This Garbage-Eating Drone May Someday Clean Up Our Oceans
God knows we aren’t going to do it ourselves.
When I was a kid, I always dreamed of having a robot that could clean my room for me.
Nothing too extravagant—just a little robotic machine that could pick up crumpled pieces of looseleaf paper and T-shirts from the floor and keep things looking presentable at all times.
Unfortunately for me, this invention never came to fruition during the time I still lived with my parents. But RanMarine Technology invented a slightly different machine: a drone that eats garbage off the floors of bodies of water.
The Waste Shark has been cleaning up one major port in the Dutch city of Rotterdam—and it’s been doing a great job, at that. According to Eric David of Silicon Angle, the Water Shark is capable of “gobbling up 500 kilograms of waste (around 1120 pounds) before needing to deposit it elsewhere for processing.”
But it doesn’t stop there. Outside of “eating” garbage, the Waste Shark “also sends back valuable data to port authorities, including information on the quality of the water, the weather, and the depth of the harbor,” writes David.
However, useful as these types of drones may be in smaller bodies of water—like ports and lakes—the true test will come when they’re thrown into the ocean. For a number of reasons, oceans are significantly more difficult to manage. Aside from being much larger than other bodies of water, they’re also much dirtier, too. As David points out, this is because—at some point or another—all rivers, and the waste they carry, eventually make their way to some ocean.
Due to forces like climate and weather patterns, it’s difficult to pinpoint where a lot of this waste ends up. However, with increases in technology, specifically regarding waste-management drones, we might be able to obtain this information more readily—and, ultimately, clean that crap up.