Kite-robots: Surrey’s solution to greenhouse gases

Robots will utilise helium kites to carry lightweight wireless gas sensors, monitoring greenhouse gas emissions at the University of Surrey and various sites, promising more accurate data collection

A project at the University of Surrey aims to transform greenhouse gas monitoring using new technology.

With a £620,000 grant, researchers will develop airborne robots with gas sensors attached to helium kites for better monitoring.

Collaboration with local businesses will facilitate testing in various locations.

Testing will take place in various locations, including Thames Water treatment works, Blackwell Farm in Guildford and rice paddies in Spain.

Dr Robert Siddall, Lecturer in Robotics at the University of Surrey, said: “If the world is to reach net zero, we need to be able to check that emissions really are reducing.

“Previous projects tried to use drones to monitor gas flux – but the quality of their measurements wasn’t good, their flight time was too short, and airspace restrictions limited their use.

“Our robot balloon towers kitted out with sensors and built here at Surrey, should solve many of these challenges.”

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