8 June World Ocean Day 2024 Action Theme

We currently face one of the greatest threats ever to our blue planet and all its inhabitants: the climate crisis. It is all too clear that we need a healthy ocean for a healthy climate, and vice versa, and we need significantly stronger local, national, and international action from both government and corporate leaders. Now.   

For 2024, we are launching a new multi-year action theme: Catalyzing Action for Our Ocean & Climate. By growing the movement through transformative collaboration, we aim to create not only a healthy blue planet, but also a more just, equitable and sustainable society 

Together, we can persuade national legislators and corporate leaders to follow through on their promises and all the big talk about doing the right thing, specifically:  

  • make the best use of all existing climate solutions;  
  • accelerate a just transition to clean and renewable energy;  
  • stop fossil fuel extraction, including oil, gas and coal; 
  • rapidly and equitably phase out its existing production including for single use plastics;
  • collaborate with and amplify the voices of local leaders who are working to implement action within their communities; 
  • protect and restore natural coastal and ocean ecosystems (and on land) by creating strongly protected areas covering at least 30% of our lands and waters by 2030;  and
  • keep on creating more solutions at the local, national and international levels that are based on the best science  

By collaborating in transformative ways, we can create a healthier and more abundant future for all. It’s ambitious, but the World Ocean Day 2024 network collaborating with a wide range of partners in the growing global movement has collectively achieved some major victories over the years.

A bit of history

When The Ocean Project began coordination of World Ocean Day in 2002 (proposed by the Canadians 10 years earlier at the Rio Earth Summit), we saw it as a great concept that needed global attention. Ever since then, we have prioritized collaboratively coordinating World Ocean Day as a unique opportunity to unite and rally the world for celebration and collective action of our ocean planet in June and throughout the year. We also aim to grow the movement to protect and restore our ocean and develop a stronger global constituency to advocate for a healthy ocean and stable climate. 

Soon after beginning this global coordination over 20 years ago, our network of partners encouraged the inclusion of an annual theme to encourage increased individual and collective impact during World Ocean Day celebrations.  

Here’s a summary of the World Ocean Day action theme over the years:  

  • 2002-2004: The Ocean Project began conducting year-round outreach to all sectors to promote the concept of World Ocean Day, and opportunities for connecting with others. We collaborated primarily with the World Ocean Network, but also other associations and organizations worldwide. We developed activity and event ideas, outreach tips, action opportunities, tools and more each year.  
  • 2005-2008: Conducted campaign with the World Ocean Network to “Help Make a Difference for our Ocean Planet!” with a petition to the UN, both in-person and online, to officially recognize 8 June as World Ocean Day, signed by tens of thousands around the world. The UN General Assembly passed a resolution in late 2008, officially recognizing World Ocean Day, starting in 2009. During these years, we also created a range of awareness and action tools to engage the public, including a comprehensive variety of personal actions to take.   
  • 2008: Launched an annual Action Theme for the first time. “Helping our climate / helping our ocean” with a special focus on coral reefs for International Year of the Reef. We collaborated with the International Coral Reef Initiative and other organizations.   
  • 2009-2010: Based on partner feedback, we began two-year themes, starting with “One Ocean, One Climate, One Future”, to help make the connection between climate change and ocean health. We provided customizable tools and action ideas for community event organizers to engage their target audiences.   
  • 2011-2012: “Youth: the Next Wave for Change” helped to generate more involvement with youth worldwide, combined with  action steps. This focus was based on our comprehensive market research which clearly showed that youth are the most promising members of the public to reach out to if you want to create lasting change.
  • 2013-2014: “Together we have the power to protect the ocean” showed how small actions can add up to make a big difference. In 2014, we provided resources and tools for taking action, in addition to focusing on testing and measuring interest in helping with solutions to climate change, sustainable fisheries, and plastics. Key partners included the US EPA’s Green Power Partnership and Greenlight Energy, to help partners both obtain and promote renewable energy; Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program to provide ways for seafood consumers to make a difference; and several plastic pollution-focused organizations to encourage reduction of single use plastics.  
  • 2015-2019: Based on the data from 2014 events – and with the issue of plastic pollution quickly worsening despite not yet being a top-of-mind issue that people and politicians cared about – we created a multi-year action focus on “preventing plastic pollution” and worked with organizations to inspire the international community to find solutions. Break Free From Plastics was a key global partner.   
  • 2020-2023: The five-year campaign helped get plastics onto the collective public, corporate and government radar, so we decided to spotlight another hugely important and relatively unknown issue, that served as a great opportunity for action: “Protecting at least 30% of our lands, waters, and ocean by 2030” (or simply 30×30). We focused on uniting conservation action to grow the global movement calling on world leaders to support 30×30, with Campaign for Nature helping as a key global partner.  

Growing the momentum

By continuing to collaborate together, even more closely than before, we can solve the large environmental issues facing our blue planet. 

The World Ocean Day action theme provides thousands of organizations and millions of individuals with tangible opportunities to protect and restore our ocean. Our efforts to support and mobilize people to take action don’t stop after World Ocean Day on 8 June; Throughout the year, we continue to provide ways for the World Ocean Day network to rally on issues related to safeguarding our ocean. We prioritize keeping the partner organizations and individuals involved in World Ocean Day network both informed and actively engaged with major interconnected issues, such as plastics, 30×30, overfishing, biodiversity loss, the climate crisis, polluted runoff from land, overdevelopment of the coasts, and more threats that we all collectively face.  

With the World Ocean Day Youth Advisory Council and with our partners we will be collaboratively developing more resources and opportunities soon. To stay informed, follow World Ocean Day on social media (InstagramFacebookTwitter/X), regularly visit the blog, and/or sign up for the monthly World Ocean Day newsletter, with all the latest information & resources for action.  

One Ocean, One Climate, One Future – Together!  

Join RanMarine in celebrating World Ocean Day 2024 by supporting our mission to clean up aquatic environments! We are proud to design and develop Autonomous Surface Vessels for cleaning floating waste, biomass, or algae. Click here to ➡️ view our solutions and join the movement for cleaner seas!
🌊 #CleanSeas #WorldOceanDay #RanMarineTech

Original story appeared on: https://worldoceanday.org/

RanMarine Showcases Innovative Solutions at 2024 Dutch Blue Flag Awards

[IJSSELSTEIN, May 20th, 2024] – RanMarine proudly displayed its latest innovations at the prestigious 2024 Blue Flag Awards, held at the picturesque Jachthaven Marnemoende harbour. The event provided an ideal backdrop to present RanMarine’s electric-powered vessels, designed for cleaning and collecting floating waste from water and offered a sneak peek of the upcoming MegaShark multi-platform product.

The Blue Flag Awards ceremony, hosted jointly by the harbour and the Municipality of IJsselstein, honoured excellence in environmental sustainability, recognising outstanding efforts in maintaining clean and safe beaches and marinas. This year, a record-breaking 200 Blue Flags were awarded to various locations across the Netherlands, including 143 marinas, 50 beaches, and 7 inland beaches.

RanMarine’s participation reiterated its commitment to providing cutting-edge technological solutions that enhance water cleanliness and preserve natural aquatic environments. “We are privileged to have had the opportunity to present our technologies at the 2024 Blue Flag Awards, showcasing our dedication to sustainability and clean water initiatives,” said Bart de Vries, Chief Operating Officer at RanMarine. “Our range of electric-powered vessels, our ability to monitor water quality data via various sensor arrays, and the MegaShark preview epitomise RanMarine’s commitment to innovating environmental stewardship. The agile and fully autonomous WasteShark is tailored for marinas and harbours, while our latest addition, the MegaShark, offers both seated onboard operation and remote control steering for tackling larger tasks.”

MegaShark generated considerable interest and discussions with harbour masters and attendees focused on expanding its deployment applications to match client needs and create a healthier aquatic environment. RanMarine welcomes these inputs, enhancing the company’s ability to build better platforms.

Erik van Dijk, national coordinator of Blue Flag Netherlands, emphasised the importance of sustainable practices: “The Blue Flag has been flying in the Netherlands since the late 1980s. In 2009, we had 100; now, 15 years later, we’ve doubled that. This growth reflects the hard work of marinas and beach municipalities to meet our criteria. Sustainable practices are increasingly important. The addition of 13 new marinas shows a commitment to high-quality services, and RanMarine’s technology is well-suited to support these efforts.”

The event marked the next significant milestone in RanMarine’s journey towards advancing water cleanliness and sustainability efforts. The company remains steadfast in its mission to provide efficient and eco-friendly solutions for cleaner waterbodies and waterways.

**About RanMarine:**

RanMarine is a leading provider of electric-powered vessels designed for water cleaning and environmental sustainability. Focused on innovation and technology, RanMarine aims to revolutionise water-cleaning solutions for a cleaner and healthier planet.

Active in over 25 countries, RanMarine’s autonomous surface vessels (ASVs) efficiently remove floating waste and algae from waterways. Their clients include Walt Disney, Hudson River Park, PortsToronto, Babcock Marine Naval Bases UK, and Port of Houston. The WasteShark ASV can operate both autonomously and manually, while the MegaShark ASV, offering five times the capacity, will launch in mid-2024 and support onboard operation. The OilShark ASV, designed for rapid and agile deployment in capturing mid-scale hydrocarbon residues, is expected to be available by the end of 2024.

RanMarine’s ASVs can be equipped with over 15 sensors for customised data collection, offer quick deployment, and reduce costs by up to 80% compared to traditional methods. All mission and water quality data are stored and accessible through the RanMarine Connect portal.

For more information, visit:

Website: www.ranmarine.io
Facebook: @RanMarineTechnology
Instagram: @ranmarinetechnology
X/Twitter: @RanMarineTech
LinkedIn: @ranmarine

**About KMVK (Keurmerk Milieu, Veiligheid en Kwaliteit):**

The Blue Flag is a prestigious international award given annually to beaches and marinas that meet stringent environmental management, safety, water quality, education, and waste management criteria. In the Netherlands, this is managed by the Stichting KMVK.
For more information about the objectives and the beaches and marinas with a Blue Flag, please visit www.blauwevlag.nl


Interview by Up!Rotterdam / Rotterdam Innovation City

The mission of RanMarine is to develop advanced technology specifically designed for cleaning up pollution, organic waste, and debris in waterways. Additionally, water quality is monitored, allowing proactive measures to be taken to improve water quality.

Founder Richard Hardiman: “The idea for RanMarine arose in 2016 when I saw a few guys pulling plastic out of the water with a fishing net in a harbor in South Africa. I thought: this can surely be made easier. I literally sketched the idea for what is now the WasteShark on a napkin.”

By removing plastic from the water in time while it’s still floating, we try to reduce the risk of it breaking down into microplastics” Richard Hardiman, RanMarine

Since 2020, Richard and his family have moved to Rotterdam. “I tried to start my company in South Africa, but there are many more challenges there than in The Netherlands. I had done business in Rotterdam before, so I knew the city. When I read about a startup program I could participate in, I didn’t hesitate to sign up and travel to Rotterdam. The Netherlands has a very large volume of water, so I immediately thought: this is the place to bring my idea to life. Moreover, Rotterdam, with all its maritime expertise, is the ideal hotspot for my company.”

RanMarine has developed several autonomous surface vessels, commonly known as water drones. Operating on technology similar to that of robot vacuum cleaners, these aquatic drones come in various sizes and are tailored to different environments. Compact versions are suitable for rivers and canals, even between moored boats, while larger models are designed for ports and lakes. The flagship product is the WasteShark, a catamaran-style vessel that can operate both remotely or autonomously and is equipped with a waste collection bin between the floats.

Richard: “Actually, there should be a WasteShark everywhere because it’s often only purchased when waste is visible on the water. It’s better to anticipate, because if you remove waste and plastics in time, you do so before it breaks down into microplastics.”

Richard has big plans for the future. “I also see a collaboration with Hebo. Together, we are working on the development of an emission-free vessel for rapid response in removing small oil spills from waterways. Every day, I am feeling happy with my work. It’s a great feeling to be involved in something good. I see that reflected in my colleagues too. For example, Robotic Engineers can work anywhere, but they also choose to work for an organization like RanMarine that makes the world a better place.”

“Without Rotterdam, I would never have achieved what I have now. There is so much talent here. It’s truly a city of action! As a good Rotterdam saying goes: Actions speak louder than words. The TU Delft is nearby, while the port with all its knowledge is within easy reach. UpRotterdam has been immensely helpful in the process. With their network, they directed me to the right people and organizations. Sometimes I talk to friends in South Africa about my experiences starting my business, and they don’t believe me when I say that I received needed supported during the process. As a Dutch person, you might not fully realize how well things are organized here. 

To all new entrepreneurs, I would say: don’t be afraid to fail. There are plenty of opportunities in the Netherlands. Just take the risk, there is always a safety net here.”

Richard Hardiman is one of the Rotterdam Icons. Curious about the other Icons? Click here to meet them!
Original story here

Autonomous Surface Vessels (ASVs) are revolutionising water pollution clean-ups

“In our pursuit of a cleaner, more sustainable future, battery-driven autonomous surface vessels (ASVs) are emerging as invaluable tools! They’re transforming water pollution clean-ups on a grand scale,”
Richard Hardiman, CEO of RanMarine.

Water pollution significantly threatens ecosystems, biodiversity and human health worldwide. From industrial or agricultural runoff to oil spills and plastic waste, pollutants contaminate water bodies, endangering aquatic life and compromising vital resources. Traditional clean-up methods often fall short due to limitations in workforce, resources and efficiency However, the rise of autonomous technology presents a game-changing opportunity to tackle this pressing and ever-growing issue.

Ports, Harbours And Marinas
All water bodies are impacted by pollution, but as busy centres of trade and travel, ports, harbours and marinas have become key locations that require attention to address their pollution concerns. Ports are hubs for global trade and are crucial for the world economy. Sadly, their operations often come at a significant cost to the environment, generating high pollution levels. Commercial and fishing harbours are notorious for leaking waste into surrounding seas. Plastic is a huge concern and requires regular removal to prevent its accumulation. Wind also poses a big challenge for harbours as it quickly and easily blows waste into the water.

RanMarine Has The Technology to Help
RanMarine Technology is a cleantech company that designs, manufactures and distributes emission-free ASVs such as the WasteShark, MegaShark, and soon-to-be-released OilShark. RanMarine’s Patrick Baransky was able to tell me more about what they do and how their technology is making a difference to pollution clean-up efforts. “We want to empower people and organisations to restore the aquatic environment back to its natural state. Our initiatives help to clear-up debris, plastic, algae and other biomass from water bodies. We combine this with water-quality data acquisition, with the overall aim of safeguarding aquatic ecosystems. RanMarine is perhaps best known for its robotic WasteShark. Inspired by the whale shark, which uses its broad mouth for filter feeding, this ASV houses a central waste collection basket between its hulls to scoop up floating rubbish. It is equipped with depth and temperature readings and an array of optional extra sensors for oxygen, pH and turbidity levels. The WasteShark was designed to reach areas that are tough to get to. It is small enough to fit into tight spaces yet big enough to make a difference!

The MegaShark is a scaled-up version of Waste Shark designed with a larger storage compartment to handle larger volumes of waste and biomass. Its size allows for extended operation periods without the need for frequent emptying. It is used in bigger water bodies and industrial areas where waste accumulation is more substantial, making it a perfect fit for ports, harbours, and marinas.
Excitingly, RanMarine is also in the advanced stages of research and development, with a goal of bringing the OilShark to fruition in 2024.
“Built on a platform similar to the MegaShark, this innovative vessel harnesses industry expertise to transform oil spill clean-up. Its optimal size allows for swift deployment and safe and sustainable resolution of oil spill challenges, particularly in harbours and ports due to engine or pump spillages.”

Digital Transformation: Providing Solutions to Big Issues
The modernisation of ports and harbours into digital hubs, often termed Port 4.0, has numerous benefits in addressing environmental concerns and advancing sustainability. Digital transformation also brings many other advantages: improved waste collection techniques, increased efficiency, accuracy, and safety. Digitalising port operations and introducing smart and clean energy operations minimises environmental impact, while IoT enables real-time data exchange and informed decision-making.
The WasteShark offers both remote-controlled operation and full robotic autonomy, minimising human intervention while performing waste collection and environmental monitoring tasks. This capability optimises operational efficiency, reduces costs and promotes cleaner port waters. Additionally, these agile vessels excel at navigating hard-to-reach areas in marinas, ports, or harbours, intercepting water pollution before it disperses into the open ocean.”
Using the RanMarine ASVs, ports and harbours can leverage customisable onboard sensors and cameras to gather data on waste accumulation patterns and water quality conditions. This data empowers port authorities to pinpoint pollution hotspots, prioritise clean-up efforts, and enact targeted interventions for maximum efficacy.

Scalability and adaptability are further benefits of this digital shift, as RanMarine’s ASVs can be integrated into existing port infrastructure. This flexibility allows for tailored responses to evolving waste management needs, ensuring continuous protection of marine ecosystems in a dynamic environment.

Where Will We Go From Here?
With global trade expected to continue growing, the environmental pressures associated with port activities are likely to intensify. Maritime users and boat owners are increasing, pushing up the number of marinas and people frequenting these facilities. Addressing these challenges will require concerted action from governments, industry stakeholders and individuals to develop and implement innovative solutions that balance the needs of maritime trade, recreation, and tourism with environmental sustainability. The pollution of ports, harbours and marinas represents a complex and pressing environmental issue with far-reaching consequences. As we navigate these waters, we must raise awareness and advocate for cleaner, more sustainable operations to protect the health of our planet and its inhabitants for generations to come.

Baransky was able to shed light on the situation further with some statistics:
The United Nations Environment Programme forecasts that plastic waste in aquatic ecosystems will almost triple, ranging from 8-15 billion kg annually in 2016 to an estimated 24-40 billion kg by 2040. Aggressive agricultural practices and nutrient runoff are fuelling an increase in Harmful Algal Blooms, adversely affecting marine ecology and economies. The National Academy of Sciences also reports approximately 4 million metric tons of oil entering global oceans annually from 2010 to 2019. The US Coast Guard estimates around 30,000 minor to moderate oil spills annually in the US, primarily from fuel bunkering and salvage operations, requiring legal protection and cleaning protocols in major ports and harbours.”
RanMarine is providing the technology to aid people in the digital transformation transition-harnessing the power of ASVs to keep our aquatic environments pollution-free. RanMarine’s technology already spans 27 countries, and they aim to achieve widespread global adoption within the next decade.

“Ultimately, our goal is for our Autonomous Surface Vessels to become as ubiquitous as robotic vacuum cleaners or street sweepers, Innovation, crafted for nature

To share the LinkedIn Story ⤵️

<Original story published by H2O Global
https://h2oglobalnews.com in their April 2024 edition. Written by Natasha Posnett>

Revealing Richard Hardiman’s interview w/ Origin Story


APR 4, 2024

#BrighterFuture #entrepreneurship #Sustainability #ClimateChangeSolution #originstoryseries #OceanCleanup #CleanWater #MarineConservation #HydrocarbonCleanup #RanMarine #WasteManagement#seekthechange

We spoke with Richard Hardiman, founder of RanMarine, a company using aquatic robots to clean up water pollution in the ocean and in fresh water.

Thank you so much for joining us, Richard. Do you think you could tell us a little about your business?

Of course. RanMarine is an Autonomous Surface Vessel (ASV) company: essentially we make drones on water. However, we have a very specific target of cleaning up pollutants out of water. While we’ve created our own autonomy to navigate water systems and high-traffic areas, our focus is on cleaning up pollution in those areas. We’re a company of about 30 people, made up of mechatronics engineers, robotics and software engineers, management, and production, and we innovate those vessels from start to finish. So, we manufacture, produce, and sell. But I think our secret sauce is the capability to match a product to software to make it perform this very specific job. It’s a fun company to be with.

Our specific target is not far out in the ocean: we try to act before the trash or the biomass gets all mixed around out in open water. We concentrate on where there is a marina or a port or a river delta system that sends trash into the ocean.

Many great companies are trying to clean up the ocean. It’s an unforgiving job, unfortunately. Where there is a practical use case or a customer, we’re trying to introduce our technology on top of that to deliberately reduce the flow of waste.

You’re trying to stop the waste at the source. Am I understanding this correctly?

Yes. We always say we’re an at-source company, which might not be entirely true, but we certainly act at the source of the problem. We need to catch it when it does become an issue.

What are you trying to achieve with your company, and why do you think it matters?

We started out very clearly to stop marine floating waste and plastic from getting into the open ocean. As we’ve built these products, we’ve begun to concentrate on three main streams. There’s the obvious problem with plastics infiltrating and polluting the oceans to a greater extent. We’ve observed a surge in biomass, including algae and aquatic plants, at an unprecedented rate. Factors such as agricultural runoff, containing nitrates and phosphates from fertilisers, are affecting natural ecosystems. Coupled with increased sunlight due to climate change, these conditions are super-charging and accelerating the spread of biomass.

Why is that a problem? Ultimately, this results in the deterioration of these ecosystems, leading to oxygen depletion, elevated nitrogen levels in the water, and the formation of dead zones in our vital natural drinking water reservoirs. We’re finding a lot of our customers are trying to approach that from a different angle now as well. So we know our platforms can clean up the plastic, they can also clean up the proliferating algae. And now we’re moving into hydrocarbons as well, like oils in water, all of them at-source.

We started out with a very clear idea: how do we stop plastic getting into water? As you get into that industry, though, you realise there are other things in the water causing equal problems to drinking water or the ecosystems. That’s why we’re developing our WasteShark platforms to clean that pollution out in totality. So, we started up with the very noble goal of removing plastic, but we’ve entered the space of natural biomass removal and hydrocarbons to a point as well.

How are you removing hydrocarbons from water?

We have a larger version of our agile WasteShark, which is like a big floating Roomba for collecting waste. The OilShark platform is about 10 times larger. What we’ve found is that it can be deployed quite seamlessly by companies already cleaning up oil spills, and also in harbours and ports.

We look for a very quick reaction vessel to get in there for what they call the “golden hour”, the first hour after a spill, to start cleaning up immediately. Then they’ll bring in the bigger ships. We’re treating the polluted water by removing the oil and capturing it, then filtering the clean water back into the water space. We’re deploying a drone that sucks up the very thin top layer of the water, filters out the oil, and releases the clean water back into the environment.

That’s extremely interesting. Is this essentially a first response measure following an oil spill incident?

Yes, exactly. It’s when someone is transferring fuel between ships or onto a ship, or when a ship or yacht sinks in the harbour and starts leaking oil. They normally boom it off quickly. However, recovering that oil requires larger vessels than ours. But if we can deploy two or three of our smaller ones very quickly, we can halt the spread of the oil quite rapidly as well.

I think the advantage of our hydrocarbon vessel is that it can also be used from a maintenance perspective. Consider small ports and marinas; all of those vessels running on diesel engines sometimes leak amounts of oil and fuel that float on the surface, presenting a maintenance issue as well. So, it’s not just a response vessel; it’s also for day-to-day maintenance.

Where does the company name come from?

It was, ironically, written about five minutes before I had to file the registration. I didn’t know at the time; I didn’t have a name. So, I kind of looked it up. I knew I wanted “Marine” in the title because I wanted it to say what we did on the box. But all the Titans and all those well-known water gods were taken, so I found a very obscure Scandinavian female goddess of the sea. To give you background, we were in a startup, and there were ten of us all filing at the same time. And we had one guy, rather like a teacher, going “Come on guys, I need your paperwork.” And I’m just like, “I don’t know what to put down.” So, I found Rán is the goddess of Scandinavian and Nordic waters, and her job effectively was to go and rescue drowned sailors after a shipwreck. She had a net, and she would scoop them up, and the sailors would pay her in gold to collect their souls, basically, so they didn’t live in the afterlife uncollected.

I liked the idea that she had a net, and we were kind of doing the same thing; we were collecting not sailors, but debris that shouldn’t be around. A lot of Navy guys carry a kind of gold in their pocket while they’re at sea because of that. It’s kind of like a mythical traditional thing they do. A superstition.

That’s extremely interesting. The Royal Navy has a tradition of this as well. What are your roots or the path that you come from?

I come from a very distant place compared to where this business is. I was in radio for a long time as a journalist and then as a presenter. My start was when I was a crime journalist for a long time back in South Africa as a young 22-year-old. It got quite dark and negative very quickly. From there, I realised that the presenters made more money and had more fun, so I quickly exited the journalist space and moved into news broadcasting. But my dad’s an engineer, so I grew up around engineering, factories, and engineering drawings. He’s a precision engineer, and I inherited a lot of it I think just by being around him and being within his office and that kind of thing. I’ve always had a tendency to want to design and create.

I’ve had various businesses, from manufacturing haircare products to owning online radio stations. You know, that always-entrepreneurial experience. This idea came when I was about 35-36 years old. I was quite worried that I hadn’t gone back and studied anything in the business field, but here I was running businesses. I still think I was the oldest person in my business class at 36 or 38. I went back to study and, while I was there, it was quite nice because I had just sold a business, I had a break, went to study, and I had a lot of free time during the day, during breaks.

And one day I literally just saw these two guys clearing out some water space with a boat and a net. While I had been on this studying journey, I had given myself a mental task of working out how I would solve that problem in a modern way, because I didn’t think it was very clever to have people driving around in boats, trying to collect waste. It seemed like a very useless task, not very pleasant for them and not very effective in the way they were doing it. Admittedly, I thought at the time that it was an African problem. I just assumed that we had an abundance of labour in Africa, and these guys were doing it because of that. But then I discovered that it didn’t matter where you were in the world; generally, trash in water was being collected by two guys in a boat in various formats.

I literally drew it on a napkin at a coffee shop I was at, overlooking the water. It sounds very prophetic now, but it’s how it happened. I think my mother still has that napkin of the first drawing somewhere. I liked the idea so much that I kept playing with it in my head, and I iterated it. It was one of those ideas that, as an entrepreneur, you have lots of ideas all day long. But it was one that I couldn’t let go of, and one of my skills is looking at a problem very quickly. I look at an issue and wonder how I would engage with it. Can I even engage? If I can’t, move on. But if I can, I’ll follow the thread. And I’ve just kept on following the thread.

And then I did research into why they were cleaning the water, because I didn’t know that at the time. This was 2014; marine plastic wasn’t a big topic. Then I discovered that there were these massive gyres out in the Pacific Ocean and in all oceans. That was an issue, and where it was coming from: whether it was ports or harbours, the important thing was that it wasn’t just people throwing rubbish overboard on vessels. It was coming from land and leaking into the ocean.

Then I thought, well, my robot idea might stand up. Unfortunately, at the time, the technology just wasn’t there. So, I built a prototype in my garage and tested it in a swimming pool. And I had to watch hours and hours of video to understand how to do the programming side of it. And it was very basic. But I figured that if I was able to get from point A to point B in a very basic format, there must be more clever people out there that could really take the robotics level and autonomy up further.

And that’s where it started. So it was a little challenge to myself to work on how I would do it in between class breaks. That ended us up here from 2014, nearly 10 years later, as a business that’s actually doing it. It’s great. No formal training or anything. There were no robotics or engineering background.

That’s excellent. I’ve always liked the idea of homemade science. It’s brilliant that you built something at home and tested it in a swimming pool.

I think there’s a certain elegance in the naivety to it. If you knew how difficult it was because you had the understanding and education, you probably wouldn’t do it. But not knowing anything just makes you kind of hungry to find out what the next step could look like. And it carries you through.

What exactly would you say led you to create your business?

I think it was the drive because no one else was doing it, you know? I couldn’t believe I was the only one with this concept. But, as entrepreneurs know, while many have ideas, few take the next step. This was the driving force. We have Roombas cleaning our floors every morning, or when we go to bed. Why are we not doing the same thing with a very, very critical challenge out there? Why are we not cleaning water 24 hours a day with a cost-effective, easily executable option?

I now understand the complexity of the challenge, which likely deterred others. But it was the driving force. I couldn’t understand why we had a plastic issue at the time, why we were treating it with very outdated methods because plastic pollution is a very new problem, I mean from relatively modern history. But we were treating it with the same solution we would have used to clean up anything in the water 100 to 200 years ago. We needed to be more definitive and more technology-focused around this problem. And that was my driving force behind it.

Who are you doing your work for?

Initially, it was probably in two parts: ego-driven, as in “Can I do this and make it work?” and secondly, I liked the idea of creating a business that did good. You know, I thought it was fascinating that you could create a business and create a robot that hadn’t existed before. But everything it does is good for the planet. I found that rather exciting that we could create a business around this, and it could be quite effective. The more people that bought into it or used it, the better we did for the planet. And I found it rather intriguing. I hadn’t looked at it from that point of view before. My past businesses had always been motivated by what we need to make money to pay staff and grow the business, whereas this is: the bigger this business gets, the more impact we have. And that I find rather exciting.

What part of your work is most fulfilling to you?

It’s a part I don’t get to play in much anymore: innovation on the R&D side. I love coming up with ideas and working with a team on new products or on finding exciting ways to either use existing products or enhance our products to be better. I love that part. I love playing in that space.

I’m probably quite annoying, because now we have very clever people doing that, and I’m jumping around asking, “Why don’t we do this? Why don’t we do that?” Most of my ideas have a ton of impracticality.

But as the business has grown, I’ve had to stray into more of the fundraising and the business end of it, and I don’t get to play as much as I used to, which I miss. I still irritate people with my ideas, and that’s cool, but I miss the creation part, you know? What can we create to do something impactful?

I do get satisfaction from the fact that we’re producing these things. To me that is the most exciting part. Not always the selling or the building of the business, but the development of R&D.

When was it that you decided to do something differently or take a new direction in your life or career?

Just before I came up with this idea, I’d been working in radio for a very long time. I was in my mid-30s. In that industry, you’re kind of on your way out by the time you hit 35-40, or you end up on some classical programme that no one listens to. Also, although I probably would listen to that now as I age, funnily enough, at the time, I was working in a very sort of funky, cool space.

But I saw the writing on the wall that there were a lot of younger people coming up underneath me, and I had one of the top jobs, and I knew my contract probably wouldn’t go on for much longer. So I decided to call it and just say that I needed to go and do something else. I’ve always had smaller businesses.

So I cut the cord, much to my parents’ shame, because they kind of liked the fact that they had a son doing what I was doing. I went back to study and I sold a small business so that I had enough money to go and study.

That’s kind of my biggest pivot in life, I think, because my worry was that I was gonna hang on to the thing that I’ve always done and slowly die out and kind of run out of steam. Whereas I needed a fresh start.

So that was my point where I drew a very thick line under things that said, okay, what’s next? And I didn’t know what was, to be honest.

What life experience gave you the perspective and confidence to know you can come up with something different or better than what was currently out there?

Every single thing I’ve ever done has led me to this point. And I know it’s so cliché, but it’s so true. Because as a journalist in my previous life, I knew what the headline needed to be, and what the content needed to convey. The ability to present my ideas, I got through radio and had to do a ton of presentations and public-facing duties. That helped me sell my idea to people. The fact that I’d had a couple of businesses that did well, and a couple that failed horribly gave me the perspective of both sides: that you can fail and you can still make it work. Businesses do work, and you can make them good.

My parents bought me lots of Lego when I was a kid, and I was able to build things. I look at my children now— one is really good at building from the designs that Lego provides, and the other one, like me, just wants the blocks to play with and build with. That kind of value, and all those points in life, led me to where I was able to come up with the concept design and build it. Also, to have the humility to know that others can do it better than me, and to hand that over to someone to get to the next level.

What were the biggest challenges you faced or mistakes you made when you started out on your journey, and what did they teach you?

I think the biggest challenge has been financial. It’s just costly to research and develop a product from scratch. Finding the right investors in alignment with your goals and vision and convincing them to invest in your vision, and then, when you run out of their money, go back to them or continually be in the process of raising money to get to the point where you can be self-sustaining was one of the greatest challenges. Another significant challenge was making this thing work in the way that we wanted it to. Now other people are entering the market, which I appreciate because it shows there is a market and we’re sort of building it together. But it’s not easy. You think you can create this little device that effortlessly collects trash on the premises, it’s fantastic. But executing that is harder than anticipated.

We came up with great design concepts, but one of our biggest challenges— and I always get back to this— was navigating a vessel through debris. Normally, vessels would avoid debris, but we were intentionally going into the centre of it, and our thrusters would get caught in balloons and string, causing breakdowns. Navigating through rubbish and collecting it, then figuring out how to do that effectively before even considering autonomy and collision avoidance, and how long it can operate in the water was massively challenging, and it still is to a point today. So, dealing with navigating through the debris was one of our biggest challenges.

This is such an interesting question in terms of engineering. Anyone who’s driven a boat in water with surface obstructions like algae and vegetation has probably dealt with it getting sucked into the propeller. How did you get over things like string getting pulled into the rotors?

I’ll give you the answer once we discover it in the future. We’ve explored various approaches— attempting everything imaginable. For instance, we constructed enclosures around the thrusters for protection, but this diminished thrust and impedes proper water movement. The challenge is in navigating tight spaces, and you want to be getting close to the walls or edges.

Eventually, one of our designers, Tessa, came up with a system that we’re now patenting. But it was simple, you know, everything over everything. The product has to be simple because we can get as complex as we like as engineers and roboticists, we can make it fantastically complex, but the end-user needs it to be incredibly simple. We need it simple because you’re sending these things out all over the world. And you don’t want to be repair specialists, you want to be drone specialists.

So we found a very, very simple sort of almost valve release on the thruster where when it goes forward, the valve opens, and when it goes backwards, the valve shuts and stops trash coming in. You do lose thrust, and you do lose some agility on that. But it was a happy medium that we could live with, and meant our breakdowns in the water dropped dramatically. It was fascinating to see.

As the engineering moves on, we’ve reached run-through thrusters. So now the trash actually passes through the thruster, which is incredible. And it’s still early days for our size. But we’ve managed to find a company that can supply us with the solution, and we’re working with them to make our product better. So we’ve not only gained more speed back, we’ve gained agility back and we’ve still reduced our problem of getting stuck in the debris. It’s a fascinating space to be involved in at the moment.

It certainly sounds like it. When have you experienced your greatest “Aha!” moments?

I think the first one was when you’re running a company and you feel like you need to know everything. From an entrepreneur’s side, you feel like you need to understand finance, business strategy, products, and more. What I found is that you need to understand a bit of all of it and find people who understand all of it, and put them in place. That’s not always easy when you’re starting up because those people are not affordable. But as you start building out, you’ve got to come back to that humility, that kind of humility where you have to let go of the things you don’t know. You should understand them and just going into business school and understanding strategy and finance is great, but I don’t want to be looking at spreadsheets every day of my life and working out whether we’re on the right track. I’ve got really good people to handle that who would beat me hands down every time.

It’s about having to trust that you can employ people like that and think, “That’s okay.” Also, removing ego to accept, “I would do it differently, or I want to do it this way.” So, for me, that was an early realisation. You don’t need to know it all. You should have a good understanding of all of it so you can find better people. If you truly want to grow the business, you can’t do it alone. There are the Bill Gates, the Steve Jobs, the Elon Musks of the world, very exceptional, who can probably handle it all. Though I dare say that Steve Jobs probably never looked at a balance sheet in his life: but he had control of the company. But, you know, aspiring to be like those people might not be the correct approach. They’re quite exceptional. I do believe in that sort of partnership and raising the village rather than trying to be the chief.

Leadership is very important for these kinds of things.

I think another insight is that you don’t know what you don’t know, which is why moving forward is key. So, I often think that for an accountant, lawyer, or engineer, knowing all the boundaries of what you can or can’t do is a bit of an Achilles heel. When you’re outside of that, you have no idea what you can or can’t do. So you explore more, and that probably moves things forward. You need all those people to build, but as an entrepreneur, not knowing everything can be quite useful. Sometimes we find out that you can’t do something, but that’s okay. You at least explore a lot more angles, and I think that’s where innovation comes from sometimes. It’s not knowing things up-front that helps drive advances.

What were the biggest compromises or sacrifices that you had to make to get where you are now?

Probably financial. We’ve probably been out-earned by my peers for about 15 years, which is fine. You have to make sacrifices. In the first few years of this business, we lived off an absolute pittance. We forwent salaries, bonuses, holidays, and even houses to achieve that vision on the horizon. Sacrificing ego is also significant. Experiencing massive failure, when something you believed in doesn’t work out, is a huge setback. These experiences build you. But, at the heart of every entrepreneur is the belief that if you get it right, the results will be fantastic for everyone involved.

What future are you hoping or envisioning to help create?

I’d like a future where the ubiquity of this kind of product reaches a point where people completely overlook its presence. It might sound counterintuitive, but it’s actually a positive thing. Right now, people see it and go, “Oh, that’s so cool. That’s interesting.” I want to reach a level of normalcy, similar to our current view of Uber, or future perspectives on self-driving cars and robotic waiters. It should be entirely natural, recognising that a robot, rather than a human, should be doing certain tasks. This is because humans can then focus on more productive activities and enjoy a cleaner environment. My aim is for ubiquity, where our products are needed yet unnoticed. As they become more widespread, the impact of our efforts will significantly contribute to a healthier environment. This vision is my ideal: the general population is completely unaware of the product’s existence but benefiting from a cleaner environment because of it.

How do you want close friends and family to look back upon you and your journey? Or what would you like other people to take from your journey?

I think I want people to remember that the risk was worth it. Your parents, family, husband, or wife will always worry that you should go and get a normal job, pay the bills, and be secure. There are two things I’d like the impact of what we’re doing to be felt, and they can be proud of that. But also, they have a sense of confidence that it was the right way to go just from a life point of view. It’s okay, and it turned out alright in the end. A lot of this is driven by looking at my dad, who is an engineer, has had a steady job all his life, didn’t want to risk things, and understandably didn’t want to step out because he had children, a house to pay for, and school fees. I looked at that and thought it was fine. I tried to make it work, but I was terrible at it. I was a terrible employee. I just couldn’t. I always wanted to do more and make changes, and in corporations, that’s a massive, difficult thing to do in the long run. So, I couldn’t work that way. I stepped out. He didn’t like that necessarily, but you forge your own path. Taking the risk, the leap of faith is also an option. I like to instil that in my kids as well, hoping they pick up on the halo effect of that.

What advice would you give a young entrepreneur just starting out?

Just do it. I’ve had the same conversation with two people over the last couple of days: “I’ve got this great idea. I like it.” No, I don’t mean “just do it” and sort of sacrifice everything. If you’re in a corporate job and you have a great idea, and you have a little bit of finance, work on that idea in the evenings. If you think it’s fantastic, there will come a point where you have to make a choice. Being an entrepreneur is not a safe space. So, if you’re incredibly uncomfortable with it, then maybe it’s not for you. But you won’t know until you do it. And I think we all have fabulous ideas all day long.

As a species, we’re incredibly imaginative and creative. But we very rarely take the next step because it’s a risk. And it’s not just a financial risk; it’s a personal risk. People might think, “I’m crazy, people might laugh at me, what if I’ve got it wrong?” All these things go through our heads, and we kind of undermine ourselves. But that Nike slogan, “Just do it,” I think is awesome. Because if you do it and it fails, that’s okay; you can go back to the corporate job you were doing anyway. You’re not going to fail at life. We’re always looking at what’s happening right now. But, you know, I’m 48 now, and I look back at how many times I’ve failed, and I’m still here, I’m still talking to you. I still exist. And that’s okay. So, I think you’ve got to take the chance. I used to think you had to do it young. I now think that you can do it at any stage of your life. You might be better at it later on because you can see several pitfalls coming your way before they arrive. So, I think experience gives you a bit more ability to push on through.

What books, movies, speeches, people, and so on inspired you most in your journey?

I tend to read a lot, especially biographies. That’s my preference, ranging from musicians to various influential figures. The last biography I read was about Elon Musk. I’ve got a broad spread, but I like the idea of people that we look up to in the world, be it a celebrity or be it in business, that when they can, they’ll tell you how lucky they were, or how difficult it was. That’s kind of generic amongst all of us, we’re all lucky in some sense— we can be lucky, or we can be unlucky. And we can all work hard to get to a point. We all know that working hard doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll get there. But, you know, your journey is never linear.

I like that aspect of things where I read a biography and find out somebody was an orphan, or they came from nothing, and they built a business or their parents forced them into being a Disney star. And suddenly, they became very famous, because of one meeting with an agent or whatever that is, luck has a lot to do with us getting us to that point. It’s how we act on that luck, and how we sort of make use of that moment, but luck is everything. I think you look at some people and, I know incredibly intelligent people, and I look at them and think, how have you not gone further? Intelligent people who are unhappy with where they are, and sometimes intelligent people are very happy with where they are, but intelligent people who see the space in life as a failure. It’s because a lot of it has to do with luck.

I shouldn’t be involved in robotics as I knew nothing about it. I do now, and have a better understanding than when I knew nothing. But I just happened to have a cup of coffee one day and saw two guys. If those guys weren’t doing anything on the boat, and it was just a day at the marina with people standing around. I wouldn’t be talking to you right now. So I see that as a point of luck, but I acted on it.

What was the big biography for you? What’s one that really got you?

Richard Branson was one I read in my twenties. But then, I read Elton John’s biography a couple of months ago and that was inspiring because as someone who’s got to the top of where he was, despite his background, despite his upbringing, I find that quite fueling. You can be successful regardless. And so that’s what I tend to take out.

I don’t even know that I like Elon Musk anymore, but I think what he’s done is amazing. I think it’s incredible he brought electrification of vehicles to the planet. We’ve always tinkered around with it and thought it would be a good idea, this guy went, “I’m gonna make a business out of it. And it’s gonna be hard, but I’m doing it.” Whether you like the guy or not, the fact is that he’s created an industry that a lot of massive automotive companies are now chasing, so I respect that.

I am impressed with that kind of thinking. I look at Bill Gates and I like what he does from a humanitarian point of view. Windows still irritates the crap out of me, but I don’t think he knew what he was doing when he first started anyway. It grew into a business, but I’m not too sure that he set out to create one of the biggest kinds of operating systems that we now know and use every day. In contrast, though, I do know with Musk his intention was that he was going to go to Mars, or he was going to create this. He had a very clear intention of what he wanted to do with his SpaceX business.

If there was one lasting message you could share with the world, what would it be?

I think life doesn’t have to be what you think it needs to be. Very often we think it’s supposed to be one way, and we think we’re supposed to own the house, have the kids, have happy families, and have a stable job. And I don’t think it needs to be that, especially in the age we live in. I think it could be anything you want it to be. Covid taught us that. We can work from anywhere; we can do whatever; suddenly, a job stops, and what do I do now? There are so many people who have pivoted off to something entirely different. I think that was a good mirror for us. But I think that’s probably it: life doesn’t need to be what you think it needs to be.

Cheers to that, Richard. Thank you very much for spending a little time with us and telling us about your company. The subject is incredibly interesting, and I’m sure our readers feel this as well. From all of us at Brighter Future, we wish you nothing but the wildest success in cleaning up Earth’s oceans and becoming the go-to company for water cleanup robotics.

<Original story appeared on Brighter future.studio >

Cleanup in EarthShare New Jersey: An Innovative Solution for Waterway Restoration

Water pollution is a pressing global issue that threatens ecosystems and human health. As pollution levels continue to rise, innovative technologies are being developed to combat this problem. One such technology is the RanMarine WasteShark, an aquatic drone designed to cleanup and remove floating debris from waterways. 

How the WasteShark Operates
The WasteShark aquadrone, developed by RanMarine Technology, operates akin to a water-based Roomba vacuum cleaner. With a capture basket capacity of 42 gallons, this coffee table-sized robotic drone demonstrates its remarkable capabilities by efficiently collecting and removing up to 1100 pounds of waste on a daily basis from diverse aquatic environments such as harbors, marinas, estuaries, and lakes. It excels in accessing small, hard-to-reach areas, ensuring that debris is effectively tackled in critical chokeholds. Whether operated manually through remote control or autonomously following a pre-programmed route using an online dashboard, the WasteShark’s adaptability guarantees highly effective and efficient cleaning operations.

Types of Debris Removed
The WasteShark is designed to combat various types of debris polluting our waterways. It targets floating debris or trash and even small plastic pollution, which poses a significant threat to marine life and water quality. Additionally, the WasteShark can remove unwanted biomass vegetation from the water surface. Harmful algal blooms release toxins that contaminate drinking water, causing illnesses for animals and humans.

Global Impact
The global impact of water pollution around the world can be greatly addressed by solutions like the WasteShark. Researchers estimate that 10,000 metric tonnes of waste enter the Great Lakes alone each year, with a significant portion being plastic. By efficiently removing this waste, WasteShark helps mitigate the harmful effects of anthropogenic debris on wildlife, drinking water, and public enjoyment of water resources. Its contribution to cleaner waterways positively impacts ecosystems and human well-being on a global scale.

Organizations Utilizing the WasteShark
One notable organization utilizing the WasteShark is PortsToronto. In partnership with RanMarine Technology, PortsToronto has launched a pilot program that introduced two WasteShark aquadrones, named Ebb and Flow, to the Toronto Harbour. As part of PortsToronto’s Trash Trapping Program, Ebb and Flow join the network of Seabins deployed to capture floating debris and small plastic pollution. This program is supported by a grant initiative from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, aligning with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.

PortsToronto’s Trash Trapping Program, in collaboration with the University of Toronto Trash Team and the International Trash Trap Network, recognizes the invaluable contribution of the WasteShark aquadrones in collecting vital data on the type, amount, and sources of debris in the Toronto Harbour and Lake Ontario. By utilizing the WasteSharks, PortsToronto can significantly enhance its trash-trapping capabilities and expand research efforts to gain a deeper understanding of plastic pollution and its effective mitigation strategies.

The RanMarine WasteShark represents an innovative solution for combating water pollution and the accumulation of debris in aquatic environments. Its ability to collect floating debris, small plastic pollution, and biomass has a significant global impact by improving water quality, preserving ecosystems, and safeguarding public health. Through the efforts of organizations such as PortsToronto, WasteShark contributes to data collection, research, and collaboration necessary to address water pollution on a larger scale. As the demand for sustainable and efficient cleaning technologies continues to grow, WasteShark offers hope in creating cleaner waterways worldwide.

Original article: https://www.earthsharenj.org/the-ranmarine-wasteshark-an-innovative-solution-for-waterway-cleanup/

IoT: Pioneering the Future of Aquatic Conservation in Partnership with Deutsche Telekom [Video]

VIDEO LINK> Explore the synergy between RanMarine and Deutsche Telekom IoT in our exclusive insight into the collaborative efforts reshaping the future of aquatic conservation. Discover how this innovative partnership merges RanMarine’s cutting-edge autonomous aquatic drones with Deutsche Telekom’s advanced technology solutions. Gain a behind-the-scenes look at the impactful initiatives driving sustainable change, tackling global water pollution, and preserving aquatic ecosystems. Join us in unveiling the transformative power of technology and environmental stewardship as we dive into the dialogue between two visionary forces shaping a cleaner, healthier world.

A Trash-Eating Sea Monster Appears in the Hudson!

A team of scientists and environmentalists tests out the WasteShark, an unmanned watercraft that vacuums up soda cans and potato-chip bags.

WasteShark is not a shark. It is an unmanned watercraft that its creators named for a shark, owing to similarities between how WasteShark collects its prey and the feeding habits of the Rhincodon typus, or whale shark. Cruising slowly, the whale shark takes in water and filters it for plankton and krill; WasteShark, meanwhile, filters urban waters for trash. But, whereas the whale shark can grow to the length of a subway car, WasteShark is only five feet long, three and a half feet wide, and a foot and a half thick. As the bright-orange fibreglass craft floated on the Hudson River recently, off Pier 40—collecting trash at or near the surface in its wire-basket-like interior—it looked less like a fish than like something accidentally dropped from a cruise liner. “I thought it was somebody’s luggage,” a member of the Village Community Boathouse said, after WasteShark whisked past.

When full, WasteShark’s hold is emptied by its minders—in this case, Carrie Roble, a scientist who is in charge of research and education at Hudson River Park, and Siddhartha Hayes, who oversees the park’s environmental monitoring. Hayes grew up jumping into swimming holes in the Catskills, while Roble swam in metropolitan Detroit, affording her insight into a still widely held view of urban rivers. “I used to swim in the Detroit River, and people would see me and say, ‘I can’t wait to see your third arm,’ ” she said.

WasteShark, which costs twenty thousand dollars, is joining the park’s scientific team more as mascot than as player. Roble hopes that it will generate interest among passersby and among “field assistants” (interns), who will pilot the trash-eating drone this summer. “We see WasteShark as a tool,” she said.

WasteShark’s latest test run in the Hudson happened to take place on the very day that forest fires in Quebec turned New York into a Mars-scape, adding a sense of urgency to WasteShark’s mission. As Roble and Hayes wheeled it out on a dolly from Pier 40’s Wetlab, the park’s aquarium and field station, they donned N95 masks and life jackets, and were joined by two interns: Vivian Chavez, a student at the Borough of Manhattan Community College, and Stefan Valdez, from Lehman College, in the Bronx.

They lugged WasteShark down a gangway to a dock floating in a cove bounded by Pier 40 and the pier leading to the Holland Tunnel ventilation shaft—discharging carbon monoxide and pulling in what was passing that day for fresh air. A wake caused by a ferry buffeted the dock, sending an observer to his knees. Hayes knelt by WasteShark, touching its stern. “O.K., so these are the thrusters,” he said, pressing the start button. “I’m holding it until it’s blue.”

Roble detailed WasteShark’s features—a camera, sensors for measuring depth and temperature—while managing expectations. In 2020, Roble and Hayes published, in the Marine Pollution Bulletin, a comprehensive analysis of the lower Hudson estuary’s high levels of microplastics, against which WasteShark is powerless. WasteShark is the robotic assistant to a volunteer shoreline trash pickup. “For that plastic water bottle that is just out of reach,” Roble explained.

They lowered WasteShark off the edge and, with a handheld controller, turned on the thrusters, which propelled the craft quietly. Chavez took the controls. “It kind of feels like you’re walking your pet,” Roble told her, “ ’cause we end up following it along.”

As the skies darkened, Chavez smiled and set a course for some rejectamenta. Roble mused about potential attachments, including one that resembles an Arctic fox, to deter congregating Canada geese, which are a threat to passenger jets. “Or maybe googly eyes,” she said.

Chavez attributed her immediate proficiency to her gaming skills, recently honed via the latest Legend of Zelda game, Tears of the Kingdom. She handed the controller to Valdez, who steered WasteShark toward the West Street shore. “I think it handles well,” he said.

“They are the guinea pigs, and they are basically loving it,” Roble said, pleased.

A waft of trash came up from under the pier, and a gaggle of high schoolers walked out onto the pier to take pictures of the orange sky. “It’s the end of the world,” one of them shouted—then he spotted WasteShark. “Wait, are you guys monitoring something?”

After an hour, WasteShark was heaved onto the dock, and Roble and Hayes, wearing surgical gloves, picked through its haul: a baseball, bits of wood, a Diet Coke can, a water chestnut, a cigar wrapper, a toy-A.T.V. part (“Always a lot of toys,” Roble said), an amphipod, a glop of gray mush not immediately identifiable, a bag of Utz barbecue-flavored Ripples, bladder wrack, seaweed (“Good adaptation,” Hayes said), a Canada-goose gosling (deceased), a coffee-cup lid, and an Amazon bag.

By Robert Sullivan July 24, 2023 See article on link

Defeating blue-green algae: Meet the advanced MegaShark

SUSTAINABILITY – RanMarine’s aqua drones help clean the water by combating plastics and (blue-green) algae, which plague Dutch waters every summer.

Nothing beats a dip in natural swimming water during a hot summer day, right? But every year, the same question arises again: Is the water safe for swimming, or will these awful blue-green algae prevent us from entering the water? With the WasteShark and MegaShark, RanMarine not only removes plastic waste and unwanted algae. “We are now working hard on developing an advanced MegaShark that can target the harmful and annoying blue-green algae as well,” says Richard Hardiman, CEO of the Rotterdam-based company.

In the ongoing battle against water pollution, RanMarine is making waves with its innovative water drone technology. The company is tackling the global issue of water pollution with the WasteShark and the Mega Shark: high-tech devices that glide through the water, collecting pollutants. “You can compare it to an autonomous vacuum cleaner, but instead of vacuuming your lounge, they vacuum the top thirty centimeters of waterways”, explains Hardiman. The drones are equipped with sensors and cameras and can navigate complex waterways.

The MegaShark
Natural waters face a big problem nowadays: algal blooms. The consequences of excessive algae range from unattractive appearance and unpleasant odors – bad for tourism and overall well-being – to severe disruptions in aquatic ecosystems by depleting oxygen levels and blocking sunlight, damaging plants, and harming the fish. “The blooms are fueled by excessive nutrient runoff of farmer lands and profit from climate change. As temperatures rise and the population grows, we must feed more people. That means more farming and more fertilizers. I foresee that algae will become a huge problem in the future”, Hardiman explains.

Read more here> LINK

Ranmarine technology teams up with aqua libra and canary wharf


RanMarine Technology teams up with businesses to restore clean water in London

London, England, 17 March 2023 – RanMarine Technology teamed up with the Canary Wharf Group (CWG), Britvic, and Aqua Libra; the company best known for its infused sparkling waters, to launch the first WasteShark in London. The plastic-gobbling robot was launched into the Middle Dock at Canary Wharf just ahead of Global Recycling Day, 18 March 2023. 

The WasteShark is the world’s leading aquatic robot designed to remove floating waste and collect water quality data from waterways. The WasteShark is battery powered and can navigate up to 5km of water and collects up to 500 kg of plastic and pollutants per day, emits zero emissions without producing any noise or light pollution as it roams the canals. Once waste is collected, it is then recycled to live on again where possible.

RanMarine is excited to partner with business and smart property holdings to help remove pollution from urban waters. The launch of the WasteShark into Canary Wharf is a first for RanMarine in many ways- a first in London and a first partnership with a developer and corporate sponsor. This proof-of-concept connects like-minded stakeholders with a synergetic goal of removing plastic and restoring clean water, it is a win-win outcome for all involved.

About RanMarine Technology

RanMarine Technology is an autonomous robotics scale-up specialising in the autonomy of vessels/Aqua-drones on water and headquartered in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Our primary product, using the company’s proprietary autonomy and robotics software, is the WasteShark aqua-drone; designed to harvest plastic and biomass waste from waterways in smart cities, ports, harbours or leisure waters.  Additionally, the aqua-drone can be fitted with sensors to collect water quality data, temperature and depth measurements for informed water management actions.