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.

Marine robots collect rubbish from the ocean

Article by Smiley News

We’re well aware of the amount of rubbish that is collected and ends up in the ocean every year, wreaking havoc on wildlife.

And that’s why Dutch invention – RanMarine’s WasteSharks – is such an innovative idea. The company has 157cm wide aquatic robots that capture rubbish in the sea and bring it back to land. They’re pretty big, too. They can hold 160 litres of rubbish, plants, and other debris from the water.

The original idea for the robots came about when founder Richard Hardiman saw how marine litter was being cleaned by water authorities, using small boats and pool nets to remove the litter.

Richard thought he could design and come up with a more effective way to remove waste from water using drones. The original motivation was a desire for greater efficiency – but also to lead him into the environmental space, where he saw how effective new technology could be in helping our planet.

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The WasteShark was originally invented as a concept in 2013, but wasn’t developed into a first prototype until 2015. In 2016, Richard was invited to enter a maritime accelerator in Rotterdam, the Netherlands where he received funding to develop the first version of the WasteShark we know today.

“The purpose of the WasteShark is to remove waste, litter (plastics) and harmful algae from the surface of the water,” he tells Smiley News. “The idea is that, very much like a small autonomous vacuum cleaner… this machine can operate in a similar fashion, cleaning the water constantly.

“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 WasteShark and our developing platforms are part of the greater vision of making collection of waste and pollution in water more efficient, less costly and ultimately less harmful than current methods used.”

Inspired to act?

Here are three UK-based organisations working to remove plastic from our oceans. Support their work to help protect wildlife and nature yourself by following the links below.

City to Sea

City to Sea is an environmental organisation working to end plastic pollution at its roots. They collaborate with communities and businesses to challenge the problem with the support of individual activists from around the world.

Get involvedVolunteerDonate.

The Marine Conservation Society

This organisation is made up of a passionate community of volunteers who campaign and work towards cleaner oceans.

Get involvedVolunteerDonate.

Surfers Against Sewage

Surfers Against Sewage is a campaign group aimed at tackling ocean pollution of various kinds through lobbying authorities and companies.

Get involvedVolunteerDonate.