Boyan Slats Ocean Cleanup does a good job, but it’s not a real business case

Sharks often attack their prey from below. Richard Hardiman’s WasteShark devours waste floating on the surface of the water. Where grabbing a terrace at the ‘Waterfront’ in Cape Town can all lead to.

Richard Hardiman “didn’t feel like talking about Britney Spears anymore.” Photo: Friso Keuris for Het Financieele Dagblad
As a brand new student at the Graduate School of Business in Cape Town, Richard Hardiman is sitting in the historic harbor on a terrace on the ‘Waterfront’ drinking a cup of coffee. Suddenly he sees a boat with two young men at sea. One of them steers the boat, the other tries to fish something out of the sea with a swimming pool net. The duo appears to be looking for floating plastic waste. That is not so easy with the landing net. While drinking coffee, Hardiman muses: nice that they do it, but how can it be more efficient?

His children watched the animation film Wall-E incessantly at the time , about a lone robot whose task is to clean up waste on a highly polluted earth that has since been abandoned by humans in the year 2805. Why not a Wall-E for water, Hardiman thought. . He took a napkin from the table and began to sketch. The first outlines of the autonomous WasteShark aquadrone appeared on the thin paper.

Richard Hardiman (47) is the son of a British couple – an engineer and an artist – who moved to South Africa from England. That sketch kept him busy for at least two years. By the end of his studies in 2015, he was still toying with the idea. “My mother then said that if I didn’t do it, someone else would pick it up.”

That made the difference. Hardiman quit his job as a radio presenter and journalist (“I’ve had enough of talking about Britney Spears too”), withdrew all his savings and left for Rotterdam.

From waste to algae
There he started in 2016 with a partner RanMarine, a high-tech company that develops aquadrones to collect waste on the water. WasteSharks – after the wide-mouthed whale shark – are now floating around the world, from Australia and India to Denmark and the United Kingdom. In Florida, the drone keeps all the lakes of Disneyland Orlando clean. “With all those snakes there, it’s less convenient to do it with a net,” says the CEO.

From the plastic waste that started his idea, the emphasis has increasingly shifted to algae. In July of this year, for example, a project started in Helsinki in which RanMarine uses aquadrones against blue-green algae in inland waters. The collected blue-green algae is then processed into cosmetics and animal feed.

There is more on the agenda. A project will start this month in the port of Rotterdam with a docking station for five WasteSharks. The self-propelled drones, equipped with advanced lidar technology, can do their job and recharge themselves at the station. If all goes well, no one is involved. The European Innovation Council EIC has reserved €1.5 million for it.

RanMarine, named after the goddess of the sea Ran in Norse myths, now employs twenty people. Technicians from TU Twente work here and a professor of offshore technology from TU Delft has been appointed as an advisor for the business side.

Other initiatives
There are other initiatives against ocean pollution, such as The Ocean Cleanup by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat. What can Hardiman’s relatively small drones add? ‘The Ocean Cleanup is doing a good job’, says the entrepreneur. ‘But it’s not a real business case. Too few parties think it is important enough to invest in it.’

He then hurries to explain that the WasteSharks operate on inland waterways and ports and are so modest in size for a reason. ‘They should also be able to get into the small corners of canals, for example, if they detect pollution there with their cameras.’

A whole new line of sharks is on the program. Also a larger version, the MegaShark. And there must be an OilShark to gobble up leaked oil. All this requires new investments. ‘We want a listing in the United States and are preparing it now.’

Written by Renol Vestergaard

Read the article on Financieele Dagblad BV

5 Innovative Technologies Saving Our Oceans

Solutions for the seas.

In 2021, the Earth’s oceans reached their hottest, most acidic, and highest sea levels on record. Luckily, many companies and organizations are creating innovative technologies to save our oceans.

Planetary Technologies’ Ocean-Based Carbon Removal

Planetary Technologies is the first climate technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere by using direct ocean capture. Planetary’s proprietary technology safely purifies mine waste into a mild, nontoxic antacid that is released into the ocean. This antacid rapidly enhances and speeds up the ocean’s natural ability to draw out and permanently sequester carbon from the atmosphere. The additional alkalinity in the ocean also restores damage caused by increased acidification. 

Planetary Technologies' ocean-based carbon removal technology to save our oceans
Photo Credit: Planetary Technologies

Additionally, the purification of mining rock produces clean, green hydrogen as a byproduct, which can be used as a zero-carbon fuel source to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels. If all of this wasn’t enough, Planetary’s three-pronged process also involves extracting metals from mining waste, which can be used in batteries. This is essential in promoting an electric-powered future.

In 2022, the company was awarded $1 million from Elon Musk’s XPRIZE Carbon Removal Milestone Award, which it plans on using to achieve a full-scale demonstration of its technology. As Planetary’s CEO Mike Kelland said

“The global community agrees that we need a three-pronged approach to stop the harmful effects of climate change – adapt, reduce emissions and remove carbon – and Planetary’s process does all three, the most critical being our ability to remove carbon dioxide form the air”

Clearbot’s Trash Clean Up and Data Collection

An estimated 11 million pounds of waste are put into our oceans each year. Clearbot is attempting to lower this number with its Clearbot boats. These electric-powered, AI-enabled, and autonomous boats tackle the challenges of plastics, flood debris, and biomass in waterways. 

For example, the three-meter-long Clearbot Neo autonomously collects floating garbage by systematically moving up and down designated sections of water. It skims the surface to scoop up floating trash onto its onboard conveyor belt and uses AI to recognize and log the types of trash collected. The trash is then properly disposed of based on its category. With 4 hours of battery life, Clearbot Neo allows a one-man team to deploy and capture hazardous and pollutant waste of up to 1-ton per day.   See video on https://youtu.be/u2bApYIbCmw

Using its two-camera detection system, Neo also collects valuable data. One camera surveys the water’s surface to avoid marine life, navigational hazards, and other vessels. The second camera photographs each piece of trash that lands on the conveyor belt and transmits its image and location to the company’s data compliance system, hosted by Microsoft’s Azure platform. When the data from these two cameras are merged with other information like sea current and tide, the trash’s source and the water’s quality are more easily identifiable. 

Saildrone’s Autonomous Vessels

Saildrone’s fleet of autonomous wind and solar-powered vessels collect real-time, high-quality data throughout the ocean. This data can be used to inform sustainable fisheries management, detect oil spills, conserve threatened species, map the seafloor, and help scientists understand how the climate is changing ocean ecosystems like coral reefs. 

The company’s wing technology enables a mission duration of up to 12 months; its wind propulsion system allows the vehicles to travel at an average speed between two to six knots under wind power. To date, Saildrone’s vehicles have sailed over 800,000 miles with over 18,000 days at sea with little to no carbon footprint.

Saildrone's Saildrone Surveyor innovative technology saving the oceans
Photo Credit: Saildrone

One of Saildrone’s vessels is the Saildrone Surveyor, which autonomously set sail in July 2021 from San Francisco to Honolulu. The Saildrone Surveyor was created for ocean mapping; its sensors look at underwater ecosystems and map the seafloor to a depth of 23,000 feet. Saildrone intends to map the entirety of Earth’s oceans in 10 years—80 percent of which is currently unmapped. Mapping the Earth’s oceans will help scientists understand climate change processes, the path and strength of tsunamis, and more. 

SafetyNet Technologies’ Selective Fishing Light

Over 9 million tonnes of bycatch are caught globally every year, negatively impacting fishermen, the marine ecosystem, marine biodiversity, and fish stock. In an attempt to lower this number, SafetyNet Technologies created Pisces, a kit of 10 LED lights that fit fishing gear to allow more precise fishing. As a result, users can adapt to regulations, avoid fines, and fish more sustainably.  See video on https://youtu.be/mcbNv_OhFkA

Pisces can be adapted in numerous ways depending on what color, intensity, and flash rate are used, allowing Pisces to work in multiple different fisheries. Its LED lights also significantly reduce bycatch by attracting some species of fish and scaring others away. As a result, Pisces can be adjusted to help catch more of your target species while reducing bycatch. 

SafetyNet Technologies also created CatchCam, a robust underwater camera that allows users to see their gear in action under the ocean. This gives users insights into how fish behave in nets and if their bycatch mitigation methods, like square mesh panels, are working.

RanMarine’s WasteShark

Created by RanMarine Technology, a robotic autonomy technology company, WasteShark is a small robotic device that removes floating waste, plastics, and harmful algae from the surface of the water. This autonomous surface vessel is emission-free and reduces the effects of plastic pollution on the Earth’s oceans. As WasteShark’s founder, Richard Hardiman told Tomorrow’s World Today,  

“Our purpose is to develop technology to make our world a more livable place and ease the pressure humans are adding to our fragile water resources and ecosystems.” 

The robot has 180 liters (47.5 gallons) of capacity, an 8-hour runtime, and can remove 1100 pounds of waste a day. Ran Marine’s DataShark can also collect live data to measure accurate water health quality. This vessel can monitor temperature, depth, dissolved oxygen, turbidity, blue-green algae, crude, refined oils, and more to identify potential contaminants early to minimize their impact on the environment. 

Photo Credit: RanMarine, WasteShark
Photo Credit: RanMarine, WasteShark

At the Consumer Electronics Show in 2022, RanMarine also introduced the SharkPod, which is the world’s first autonomous floating docking station for waste-clearing drones. This tool will be able to deploy, dock, and charge up to five WasteShark drones at one time, allowing for a twenty-four-hour autonomous solution to remove waste from the water. Together with WasteSharks, the SharkPod would be able to remove up to 100 tons of debris and waste per month. 

For more information on the world’s oceans, check out how Earth’s oceans have reached record acidity, temperature, and sea levels, Tomorrow’s World Today’s interview with a National Geographic artist about ocean conservation, NFT’s helping coral reefs, and coral reefs around the world

To read the article by Tomorrows World Today see this link


A clean environment, including fresh air, land and waterways is necessary for all the living things on this planet.


sea, ocean, twilight


Industrialization is vital for all the countries, as it not only boosts the economy and development, but also generates employment opportunities. At the same time, sustainable living is equally important. A clean environment, including fresh air, land and waterways is necessary for all the living things on this planet.

However, in spite of all the factual data readily available to study the devastating impact of pollution and environmental degradation, our effort to mitigate the impact remains questionable.

Especially, when it comes to the oceans and other water bodies, the recent developments have been worrying to say the least. A number of plastic patches are floating on the surface of oceans, with some of them easily visible through satellite imagery.

The chemical waste released by several industries is only making the things complex. With increasing pollution levels, the marine life is threatened, while the humans are also being affected both directly and indirectly.

Although a number of innovative solutions have been tried and tested by the concerned authorities across the world so far, the success rate has not exuberated confidence. However, in the last few years, a unique product called WasteShark has turned heads with its efficiency and success rate.

Developed by Netherland-based RanMarine Technology, this water-robot is world’s first data harvesting autonomous surface vessel. It is designed to remove the unwanted material from the water bodies, while being operated autonomously or remotely.

WasteShark is capable of cleaning up 500 kg of debris per day, other than being a solution to monitor the pollution levels. The cost of fueling this water-robot for a year is equal to the cost of watching TV for 5 hours in a day for 12 months.

It comes with a battery capacity of 8 hours that is enough to accomplish the task for the day. WasteShark goes about its business without harming the marine life.

Having already been deployed in several water bodies across various countries, WasteShark has succeeded in withstanding the test of cleaning up lakes, ponds and oceans without any disruption. On the back of such innovative solutions, RanMarine Technology has come a long way.

The company was even able to attract global investment firm Boundary Holding, led by Rajat Khare. It also received funding from European Union (EU) to scale up operations and reduce the pollution considerably with its effective product list.

Reversing technological advancements or industrialization is not an option anymore. Having come this far, it would be stupid to believe that the plastic and chemical waste generation can be completely stopped anytime soon.

At this juncture, the better option is to control the damage by constantly cleaning up water bodies with innovative solutions like WasteShark and being more responsible towards the handling of environment in the larger picture.

Read full article by Influencive

New floating drones could help fight plastic pollution

Floating drones inspired by whale sharks and four-wheeled robots are the latest inventions in an attempt to address plastic pollution, Bloomberg reports.

RanMarine Technology, an organization based in Rotterdam, has developed what they call a ‘WasteShark’ that collects waste through a wide opening that mimics a whale shark. The WasteShark is an autonomous surface vessel, this means that it requires no supervision as it can be left in the chosen water body, with a preset route, using GPS to navigate and then return home.

The organisation claims that the WasteShark can collect up to 500kg of waste per day. There is also a four-wheeled version, a beachbot, that collects small litter like cigarette butts and bottle caps. You can view the WasteShark in action on the canals of Holland below.


A recent publication in Nature Sustainability provided a comprehensive analysis of the solutions to tackle marine litter. Even though policies are being created to address plastic pollution, such as the decision taken by Tanzania in 2019 to ban all plastic bags in the country, the publication brings up the issue of the existing plastic in our oceans.

The research was led by biologist Nikoleta Bellou who commented that “the oceans have already been polluted to such an extent, simultaneous to all the actions needed to reduce pollution at the source”.

Plastics pollution is piling up faster than initiatives to correct it, with calculations indicating that it will take about 100 years to retrieve 5% of plastic in the oceans

As much as 91 million tons have entered the world’s oceans between 1980 and 2015, with more than 8 million tons entering the oceans every year. What we see on the surface is only 5% of the plastic in the oceans. plastic has contaminated the darkest parts of the Mariana trench and is so widespread that it is estimated that by 2050, 99% of seabirds would have ingested plastic.

The worsening plastic pollution on the planet seems as if our reality is coming to represent Pixar’s 2008  film, Wall-E, where the earth so despoiled that it is no longer inhabitable that humans are living in some kind of space-ark while a robot is left to clean up the waste. But this is just a movie…

To prevent this dystopia,  policies to avoid disincentive plastic production and encourage a circular economy as well as public education on the harms of plastic are needed in collaboration with technofixes such as the WasteShark. In 2010, South Africa ranked 11th on the list of the worst offenders regarding plastic pollution in the ocean. South Africa only recycles 16% of its plastic, where the rest end up in landfills where they can easily blow into rivers and eventually, the ocean.

Article by Getaway