Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Clearbot

An AI-powered self-driving boat to deliver cargo and clean up pollution 


One innovation is cleaning up our rivers with advanced robotic technology

Spotted: There are an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic waste in our oceans, affecting millions of marine animals and human health. But one company is looking to clear the problem: Clearbot – a startup that has created autonomous technology to help save our oceans and rivers. 

What started as a student project to help Indonesian surfers clean up waterways soon turned into the Clearbot Neo, an electric-powered and solar-charged autonomous marine bot that can be used to clear pollution, transport cargo, and assist in surveys and rescue operations. The team combines sensors and computers to create electric boats designed for optimal mobility, perception, and agility. 

As a tool to tackle pollution and invasive plants, the Clearbot Neo is both cost-effective and environmentally friendly. The company claims that one bot can clear up to 15 litres of oil and 200 kilogrammes of floating rubbish every day. And, with the help of artificial intelligence (AI) and cameras, the boats can also analyse the collected waste, which enables companies and governments to better understand what ends up in waterways and when and tackle this waste more effectively. 

Clearbot also acts as an autonomous delivery bot that can move 200 kilogrammes of cargo across water, giving vessel managers a cheaper, easier, and emissions-free alternative to launching boats to deliver produce to their ships. 

And because the bot can autonomously manoeuvre through complicated and potentially dangerous routes while being controlled remotely, Clearbot’s technology is suitable for surveillance tasks and assisting in waterway emergencies. 

Springwise has spotted many robots used to clean up ocean waste. Some examples in the archive include one system that combines drones with underwater robots to spot and retrieve litter, and a jellyfish-like bot that collects rubbish without disturbing marine life.

Written By: Anam Alam




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