Hong Kong-based Open Ocean Engineering has developed a robot that can clear trash or plastic garbage collected in local water bodies.
Launched in November in 2019, 'Clearbot' is an aquatic robot that can be operated remotely or autonomously to remove trash from lakes, canals, harbours etc.
The aquatic robot uses a computer vision system to spot the trash. It collects pieces of litter floating on water bodies. The trash goes through the open bow of the robot and is collected in a mesh bin with the help of a conveyor belt system.
As soon as the battery starts getting low or in case the litter bin inside the machine is full, the robot makes its way back to a central docking station.
Followed by that, the bin is then automatically emptied. Another advantage of using this robot is that its battery has a solar-powered charging system. The robot could be operated for 48 hours once it is fully charged.
The aquatic robot can hold up to 200 litres of waste, and it can thoroughly clean the surface of 1 square km of water within eight hours.
These robots are fully autonomous, solar-powered and work as a team to remove the trash. The company claims that in comparison to any current solution, Clearbot is 15 times cheaper, has five times more reach and removes two times more trash daily.
The co-founder of the company, Sidhant Gupta said that at present, they are focused on scaling up this solution in Hong Kong itself with land reclamation companies, where they could assist in daily site clean-up activities.
This aquatic robot could prevent unwanted plastic garbage from entering the oceans and also provides a feasible way to clean-up lakes, harbours, canals etc.