TechTics' Edwin Bos and Martijn Lukaart have developed a little four-wheeled machine, called Beachbot, a robot designed to clean up the litter on beaches. BeachBot has an AI brain that uses image-detection software to identify the butts and then pick them up with its gripper arms.
On the occasion of the amount of trash - especially cigarette butts - on Scheveningen beach in Holland, Bos and Lukaart decided to develop the BeachBot that could help clean up the beach with its bloated wheels and without creating marks on the sand.
BB can distinguish trash from things like towels, sandals or other things that beachgoers might have with them. BeachBot is scheduled to collect garbage as it is linked to the Microsoft Trove app. The app has a database of images with cigarette butts submitted by responsible citizens around the world.
According to Bos, “the most interesting part of our concept – we have a human-robot interaction where the public can help make the robots smarter.” He elaborated that they started with cigarette butts which are the world’s most littered item, and soon, they want such robots to “detect a range of other litter.”
‘’There are more than 4.5-trillion cigarette butts litter all over the face of planet earth, and this is a good starting point to clean up the mess we created. The cigarette butts make sense since the butts leave toxic chemicals when water touches them on the beaches. This is just the beginning of the herculean effort to clean up the beaches. Who knows, in the future, a swarm of such robots could clean our planet if we don’t wake up early enough. The bigger problem with littering is still human behavior,’’ Boss said.