A new bird will soon take to Singapore's reservoirs. But its purpose is far more functional than decorative.
The NUSwan is a life-like robotic swan that was developed jointly by National University of Singapore's (NUS) Environmental Research Institute and the Tropical Marine Science Institute to monitor and send real-time water quality data to analysts.
A flock of NUSwans will be released in areas around Singapore later this year to collect information in areas that humans and boats can't reach.
"We can have robots replace repetitive work so that we can use the manpower for a better cause and you can leave this monitoring for the robot," Koay Teong Beng, principal investigator at the NUSwan project, told CNBC.
Speaking ahead of Singapore's International Water Week, which kicked off today, Koay said that the project hoped to sell the technology to utility companies in other markets and countries.
He also raised the possibility of adding artificial intelligence to the NUSwan in the future, and allowing it to interact with other autonomous devices not limited to the shape and size of a swan.
"We can have many smart robotic systems moving around in different modes," Koay said. "It could be on a surface, in the water and in the air."