Technology 

Is autonomous technology the solution to fight water pollution?

The quantity of plastic waste is rapidly increasing in rivers, lakes and oceans across the world. Over 245 million tonnes of plastic wasteis floating on the surface of oceans, while tonnes of heavy waste materials are present on the floor of these oceans. The presence of plastic waste in waterways has affected all kinds of living beings, including birds, fish, humans, etc.

One of the largest patches of floating plastic and other waste materials present on the surface of oceans is spread over 1.6 million square kilometres in the pacific. There are four similar patches present in the oceans, which are relatively smaller than the one in pacific. 

Undoubtedly, it is not an easy job to clean up these patches of garbage only through manpower. However, with the help of water robots, this activity can be performed rather easily. These water robots can operate independently and clean the plastic patches faster with great accuracy.       

One such autonomous surface vehiclesor water robot, known as WasteShark can clean up to 200 litres of ocean waste before being emptied. Inspired by whale sharks,  WasteSharkfloats through the sea just like the former with its mouth open, collecting garbage instead of fish. Developed by RanMarinetechnology,  WasteShark moves gently that prevents it from posing any danger to the ocean life. It also collects data about water quality, providing insights into how fast plastic is degrading in the seas. 

The products of RanMarine, including WasteShark, are designed to be used both manually and autonomously with online control and access. The company has specialized in the development of industrial autonomous surface vessels for ports, harbours and other marine and water environments. The data enablement of its products allows customers to closely monitor the environment and makeup of their water and create an accurate picture of the waters DNA over the time.

Developed in association with the German research centre for artificial intelligence, WasteShark is one of the most efficient and smart products of RanMarine. The company has been fostering the growth of green solutions to the complex problems. As a result, the Netherlands-based start-up recently managed to secure funding from Boundary Holding, a Luxembourg-based investment firm, led by Rajat Khare. RanMarine is planning to utilize the funds on the R&D of upcoming products, data and customer portal to expand the team and business development for a holistic growth.

With the advent of products like WasteShark, the prospects of ensuring clean waterways have brightened. Boasted with capabilities like 5 km range, 10 hour swim time, 15 years of operating life and 500 kg of debris clearance in a day, autonomous surface vehicles like WasteShark can certainly be the solution to fight water pollution in a comprehensive way.

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