Autonomous Trash-Collecting Robotic Boat Helps Clean Waterways

With over 17 years of writing experience, Jonathan has had a passion for all things tech-related, ever since watching Inspector Gadget as a child. He's disassembled countless appliances and managed to put a few back together, and one still works. When not writing, he can often be found playing video games or accidentally hurting himself in the garage.

Clear Robotics’ ClearBot is an autonomous trash-collecting Class 3 vessel initially designed by two Hong Kong University graduates to help Indonesian surfers keep the tide clear of debris. Now, the robots can also cut and eat invasive water weeds like hyacinth and duckweed. Mmmm, duckweed. I’m kidding; I have no idea what that tastes like and probably don’t want to find out.

The latest iteration of Clearbot is roughly 13′ x 8′ and navigates using a 1080p camera and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). It moves at about 3 knots (3.5MPH) and can cover up to 108,000 sq ft of water daily while on trash duty or around ~27,000 sq ft while cutting and eating weeds. It collects refuse via a front-mounted conveyor belt and gets 8 hours to a full charge, which can be extended further using its solar panels. It can also autonomously return to a docking station to recharge and deposit its load of up to 1,100 lbs of collected garbage. There are currently a handful of Clearbots out cleaning up the world’s waterways.

I wonder at what rate Clearbots would need to collect marine garbage to surpass the rate of pollution being added to waterways. Because my guess is we’re probably going to need more than three of them. Still, I’m sure Captain Planet is proud, now let’s ramp up production.

[via NewAtlas]

Journalist at Technabob | Website | + posts

With over 17 years of writing experience, Jonathan has had a passion for all things tech-related, ever since watching Inspector Gadget as a child. He's disassembled countless appliances and managed to put a few back together, and one still works. When not writing, he can often be found playing video games or accidentally hurting himself in the garage.