Robot shark

‘Robot shark’ from startup RanMarine collects waste from the canals of Zaandam: Rotterdam company is aiming for ’round of millions’ to conquer the US

Frequent visitors to the Zaandam city center will have already seen him: the so-called ‘Veulvreter’. Here, in the Gedempte Gracht, a small white boat sails once a week with an insatiable hunger for waste. Floating cans, chip trays, PET bottles: this mini-catamaran eats everything that we humans would rather lose than be rich.

The ‘Veulvreter’, as it is called in Zaandam, is actually called WasteShark. It is a creation of the Rotterdam company RanMarine (in full: RanMarine Technology). After a charge, the electrically powered boat can search the water for six hours for waste, according to a pre-programmed zigzagging pattern. As a result, the ‘robot shark’ can remove up to 500 kilograms of waste from the water per day, according to the startup.

Zaanstad was the second Dutch municipality to launch the WasteShark in December, after Dordrecht had previously conducted a successful trial with the device. It saves time for employees of the municipal waste service in Zaandam, as they no longer have to fiddle with fishing nets to retrieve discarded cans from the canal.

Esther Lokhorst stands bent over one of her robot sharks in an old industrial building on a business park in the Rotterdam industrial area Nieuw Methesse. The interior can be described as a potpourri of wires and chips. A team of four young men works on the hardware and Lokhorst, as operational director, keeps an eye on things.

A little further in the open air we find a small water bath, which was installed here by RanMarine. Even though the sun is shining seductively this Wednesday afternoon, people are not supposed to take a dip in it. The only bather allowed is the WasteShark, which Lokhorst and her team test here after every refinement of the technique.

RanMarine’s WasteShark makes a tour of the test pool in Rotterdam. In the background operational director Esther Lokhorst (left) and founder Richard Hardiman.Photo: Business Insider Netherlands/Jelmer Luimstra

Sensor-equipped drones

The boats are in fact drones equipped with GPS and two sensors. The sensors measure the water quality and depth and forward this information to an online portal of RanMarine. “If, for example, dredging is required, customers immediately gain insight into how deep the soil is,” says Lokhorst.

Her company supplies floating drones that work completely autonomously, but also robot boats that you can control remotely. The robot boat can not only grab plastic waste from the water, but also duckweed. The company is currently investigating in Helsinki whether it is also possible to rid the water of blue-green algae.

No, the robot sharks are not a danger to passing birds, Lokhorst says when asked when we take a seat in a deserted, industrial-looking company canteen. “The boats only sail three kilometers per hour,” says the director. “In our five years of existence, we have never caught a bird or even a fish.”

RanMarine has so far sold more than fifty of these types of boats to 25 customers, says Lokhorst. Many of those customers come from abroad. For example, robot boats from the startup are sailing in the port of Houston, in Dallas and in Plymouth in the UK. The company has customers worldwide: from South Africa to South Korea and from Nigeria to Ireland.

Typical customers are government institutions and water boards, but theme parks are also part of the regular customer base. For example, RanMarine supplies its robot boats to Disney and Universal parks in Florida, among others. “America is a very important market for us,” says Lokhorst. “We are therefore now setting up an American division. We already have employees in the US and want to expand considerably.”

In time, this should result in an American office, says Lokhorst when asked. When, she can’t say yet. “For the time being, we will keep production and development here in Rotterdam. If we scale up considerably in the US, we will also start an assembly department there.”

In the Netherlands, Zaandam and Dordrecht are currently the only municipalities to which RanMarine supplies its aquadrones. It sometimes turns out to be quite complicated to hook up with municipalities. “The municipality is not always responsible for cleaning up waste. Some municipalities outsource this to cleaning companies.”

Lokhorst does state that its sales team is busy hooking up more Dutch municipalities. RanMarine even expects to start a project in the Wadden Sea soon.

Operations director Esther Lokhorst (left) of RanMarine joined the company in 2017. To the right of its founder Richard Hardiman. Business Insider Netherlands/ Jelmer Luimstra

Film WALL-E provided inspiration

Lokhorst is not the founder of RanMarine. The company was founded in 2016 by South African Richard Hardiman, who worked as a radio DJ and journalist in a previous life.

Hardiman came up with the idea of ​​the garbage-eating robot shark when he was sitting on a terrace in Cape Town and saw people using a net to remove dirt from the water. There had to be an easier way, Hardiman thought. His mind wandered off to the film WALL-E, in which the leading role is played by a futuristic robot that collects and compresses waste.

A little further on, the bearded man in his forties is having a video call with a colleague from the US. Hardiman has been living in the Netherlands since 2020, where he saw more opportunities to succeed with his startup plan than in South Africa. He participated in a growth program of PortXL, a company affiliated with the port of Rotterdam, for which Lokhorst worked. She joined the then fledgling startup in 2017.

Now, six years later, the company already employs 23 people. RanMarine has been profitable since 2021, according to Lokhorst. The company does not share profit and turnover figures. From the most recent summary profit and loss account that the company filed with the Chamber of Commerce (KvK), it can be concluded that RamMarine closed 2021 with a positive equity capital of more than 7 tons.

RanMarine raised an unknown amount of growth financing twice in its existence. According to Lokhorst, a “serious round of millions” is planned for April. With the upcoming millions, RanMarine hopes to be able to grow faster, especially in the US. The company is also investing in the development of larger aquadrones and robot boats that can extract oil from the water.

Rapid growth also seems to be necessary. In 2019, RanMarine was the first party to market an aquadrone. The market is now busier, with competitors in France, China and the US. Nevertheless, Lokhorst does not see a major threat in this: “The market is large enough for several parties. The positive thing about more competition is that this technique will become better known as a way to remove rubbish from the water.”

Article written by Jelmer Luimstra of Business Insider Nederland

Feb 23, 2023

The shark that collects waste and data

If you look carefully, staring at the water, you will see it: a shark with a huge open mouth. But no fish, plankton or unsuspecting swimmers disappear into this shark’s mouth: the WasteShark catches plastic and other waste. RanMarine’s promising prototype has developed into a mature water robot that cleans water worldwide. Creator Richard Hardiman: ‘I am an inventor, I enjoy turning ideas into actual solutions.’

The idea for the WasteShark originated in South Africa, where Hardiman comes from. ‘I saw two people fishing rubbish out of the water with a fishing net. I thought: surely there must be a different and better way of doing that? A product that can clean up waste without anyone being present. Around the same time, I became a father and developed an interest in sustainability. I wanted to do something good, also in terms of work. And that’s how the idea for the WasteShark was born. I have an engineering background so I started building. In 2016 I came into contact with the PortXL programme that allowed me to develop my idea as part of my newly established startup RanMarine.’

Water robot

Hardiman ended up at RDM Rotterdam, where he continued to develop his shark: ‘The WasteShark is a mini-water robot that floats and can navigate autonomously. It scours the surface of the water for plastic, waste and pollution and other things that do not belong in the water. The WasteShark collects it in its ‘open mouth’ and brings it to the shore. The smart shark can also pick up natural material that impacts water quality, such as duckweed, algae and aquatic plants. In addition, the WasteShark collects data on water quality. For example, it can monitor whether outboard water is suitable for swimming.’


How large and heavy is the shark? Hardiman lists the specifications: ‘The WasteShark is controlled via 4G, has a range of 3 kilometres, reaches a speed of 3 kilometres per hour and can swim for about 6 hours. The water robot is 1.57 metres long, 1.09 metres wide, 52 centimetres high and weighs 75 kilos. Very manageable in other words.’

Easy to use

There are several people and organisations whose models retrieve waste from the water. How is WasteShark different from other solutions? Hardiman: ‘It is simple, elegant and efficient. It is emission-free and does not result in any other pollution in the water, and it is easy to deploy. That was also our aim. We wanted to design a tool that collects as much waste as possible in a simple and manageable way, and can be used easily and by as many people as possible. If you have a fairly large car, you can even transport it in the boot. So it’s user-friendly for a wide audience.’

Millions of sharks

How does Hardiman see the future? ‘I am not against plastic, it is a convenient product. But we do have a huge mountain of plastic waste entering the environment. It’s all about how to recycle plastic even better. We can make great strides in that and the WasteShark can contribute. My dream is to have millions of WasteSharks active all over the world. Not only to collect waste, but also to collect data. We need to know what is in our water and not just what is floating on it. Using that data, we can learn how to improve and maintain the quality of the water!’


What does Rotterdam mean to Hardiman? ‘My original idea was to return to Cape Town, but the Port of Rotterdam is a springboard to the world of robotics and engineering. And there’s a strong network of companies here committed to sustainability worldwide. This will allow us to improve the WasteShark even further and expand its distribution. I started out on my own and now we have grown into a company with 25 people, thanks to Rotterdam. I am glad I stayed, because without the Port of Rotterdam, RanMarine would not be here!’

Article and Video by Port of Rotterdam 

Best robots of CES 2023

Editor’s Picks: best robots of CES 2023

The consumer electronics show (CES) is the largest event for consumer product launches in the world. I had the opportunity to attend CES for the first time this year, and it was an overwhelming experience. With over 3,200 vendors, there is so much to see that it would be impossible for one person to see and experience everything. That’s where pre-event research is critical to distill the vendor list down to a manageable size. I wanted to see over 60 robot-related products at CES 2023, and I only had two days to do so.

Here’s a recap of my favorite robotic solutions at CES 2023 (in no particular order):

Waste Shark by RanMarine

I stumbled on the Waste Shark by RanMarine in the Netherlands innovation area of CES Eureka Park. This was the serendipitous part of my CES adventure. Waste Shark is an autonomous marine vehicle that is designed to navigate small waterways and clear plastics, bio-waste and other debris from the surface of the water. The robot is completely autonomous but takes its basic design from its larger manned sibling, the Tender Shark.

The primary use case for Waste Shark is to operate on contained bodies of either fresh or salt water.  Parks, golf courses and amusement parks are just a few of the potential application areas for Waste Shark. The robot needs to return to the dock or shoreline when it’s time to remove the debris from its internal trap. It is a simple process to remove the trash basket as it slides out of the front of the vehicle for emptying.

The robot monitors its forward speed and determines that the trash basket is full when there is a measurable drag on the forward motion of the vehicle. Waste Shark can operate in salt water, but due to its small size should be restricted to operation in contained harbors.

Enchanted Tools – Mirokai

If you went to CES 2023 but didn’t meet Mirokai, don’t go looking for the booth that wasn’t there. Enchanted Tools showed off Mirokai in a private suite to an exclusive group of people. I was lucky enough to secure an invite.

There’s a lot to like, and a lot to question about the future of Mirokai as a commercial solution. What I liked about Mirokai was the top-notch overall design, form and function of the robot. The Enchanted Tools designers and engineering team did a fantastic job in pulling the whole design concept together. I love the face, head and interactivity of Mirokai – it’s immediately engaging.

With an animated face, there’s no uncanny valley to cross, and you are immediately enthralled (some might say enchanted) by the eyes, mouth and voice. This robot is built kinematically around a ball-bot, and there hasn’t been a commercially successful implementation of a ball-bot yet. With a moveable torso, head and arms, Mirokai is more complex than the original ball-bot designs.

The beauty of the ball-bot is in its fluid motion across the floor, and this supports the illusion of the Mirokai character. The downside (in my opinion) is that a ball-bot is dynamically stable, and any small disruption to its balance, such as pushing on the head or pulling on an arm, requires that the robot respond to keep its balance. In an ideal world with flat surfaces, the ball-bot can maintain its balance. However, the cluttered house of an elderly owner is going to present challenges to the navigation paradigm and balance-keeping algorithms for this class of robot design.

Overall, I give Mirokai high marks for design implementation and interactivity. It is the most pleasing service robot that I’ve ever interacted with.

What was a little over the top in the product introduction, is the whole mythology behind the Miroko world and the Mirokai characters. Enchanted Tools is trying to make a whole new set of characters and bring them to life. To make a social robot for the elder care use case, you don’t need to know the whole origin story behind it.

The company has already shown that it can give Mirokai a persona that is charming and fun to talk to. If Mirokai is used for entertainment, the company still has a lot of work to do to make videos, books and games that fit with the mythology.

New Ottonomy Yeti robot

The Ottonomy Yeti Ottobot features a holonomic drive and an automatic package delivery option. | Credit: Ottonomy

Ottonomy demoed the new Ottobot Yeti last-mile delivery robot at CES 2023. This new platform includes an entirely new drive platform that includes holonomic motion using a four-wheel swerve drive. The cargo-carrying payload platform has also been redesigned to be larger and more robust. The payload area includes two cargo bays that open autonomously, to allow a patron to remove only their order.

Yeti also features an optional autonomous cargo drop door. This enables Yeti to autonomously move a package (i.e. a box) from inside the cargo bay, onto the ground or into a locker.

Ottonomy received an RBR50 Award in 2021, for its first delivery application deployment within the Cincinnati Airport. Since that first generation, Ottonomy has continued to expand the capabilities of the platform, and to enable indoor to outdoor navigation. This capability makes Ottobot one of the few AMRs capable of both indoor and outdoor navigation with the same platform. The company is targeting curbside delivery for both grocery and mall-based restaurants as the initial market for the robots.

aeo by Aeolus Robotics

Aeolus Robotics demoed the second generation of its aeo social robot at CES2023. This latest generation of aeo is a complete redo of the robot design from the original model. The robot still features two fully articulating and vision-guided manipulators (i.e. arms).

aeo can be equipped with a number of different end effectors. The primary gripper is a two-fingered gripper, useful for picking up items, and opening drawers and doors.

The company has also developed (and demoed) the following end effectors:

  • Two fingered gripper
  • Large, general area UV disinfecting light
  • Small, door handle UV disinfecting light
  • Interactive tablet
  • Interactive phone, tablet and printer

The primary use case for aeo is elder care, and the company has deployed a number of aeo gen 2 units into elder care facilities in Japan. With the new capability to ride an elevator, aeo can now be deployed into multilevel facilities.

BIM Printer

The BIM Printer robot features a mobile frame with an X/Y plotter-style print unit to paint BIM data onto the building floor. | Credit: BIM Printer

The construction robotics market has evolved quickly over the last five years. One of the companies on my CES hit list was BIM Printer, a French robotics company that hasn’t spent much time in the U.S. prior to this event.

Unfortunately, the company didn’t have a live demo at the booth, but I spent some time talking to co-founder Vincent Agie. The robot is currently being employed to lay out the interior floor space for tenants at the Burj Khalifa (the tallest building in the world).

Unlike the other BIM information printers on the market, BIM consists of two robots: a movable AMR frame that indexes across the floor to position the base unit, combined with an X/Y plotter that paints the BIM data onto the floor. The other automated BIM marking solutions on the market leverage an AMR that paints BIM data as it moves across the floor.

BIM Printer has an accuracy of 2 mm (0.079″) and achieves this accuracy through the use of a total station to localize the position of the robot. The go-to-market for the company is through survey company partners and construction service companies.

The company is also introducing a BIM ceiling printer that can mark all of the construction details onto the ceiling. This data includes the placement of walls, ducting, water, electrical and other utilities.

Robosen transformer toy robot

What would CES be without toy robots? There were plenty of consumer robotic toys on display, but I’ve chosen to discuss my favorite robotic plaything. Robosen is more than just a toy, its product line includes a number of transforming robot characters that range in price from $300 to $1000.

The current star of the Robosen product line (more on that later) is the Elite Optimus Prime auto-converting and programmable robot. The product is officially licensed and designed in collaboration with Hasbro.

Optimus Prime Robot is an auto-converting, interactive, programmable, voice-activated, mobile-controlled robotic toy. Robosen brings Optimus Prime to life with a fully immersive experience through voice-activated actions, mobile app controls, and endless hours of creative and fun ways to program Optimus Prime to walk, punch, blast, drive, and convert at the swipe of your finger, or command of your voice.

Next on the Robosen product roadmap will be the release of a fully articulated Disney Pixar cobranded Buzz Lightyear robot. | Credit: The Robot Report

RobotSmith material finishing workstation

RobotSmith is a fully enclosed grinding and polishing solution that uses CAD data to drive the robot paths for material finishing. | Credit: The Robot Report

RobotSmith was another serendipitous discovery I made in the Taiwan section of CES Eureka Park. This robotic work cell is a true industrial robot application that leverages an industrial robot arm to grind and polish metal objects. It wasn’t what I would have expected to discover at CES.

I was impressed by the integration between CAD model data, force feedback and AI-driven path generation in the solution. Robot Smith uses the CAD model of a part and a simulation environment to generate the grinding and polishing path. Next, it uses vision guidance to pick up unfinished physical parts from a material tray, and take the item to the various grinding and polishing station as the item is worked to the desired final state of finish.

Third Wave autonomous warehouse fork truck

ThirdWave had a static demo unit in the Ouster booth at CES2023. Credit: The Robot Report

The final discovery worth highlighting from CES 2023 is Third Wave Automation. The company is developing an automated pallet-moving fork truck for use in warehouses. The bay area company didn’t have its own booth, but it had a nonmoving demo unit of its autonomous fork truck on display at the Ouster booth.

The company is using Ouster LiDAR for navigation and obstacle avoidance. The AMR has three operational modes: (1) manual; (2) remote operation; (3) fully autonomous operation. Third Wave has implemented a controls package and sensor array that can retrofit an existing fork truck. The company is initially working with a fork truck partner Clark, and has built a package for the NPX20 vehicle. This vehicle has a load capacity of 4000 lbs (1800 kg).

Third Wave instruments the fork truck with vision cameras, LiDAR and other sensors such that a remote operator in the Third Wave remote operations center can monitor the movement of the robot. If the robot detects an issue such as a misaligned pallet, or it loses localization, the remote operator is alerted to the situation. The operator can then either remotely pilot the robot to safe location or resolve the issue to put it back into autonomous operation. Or the remote operator can alert an on-site operator to the situation and enable them to take local control of the vehicle to resolve the issue. At any time, the robot can be switched from autonomous mode to manual mode so that it can be operated under human control.

This control paradigm is a unique differentiator as many of the competitors are either manual/autonomous or remote/autonomous or manual/remote, but this is one of the first solutions that I’ve seen with the three operational modalities.


Mike Oitzman

Mike Oitzman is Editor of WTWH’s Robotics Group and founder of the Mobile Robot Guide. Oitzman is a robotics industry veteran with 25-plus years of experience at various high-tech companies in the roles of marketing, sales and product management. He can be reached at moitzman@wtwhmedia.com.

Read the article on The Robot Report

CES 2023: MegaShark takes a bite out of marine trash

MegaShark gobbles up toxic plastic and marine litter.

Sharks are known for having stomachs of steel. The newest product from Dutch scale-up  RanMarine Technology is no exception.

One could describe the MegaShark as a robot vacuum for bodies of water. It’s a remotely piloted vessel that sits atop the water and scoots along with a wide-open mouth, sucking up debris and carting it back to shore.

The MegaShark hopes to tackle the ever-growing problem of polluted waterways, a particular concern here in Florida.

According to RanMarine Technology, there’s currently 200 million metric tons (approximately 220 U.S. tons) of toxic plastic in marine environments and another 11 million metric tons (or 12 U.S. tons) are added to the pile every year. The UN Environmental Program predicts the amount of new waste entering waterways will triple by 2040.

The MegaShark has an interesting digestive system too. According to RanMarine Technology, a startup of CleanTech Robotics, the seaworthy drone has an onboard trash compactor which allows it to scoop up as much waste as possible every time it hits the water.

The company said the device can be piloted remotely but is also hardy enough for users to sit or stand on it as it makes its rounds. The onboard battery will keep the MegaShark moving for about eight hours.

A bonus feature: The MegaShark packs all the necessary instruments for water quality analysis.

RanMarine plans to introduce two other “species” to its shark lineup.

The TenderShark is tailored to the boating community. The mini tender is able to carry light cargo loads efficiently and effectively from ship to shore, and vice versa. Users have the option to collect floating waste as the TenderShark makes its cargo runs.

Meanwhile, the SharkPod is what RanMarine describes as a “mothership” — it’s an autonomous floating docking station which can charge up to five WasteShark drones at a time. RanMarine said the solution will allow ports, harbors and cities to keep their drones chugging around the clock. The SharkPod will be available to purchase in early 2023.

Currently, RanMarine’s drones are sucking up garbage for the Port of Houston, Disney theme parks, Universal and the United Nations in addition to several other local and state authorities worldwide.

Read the article by Drew Wilson on Florida Politics

Drew Wilson

Drew Wilson covers legislative campaigns and fundraising for Florida Politics. He is a former editor at The Independent Florida Alligator and business correspondent at The Hollywood Reporter. Wilson, a University of Florida alumnus, covered the state economy and Legislature for LobbyTools and The Florida Current prior to joining Florida Politics.

Challenger50 of 2022

Challenger50 of 2022

This is the MT/Sprout Challenger50 of 2022 : the list of fifty
most challenging, innovative and fast-growing companies in the Netherlands.
These entrepreneurs break with existing business models
and show the established order how things can be done differently, faster and better.

Challenger50 is powered by Tech Rise People and EY .

These are the 50 most challenging
and innovative companies of 2022

RanMarine Technology

With the WasteShark, RanMarine Technology from Richard Hardiman supplies a floating robot that tackles the plastic soup like a nautical Roomba.

What: Drone that removes plastic from the water
Who: Richard Hardiman (46)
Challenges: Plastic soup
Since: 2016
Employees: 18
Funding: 2.3 million euros (VCs and subsidy) Website : ranmarine.io

The idea came to him when Richard Hardiman saw a few people scooping plastic from a boat on a terrace in Cape Town. That had to be more efficient than with a scoop net, right?

At the time, the Briton Hardiman had already completed a career as a journalist and radio DJ and was studying business in South Africa. On a napkin he drew a robot that, just like Wall-E in the delightful animated film, collected plastic from the water.

Auquadrone with lidar

That was almost ten years ago. But the idea did not leave him. After his studies, Hardiman and a partner decided to create a startup around his WasteShark: RanMarine Technology. In a great place: Rotterdam, where more startups around the theme of sea and ports are being set up.

In recent years, the aquadrone has been developed into a smart and – thanks to lidar – self-propelled system. Like the familiar Roomba for the home, the electric sharks sail autonomously, soon from a docking station where they can recharge themselves and dump their dirt.

‘We have launched an emission-free electrical alternative that the government and water boards can use, instead of older technology that mainly runs on fossil fuels. We challenge water managers to do better with pollution,” says Hardiman.

Clean up and collect data

Where Boyan Slat looks for the open sea, where he wants to remove the gigantic floating clumps of plastic soup, Hardiman limits himself to inland waterways. In ports and canals, the autonomous surface vessels (ASV) also seek out the smallest corners to tackle dirt there.

But make no mistake: every day they consume up to 500 kilos of plastic or organic floating junk that does not end up in the ocean. Along the way, they also monitor water quality and temperature, collecting a wealth of data for their boss.

“ We chose to build drones with a very specific use case,” says Hardiman. ‘That sets us apart. We are also making it easy for our customers to use robots, enabling them to clean more, emit less carbon dioxide, and collect important water quality data at the same time.”

Innovation Award at CES

The WasteSharks are now several dozen and sail their rounds all over the world: from Denmark to Singapore and from England (Canary Wharf) to the port of Houston. Disney, among others, uses the aquadrone in their American resorts.

They can also suck up more than just plastic. They are now also removing blue-green algae from the water in Helsinki, stuff that is suitable for processing in cosmetics and animal feed. Hardiman won an innovation award with it at the CES tech fair .

There are plenty of plans to scale up. In North America, Hardiman wants to open branches, and he is also looking at new products. The WasteShark should have a big brother, the MegaShark, with a capacity of 100 kilos per day, and a version that specializes in oil spills, the OilShark. RanMarine is looking for new funding for this. A stock exchange listing in the US could provide for this in the future.

Read article on mt/sprout

WasteShark, the plastic gobbling water robot, to debut at CES 2022

by RanMarine Technology 6 Jan 09:18 UTC

RanMarine founder and CEO Richard Hardiman © RanMarine Technology

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 start-up 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.

WasteShark’s features

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.

SharkPod Mothership

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.”

Existing customers

RanMarine’s robotic products are designed to remove plastic waste and biomass such as algae from waterways; their clients span over twelve territories and are made up of civic and commercial entities including the Port of Houston, Disney theme parks, the United Nations and local and state authorities worldwide.

RanMarine Marine will be exhibiting at CES 2022.

Read article on Marine Business World on link