According to scientists, in the giant garbage islands, which are increasingly found in the vastness of the World Ocean, there is much less garbage than at its bottom. Within the framework of the new SeaClear project, with financial support from the European Union, it is planned to assemble most of it using autonomous robots.
The cleaning system will consist of four robotic vehicles: an aerial drone, two underwater drones and an unmanned surface vessel that acts as a “mother” ship.
It will supply power to the submersibles through special cables. Plus, he will use his on-board computer to process and transmit data. The system will be deployed in coastal areas where most of the underwater debris is concentrated.
At the first stage, an aerial UAV and one of the underwater vehicles will record accumulations of debris on the ocean surface and at shallow depths, which will probably mean the presence of debris on the bottom. Taking this into account, the second underwater drone, having plunged to the bottom and moving along it, with the help of special grippers and a suction device, will begin to collect waste. The collected debris will be stored on the surface ship in the central bunker.
The system will use AI-based algorithms so that UAVs and a drone operating near the surface of the water can distinguish debris from marine life. The SeaClear prototype was successfully tested this spring in the port of Hamburg and off the coast of Dubrovnik in Croatia at depths of 20 to 30 meters.