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New autonomous waste clean-up vessel

Clear Robotics (Clearbot) has expanded its fleet of autonomous robot boats with its new Class 3 autonomous marine vessel.

The new bot is able to handle up to 1.5 tons of waste in one go and can also tow an additional barge, allowing for extended clean-up operations without needing to return to port as frequently.

The company was founded by in 2019 as a student project to help Indonesian surfers clean up waterways efficiently.

In 2020, Cearbot’s first fibreglass robotic model was developed to cruise through harbours, lakes and canals using its open bow to collect floating debris into onboard storage bins.

The latest Class 3 bot has increased onboard storage capacity of 1.5 tons for collected trash and debris, and as well as collecting floating waste, the vessel has been engineered to tackle invasive weeds.

It can also be used to survey water quality, oil and foam collection.

Autonomous operation

The new vessel has been designed to gather up to 200kg of floating garbage per hour and is powered by an electric drive able to manage an average speed of 3.5mph.

The 3kWh battery pack provides up to eight hours of operation. Solar panels can also add extra hours.

There is also a self-docking mechanism enabling the bot to autonomously return to docking stations.

The bot features a 1080p camera and lidar and can be optioned with anti-collision smarts for fully autonomous operation.

A conveyor at the front gathers the floating debris and is also equipped with a cutter to extract invasive plants and weeds.

The bot is equipped with advanced sensors and navigation systems enabling it to operate in diverse marine environments, from busy harbours to remote coastlines, without human intervention.

The Class 3 bot has been deployed in Northeast India.

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