artificially incubating coral

On July 27, Inoka announced that it has succeeded in using IoT technology to artificially incubate coral spawn. The experiment was done in a completely closed environment in which the water temperature is synchronized with the sea surface temperature near Kume Island in Okinawa.

Inoka has developed "IoT environment transfer technology", which reproduces, as close as possible to nature, the ecology of a specific location in an aquarium. It uses IoT technology to synchronize with the actual natural environment while balancing a wide variety of parameters such as water quality, water temperature, water flow, lighting environment, and relationships between various organisms, including microorganisms. A startup from the University of Tokyo that promotes research & development and societal implementation of the understanding and reproduction of ecosystems (= "artificial ecosystem" technology).

This latest experiment on environmental transfer technology was carried out from October 2019 in one corner of a conference floor in an office building in Toranomon. Changes over the seasons were synchronized with the sea near Kume Island in Okinawa, which is the source of coral spawn, and the water temperature in the aquarium was adjusted and water flow was created to artificially generate waves as they would be found in the sea in Okinawa.

artificially incubating coral

Mature coral from Okinawa was irradiated with ultraviolet rays from aquarium coral lights. The brightness of the lights was set to replicate sunlight during the day and moonlight at night, so that the aquarium environment was as close as possible to that of the sea in Okinawa.

When the coral was checked in mid-May by folding it, incubation was confirmed inside (eggs could not be confirmed in mid-June, which is the usual time of year for spawning, and it appears that the eggs were absorbed and did not spawn due to deterioration in their physical condition).

A demonstration experiment into the artificial spawning of coral will restart from August, with the aim of controlling the timing of the process in order to achieve the world's first ever successful artificial spawning in March 2021.