Marine plastics and marine debris are a threat to marine wildlife and seabirds. They also may pose a long term threat to fisheries and human health.
Because plastics and debris shift around in the Ocean, as well as surface and sink, an intelligent presence is required to track and remove them. Enter OceanBot,
OceanBot is the placeholder name for a class of robots that will be deployed to the major garbage patches in the Ocean to locate and remove marine debris and plastics.
Currently at concept stage, the OceanBots will be able to:

  • Differentiate between fish and debris
  • Detect micro plastic
  • Detect plastic in suspension
  • Separate plastic in its various forms from the water
  • Store the plastic onboard OR convert it to energy
  • Accept research payloads
  • Accommodate a modular sensor paylaod
  • The OceanBots will be large, to accommodate the various navigation, sensing, removal and storage systems. Since most marine plastics exist in the topmost 20 meters of the Ocean, OceanBots will not be designed to dive deep – just enough to get to a safe depth when confronted by heavy weather.

    When surfaced, the OceanBots will be in contact with a control system back on dry land to report status. If an OceanBot gets in trouble, a support ship will be dispatched to help it.
    OceanBots will be will be designed to high reliability and survivability standards, since they will be deployed for extended periods of time. Any plastic brought onboard will be protected from accidental spillage – failing safe is a key design criteria
    RiverBot is our testbed for sensing and control systems.