Primary School Students Engineer a Robot Orca to Scare Off Sharks



Students from iCode New Dawn with a cardboard cut-out orca

Let’s pretend like it’s still shark week! And you know what that means, countless hours of watching Discovery Channel vowing to never step foot in the ocean again, but these awesome kids could put your mind at ease with their latest plan for a groundbreaking invention!

They’ve designed a plan, which they refer to as Ocean’s Angel, that is constructed to look and act like an orca to deter sharks from human swimmers. They chose the orca because it’s the sharks only predator. The orcas will be controlled through GPS and the technology found in driver-less cars. One interesting innovation is that the orcas will also emit electrical signals to deter sharks.

They calculate the robotic orca having just about the same weight of a small submarine. The extreme weight of the robot is due to it being 8-meters long and made of carbon fire. The whole orca will weigh 64.3 tons.

This orca would really be an innovation for beach goers, but it’ll cost $455,628 just to produce one prototype. It could still become a reality though, due to these kids winning the National Research Award at the First LEGO League Animal Allies Competition and they will be presented at the Asia Pacific International Grand Finals next month.


But what about nets?

Oliver Payne, 11, says “all the things that have been tried so far have not been that efficient, nets might stop sharks but they harm other marine life and that has to be taken down in stormy weather.”

The Guardian, also found that even though the nets might make us feel safer, they do not fully protect beach goers. Shark expert, Barry Bruce, says that a shark net is not a barrier but is more like a fishing device and there’s no evidence that the nets have prevented shark attacks.

There’s no doubt that this mechanical orca has the potential to save a lot of lives.

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Adam Beck

Director of Marketing at CADENAS PARTsolutions | A Marketing graduate from the Miami University, Farmer School of Business in Oxford Ohio, Adam has years of experience in marketing and design for a variety of industries.