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.


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.


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.”


The Netherlands wins many innovation awards CES

The Netherlands wins many innovation awards CES
Large Dutch delegation to Las Vegas in 2022
Awards prize cup
No fewer than thirteen Dutch tech companies have won a CES Innovation Award this year, the highest number ever. In previous years, the Netherlands has always won one or two of these prizes from the CES, the world’s largest tech show.

This will bring the Netherlands more to the fore during the upcoming edition of CES. Originally a consumer electronics trade show, the focus has been on business tech solutions in the last few years. CES 2022 will take place on January 5 in the American gambling city of Las Vegas.

About five years ago, the Holland stand lacked significant presence. The exhibitors were given plenty of time to get to know each other. But gradually that changed. Not only is the offer of Dutch exhibitors becoming more interesting, their number is also increasing. For the first time in 2022, in addition to fifty startups , the delegation will also consist of twenty scale-ups.

Nowi Energy, InPhocal, Morphotonics, RanMarine and Roseman Labs

The thirteen winners of an Innovation Award are assured of a lot of attention. Nine of these are ICT-related:

– Nowi Energy:
Startup Nowi Energy from Veldhoven has devised a chip that allows sensors to extract energy from their immediate environment, for example from light, heat or Wi-Fi signals. This allows them to last for decades without having to charge them.

– InPhocal:
InPhocal, also from the Eindhoven region, won an award for its concentric laser beam technology. The long focus length of the beam speeds up laser marking systems. It also becomes possible to mark on curved surfaces without loss of quality. In addition, the laser beam can focus on smaller spot sizes than the current technique. This leads to higher precision when dicing wafers. This increases the chip yield, which helps to reduce the chip shortages.

– Morphotonics:
Morphotonics makes it easier for customers who have improved their micro- or nano-structured products to make the transition from lab setup to manufacturing. To this end, the Veldhoven-based company has developed the Roll-to-Plate imprint technology with a large surface area.

– RanMarine:
RanMarine has developed a self-steering robot shark that purifies water. The Rotterdam-based company has specialized in maritime drones that are remotely controlled or even completely autonomous. The robotic shark acts like an intelligent tool that swims around and removes dirt. The waste is collected through the shark’s mouth. At the same time, the robot can also collect data about the sea environment. The drones can work in groups together with the docking station.

– Roseman Labs:
Roseman Labs (privacy tech) from Breda received an award for its software to set up easier and more secure data collaborations. Instead of sharing data, the algorithm is sent to the different sources. This enables decentralized data analytics without data falling into the wrong hands. The National Cyber ​​Security Center (NCSC) uses this solution to build Secure Net. Thanks to the strong data privacy guarantees, this platform for sharing cyber risks can soon also be used to warn companies outside the critical infrastructure.

VideowindoW, Absolute Audio Labs, Avular and Dimenco

– VideowindoW:
VideowindoW turns any existing glass surface on a building into a transparent display. The Delft company does this by superimposing a layer of video. Unlike competing solutions, this display solution also provides heat absorption. At the same time, the glass is less dazzling. This makes the VideoWindoW ideally suited for airports and other buildings with large glass surfaces. The Schiphol Group recently concluded a lease contract for this purpose. Rotterdam The Hague Airport will install the solution. Museum Jan Cunen in Oss will use the transparent display as a sustainable communication medium for exhibitions.

– Absolute Audio Labs: 
The Dutch scale-up Absolute Audio Labs from Hilversum offers software that makes speech more intelligible. In addition, users of wireless earphones or hearing aids can enjoy music more. Developed is a suite of algorithms that add advanced hearing features to wireless earphones. These types of headphones can be provided with additional functions for the hearing impaired. These algorithms can also be used in hearing aids. The company’s Pyour audio platform works with algorithms for artificial intelligence and machine learning.

– Avular:
The robotics company Avular is helping others realize the next generation of mobile robots. These include autonomous drones and rovers. The Eindhoven company developed a modular ‘robot brain’. Together with various pre-configured modular robot platforms, any functionality can be mounted on it.

– Dimenco:
Dimenco will breathe new life into 3D technology after more than ten years. At CES, this spin-off from Philips will demonstrate its new 3D technology for laptops, called Simulated Reality (SR). No special glasses are required for this. The company from Veldhoven developed a new form of spatial computing. This makes new ways of interacting and experiencing the screen possible. The first consumer products based on this technology will be released this year. SR combines light field 3D technology, integrated sensors and image processing algorithms. The aim is to experience realistic 3d objects seamlessly in a virtual environment.

Other winners of a CES Innovation Award are Crescent Medical (camera for surgeons), Ferr-Tech (water treatment), Ocean Grazer (environmental engineering) and Urban Mobility Systems (electrification of machines).