WasteShark, the world’s most popular shark, is ready for CES

CES has begun. The Netherlands is being represented there by fifty start-ups and twenty scale-ups. RanMarine is one of them.

About RanMarine

When Richard Hardiman, founder and CEO of RanMarine, saw two people on a boat fishing garbage out of the sea during his daily cup of coffee at the Port of Cape Town, he thought: this should be able to be done differently. So, WasteShark was born; a water drone that collects biomass and debris from the ocean’s surface. Almost six years later, the start-up is now preparing for the world’s largest tech trade fair: CES.

There are currently 26 WasteSharks sailing around the world in the most diverse of places. They keep the parks of Disney clean as well as harbors in Spain. And recently the United Nations also became a customer. Esther Lokhorst, COO at RanMarine, talks about the preparations for the CES trade fair and the company’s latest developments.

The WasteShark, what kind of shark is that exactly?

Esther Lokhorst, COO at RanMarine commented
“A really extraordinary one! It is a water drone modeled on the whale shark. The WasteShark does not disturb or threaten aquatic life, it is small (157 cm by 109 cm) and electric. This offers a lot of advantages. For instance, when it comes to clean-up boats, you have to clear the entire wharf before they can get to work. Our water drone is much more flexible and sails in between everything. In addition, the Shark can run for eight to ten hours on one battery and collect 500 kilograms of waste in a net attached to the bottom of the drone. They are all linked to our portal. Through that portal, customers plan the required route and GPS routes guide them to the right location. Lidar can also be added to increase the level of safety.”

But, the WasteShark can do more than just clean up, right?

“Yes, the drones are also capable of measuring data, such as pollution levels and the presence of algae. If there are enough of our sharks swimming around the world, that data will then become extremely interesting. We eventually plan to make that data available to governments and NGOs, so that we can fight pollution together.”

Over at the CES, you will be launching a new creation – the SharkPod. Tell us about it!

You have to see the SharkPod as a collection point where five WasteSharks can empty their trash. The Pod also enables the Sharks to communicate with and support each other. We are also working on the OilShark, which skims oil off the surface of the water, as well as the four-by-two-meter MegaShark. Whereas the WasteShark is designed for inland waters and coastal waters, the MegaShark can really venture out into the ocean.”

Where will RanMarine be in five years?

“Our ambition is to have drones in key, strategic locations across all continents around the world. In five years’ time, we will hopefully have offices in several different countries, including the United States. We are, and will remain, an engineering company. We are manufacturing the first series of new machines ourselves, but beyond that, we will outsource the manufacturing. I also think that by then we will have developed new technologies that respond to environmental problems, such as blue-green algae.”

You are attending CES this week – the largest technology trade fair in the world. Are you ready for the American onslaught that will be coming your way? 

“I’m curious, it’s the first time for us. The NL Mission has prepared us very well and we will bring a drone with us. We’re really looking forward to it, but at the same time we find it really exciting!”

What makes it so exciting?

“I think the fact that we don’t have a salesperson. So, we really have to do that ourselves. Sales is our biggest challenge in any event – I don’t think we have all the skills in house yet to market our drones through cold acquisitions. In that regard, CES and the preparation for it are actually extremely educational.”

CES will take place from 5 January to 8 January in Las Vegas.

Written by Aafke Eppinga 0f Innovation Origins NL on 6 January 2022

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NL: https://innovationorigins.com/nl/wasteshark-de-populairste-haai-ter-wereld-is-klaar-voor-ces/

EN: https://innovationorigins.com/en/wasteshark-the-worlds-most-popular-shark-is-ready-for-ces/

CES 2022: Five Tech Trends to Watch in an Unusual Year

Omicron might prevent some big exhibitors from attending, but over 2,000 companies are expected in Las Vegas to unveil innovations.

CES, which took place entirely online in 2021, kicks off Monday with in-person press events in Las Vegas.

Nothing about this year’s CES will be normal. That includes some of the biggest trends expected at the show.

The massive annual tech conference, which took place entirely online last year, kicks off Monday with in-person press events in Las Vegas. Despite the surge of the Omicron variant of Covid-19 over the holidays, the event’s organizer, the Consumer Technology Association, said it would proceed but end a day early as a safety measure. The organization expects up to 75,000 attendees and over 2,200 exhibitors, including Samsung Electronics Co. and Sony Group Corp.

A lengthy list of tech players have decided not to visit Las Vegas, however. Strict Covid-19 quarantine requirements in China have complicated travel for many Chinese companies—including popular exhibitor and drone maker DJI—and Israel in December barred its citizens from traveling to the U.S.

General Motors Co. Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra will give her keynote virtually. T-Mobile US Inc.’s CEO, Mike Sievert, won’t deliver his scheduled keynote at all. Event mainstays such as Intel Corp. , Lenovo Group Ltd. , LG Electronics Inc. and Panasonic Corp. have withdrawn or greatly reduced in-person staffing, and the biggest tech firms, including Alphabet Inc. ’s Google, Meta Platforms Inc. (formerly Facebook), Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. , which typically played smaller roles, have decided to stay home. (Our own team canceled plans to be there in person.)

An air purifier by Bemis Manufacturing Co

While in-person demos and unveilings will be sparse, expect plenty of news and not just from the traditional TV, audio and home-appliance categories. The auto sector has become such a big part of the show, it is taking over the Las Vegas Convention Center’s new West Hall expansion. And many other tech-adjacent companies view CES, even a thinly attended one, as a chance to get some attention.

“There’s always a bunch of stuff there I would have never thought of as consumer electronics,” said Tim Bajarin, a tech analyst with Creative Strategies. “But it’s a much more diverse show than it has ever been,” he added. He said he has been to CES 45 times—missing a few in the late ’70s and early ’80s. He had planned to attend again this year before Omicron interfered.

Here is what is expected to be on tap for this year, from family tech to food, with a sprinkling of metaversecryptocurrency and NFTs.

Getting comfy at home

We have spent two years mostly hanging out at home, and tech companies took notice. They are introducing products designed to help users relax and decompress when they aren’t typing at a computer or Zooming into a meeting. They have designed smart beds that can nudge you when it is time to wake up, bathtubs that maintain consistent water temperature and air purifiers that also add fragrances to a room.

Developers are focusing on sensor-assisted products like lamps, toilets and bathtubs that respond based on time of day, air quality or who is in the room, the latest evolution of the Internet of Things.

A Sleep Number bed

“It’s a move from a connected home to a smart home that uses environmental cues to signal the sound, the lights, the overall feel of the home,” said Mitch Klein, executive director of the Z-Wave Alliance, a smart-home standards organization.

Bemis Manufacturing Co. will show off a new line of smart air purifiers designed to adjust automatically to indoor air quality and emit essential-oil aromas. At night, the gadgets sense that the lights are lowered, and reduce noise so you can sleep.

Sleep Number Corp. and Sleepme Inc. are among the companies unveiling next-generation bed tech with more-advanced sensing and response capabilities for adults. Cradlewise touts similar tech for babies, using artificial intelligence that can tell when children are waking, learn what music will soothe them and gently bounce them back to sleep.

CarePredict Inc. will show off an update to its wrist-worn Tempo device

Taking care of kids and parents

CES 2022 will have plenty of tech for the so-called “sandwich generation,” adults who care for both their kids and their parents: an AI-equipped baby monitor that can detect a covered face or a rollover, room sensors to track the movement of seniors, and health and activity wearables designed to meet the needs of every age group.

Florida-based CarePredict Inc. will show off an update to its wrist-worn Tempo that makes it easier for caregivers to communicate with their older loved ones (or make sure they are properly cared for). The new CareVoice feature lets people send audio messages to the watch wearer, whether it is greetings from a grandchild or a reminder to take medicine.

The device already detects falls, and can send an alert when its wearer skips meals, sleeps less or has other activity out of the norm.

Orbisk will feature a device that uses image recognition to help hotels, restaurants and others reduce food waste.

Saving the planet

Many major technology companies have talked up efforts to make their products more environmentally friendly. That includes using more recycled materials, making their devices easier to repair and reducing the packaging surrounding the products.

Some of the products being shown at CES include a hydrogen fuel-cell-powered flying car concept from French company Maca, and a tabletop washer from another French firm, Auum, designed to cut down on single-use plastic by cleaning and drying a glass in 10 seconds.

RanMarine Technology’s WasteShark is a floating autonomous drone that cleans pollution from waterways and collects data on water quality.

Jong-Hee Han—vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and head of the company’s newly combined TV, home appliances and mobile division—will spend his keynote Tuesday outlining Samsung’s plans to make customizable and environmentally friendly tech.

From the Netherlands, RanMarine Technology will show off WasteShark, a floating autonomous drone that cleans pollution from waterways and collects data on water quality, while Orbisk will feature a device that uses image recognition to help hotels, restaurants and others reduce food waste.

A meat alternative made from fungi by MycoTechnology.

Cooking and eating

The buzziest thing at CES 2020, the last in-person show before the pandemic, wasn’t a gadget, software or a service, but Impossible Foods Inc.’s Impossible Pork, a plant-based meat designed to cook and smell like ground pork.

This year at the show, a half-day food-tech conference will showcase advances in areas such as agriculture, ingredient innovation, meal kits and deliveries, vertical farming and, of course, more plant-based meat. Impossible Foods will be there, as will MycoTechnology, which will debut a meat alternative made from fungi.

The conference will also cover “how robotics will change the face of food,” said Michael Wolf, founder of The Spoon, an online food-tech industry publication that is hosting the event. For instance, farm-equipment giant Deere & Co. will discuss how automation can address labor shortages and unpredictable weather.

Looking ahead

A tech industry battle is taking shape over the metaverse. WSJ tech reporter Meghan Bobrowsky explains the concept and why tech companies like Facebook, Roblox and Epic Games are investing billions to develop this digital space.

The metaverse is a hot topic right now. In October, Facebook Inc. changed its name to Meta Platforms Inc., in preparation for the internet’s next chapter: People strap on high-tech glasses so their avatars can interact, wherever they are in the world. At CES 2022, tech companies of all sizes are showing tools to build and navigate this virtual future.

Hyundai Motor Group will allow visitors to create avatars and test drive new concept cars in cyberspace. The startup Bhaptics will demo gaming gloves designed to replace hand-held VR controllers. Samsung is marketing its metaverse ambitions with a VR home-decorating platform.

And the conference is hosting a new program to discuss nonfungible tokens (aka NFTs), virtual certificates that show you own a digital object.

“Are we a little ahead of our skis on the topics of metaverse and NFTs? Yes,” said Maribel Lopez, principal analyst at tech-industry analysis firm Lopez Research. “But that’s kind of what CES is about.”

January 3, 2022

Read article on The Wall Street Journal by Shara Tibken and Dalvin Brown