23 December 2021
WasteShark – The Plastic Gobbling Water Robot to Debut at CES 2022
Article by Anna Flockett / Startups Magazine
Plastic Marine litter is one of the biggest threats to ocean life and humans. Now that there is more plastic in the water than fish, new solutions are desperately needed to radically reduce the harmful effects of microplastics. That’s why the Dutch startup RanMarine Technology is showing the WasteShark USV (Unmanned Surface Vessel) at CES 2022, a floating drone designed to remove harmful plastic waste from waters and return it to shore before it can do damage.
Every year, 8 million tons of toxic plastic leak into our oceans. The UN Environmental Program predicts that this number will triple to about 35 million tons per year by 2040. RanMarine Technology, a startup of CleanTech Robotics, has come up with a solution to eradicate this pollution. The company invented multiple floating drones to clear waterways, canals, rivers and ports of plastic before it leaks into the ocean. In addition, the company is introducing a new docking station, with which the drones can independently remove plastic for 24 hours a day.
WATER QUALITY ANALYSIS
The WasteShark is designed to intelligently harvest plastic and biomass waste from urban waterways in smart cities, ports and ports. In addition to waste harvesting the drone also collects critical water quality data. The drone can be controlled directly by an operator or used in Autonomous mode. In this latter scenario, users can set the route and mission remotely via an online dashboard.
With 180 liters (47.5 gallons) of capacity and an 8-hour runtime, this hardworking robot can remove 500kg (1100lb) of waste a day. The WasteShark is also easy to use and deploy. Using 4G onboard communications and an easy setup process, launching multiple drones has been made deliberately simple and easy for customers. Additionally, the drone uses advanced battery technology ensuring emission-free operation on the water, and not adding to the water’s pollution. This makes the WasteShark one of the solutions leading the way in the fight against plastic.
RanMarine will also introduce the SharkPod, the world’s first autonomous floating docking station for waste-clearing drones, at CES 2022. With the ability to deploy, dock and charge up to 5 WasteShark drones at any time, this latest tool in pollution-fighting technology will enable ports, harbors and cities to operate a 24-hour autonomous solution to remove floating waste from the water.
With the ability to remove 1 ton of waste per drone per day, RanMarine expects the SharkPod to be capable to remove up to 100 tons or more of debris and waste per month. With the prototype unit that will be deployed in 2022, among other places in the Port of Rotterdam, drones will be able to dock, discharge waste, recharge and redeploy on a continuous 24-hour basis: all from a centrally controlled online environment.
NEW APPROACH TO CURRENT PROBLEMS
The brainchild of RanMarine founder and CEO Richard Hardiman: “We have an epic battle on our hands. Current technologies are simply not working, we need a modern approach to a modern problem, and for me robots and autonomous drones were an easy and simple answer. Of course it’s critical to create policies and strategies to stop plastic waste from entering our waterways as a primary strategy. Our WasteSharks offer a pragmatic solution for cleaning up the existing mess that is perpetuated on a daily basis, and effectively prevent waste from reaching the open ocean.”
“With the release of the SharkPod, we aim to see full time deployment of WasteSharks with zero emissions and greater and quicker capture of toxic plastics in our waterways”, says Hardiman. “With an ever-increasing plastic pollution challenge at hand, we need to reduce costs, increase capture rates and make these solutions ever more affordable and easier to deploy for every city and port globally.”