A solar-powered, autonomous drone that collects garbage from harbor waters is an innovative new waste-management system.
Drones are proving more and more valuable in helping humans manage large tracts of land and natural disasters, from starting fires for controlled forest burns to monitoring the spread of infectious diseases from animals to humans. In The Netherlands, RanMarine Technology is using drones to help prevent further pollution of the oceans. WasteSharks are smart, solar-powered aqua drones that collect garbage from rivers, canals and harbors.
Designed for use in areas where waste is known to collect, the car-sized drones increase their efficiency as they learn about each environment. Two sizes of WasteShark are currently working in Rotterdam, with a third, the Great Waste Shark, in development. The machine-learning capability, combined with on-board sensors and cameras, help keep the WasteSharks out of the way of larger crafts. Collected garbage is passed on to recycling and waste-management partners for processing.
How could aqua drone technology be further developed for use in cleaning other pollutants, such as oil spills?