IBM is gathering some goodwill points by partnering up with a nonprofit to help monitor a 315-mile stretch of the Hudson River. They're going to be using a combination of sensor-laden buoys and solar-powered robotic underwater vehicles numbering in the hundreds. The vehicle, which sort of looks like a yellow sting ray covered in solar panels, will monitor things like the rivers temperature, pressure and pH levels. With this info they hope to be able to analyze the amount of pollutants in the river and better asses the risk to marine life. First things first, change the solar vehicles' color from yellow to murky brown. That way it will blend in with the Hudson a little better. [TreeHugger]
I'm glad they want to know how bad the problem is, but couldn't they spend the money on solving the most obvious problems instead?
Now if these things have a 20 year life span, sure, do this now and monitor the progress or degradation over the next couple decades. I have a feeling this will turn into a cry for more money when these things are "old" and "outdated" and "stolen."