Pixar’s Wall-E painted a grim picture of the future. In the animated flick, the protagonist, Wall-E, is a lone garbage collecting robot that deals with the waste left behind by a post-apocalypse Earth. This seaborne drone you see here, dubbed Waste Shark, is much like Wall-E, except that (and thankfully) that it is not here to solve the problem of a post-apocalypse Earth. It is here to tourniquet the problem before it gets any worst. Developed by Richard Hardiman’s Netherlands-based RanMarine, Waste Shark is essentially an unmanned sea vehicle that plies habors and canals picking up garbage off the water ways. The idea is to stop the trash from becoming part of the sea by tackling the root of the problem, so to speak, at the source and that means harbors and urban water ways.
Leveraging on technology, Waste Shark takes the leg work out from these otherwise labour-intensive and time-consuming operation, and actively seeks out land-generated marine waste like plastic bottles, takeout containers and whatnot before they even get to the ocean. Richard’s idea is refreshing and innovative, and so it was no surprise that Waste Shark stood out from 1,700 startups and marine technology businesses to land itself at Port of Rotterdam in a mission to stop ocean pollution. RanMarine has created two versions of Waste Shark, a “Fatboy” and a “Slim” model, both which are deployed in Netherlands with Port of Rotterdam Authority’s blessing.
Waste Shark took on a catamaran hull design, leaving it with a gaping ‘mouth’ which it uses to chomp down up to 1,100 lbs of waste into a containment unit that extends a foot under the surface. Communication between the Waste Shark and the shore is via radio frequency, but it can also operate autonomously with waypoint control where the garbage-eating mechanical shark (though not shape like one, unfortunately) can patrol the harbors and waterways based on a preset route. The future is looking bright for the oceans and unlike Wall-E, at least humanity is dealing with the problem right there and then, and not after apocalypse has occurred. Video after the beak.
Images courtesy of RanMarine.
via Popular Science