EIT Digital-funded SharkPod: eating plastic in waterways
The new waste collection aquadrone is a world's first
Funding received from EIT Digital has been used by RanMarine Technology to create the SharkPod, an on-land docking station for their main product, the WasteShark. Once the WasteShark reaches the SharkPod, it can empty its collected trash and recharge itself before swimming off again.
Inspired by one of nature’s most efficient marine harvesters, the WasteShark is a waste collection device that swims through water and ''eats'' refuse with minimum effort and maximum efficiency, just like a whale shark.
In the future, the support secured by the EIT will help the team make their drones more autonomous .
The WasteShark is designed to run 16 hours each day, and is able to scan and monitor the environment, sending data back to central command. The system can adapt to every kind of territory, from rivers, canals and trafficked water in harbours, to confined spaces and tight angles. The company is also working on a larger version that will have more thruster power and a larger hull to be used in open water. This new version will be called the Great WasteShark and aims to explore 2 km out to sea.
With a carrying capacity of 200 litres, the WasteShark can collect plastics, micro-plastics, alien vegetation (e.g. duckweed) and floating debris. In addition, the system, which can be either remotely controlled or plotted, is equipped with environmental sensors able to assess depth, temperature and numerous water quality parameters.
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