Tourists who visit the picturesque port of Cassis in southern France tend to see an unwelcome sight: plastic bags, discarded beverage bottles, and even used surgical masks floating among the mooring boats.
But the port has found a solution in the form of a bright yellow remote-controlled electric boat that sits around the port and sucks trash into a net.
The boat, called the Jellyfishbot, is about the size of a suitcase and can go into nooks and crannies where trash piles up, but it’s hard for scavengers to get into the nets.
It can go anywhere,” said Nicola Carlesi, a PhD in underwater robotics whose company IADYS created the boat.
It is not the only device of its kind. San Diego-based nonprofit Clear Blue Sea is developing a prototype garbage collector robot called Unique.
Dutch marine technology company, RanMarine, has developed a robot called “Waste Shark”, which has been deployed to clean up waste in the port of Rotterdam.
“Jellyfishbot” operates in about 15 French ports and has already been exported to countries such as Singapore, Japan and Norway, according to Carlesi. The company just released a standalone version.
Carlesi, a sailor and diver, said he came up with the idea after realizing, whenever he spends relaxing moments in the water, the amount of trash bobbing in the water in the ports.
I thought, ‘Why not try to make this difficult and sometimes needless task of garbage collection easier? So we made this robot.”