This small, agile and easy to manœuvre robot is the result of a collaboration between the Poralu Marine company, a manufacturer of port equipment, and the American 4oceans foundation. It has been developed to replace long and tedious voluntary and participatory waste collection efforts and the heavy tractors commonly used to that end, which are unsuitable for driving on the sand and damage the coastline.
An innovative technology to combat pollution and the accumulation of waste on beaches
Designed to be used on a daily basis, it is capable of silently picking up small pieces of plastic and other waste that are difficult to collect manually thanks to small 1cm x 1cm sieves. Currently remotely controlled by an operator within a 300-metre radius, it gently combs the surface sand, never deeper than 5 to 10 centimetres "to prevent erosion. In one hour, it can comb up to 3,000 m² of beach, depending on the terrain, which is 20 to 30 times more efficient than manual waste collection efforts.
Unprecedented environmental benefits
Half solar-powered, half electric, BeBot is equipped with a unique caterpillar system that distributes even and minimal pressure on the sand. This innovative design allows it to turn on the spot and go anywhere, but also contributes to the preservation of biodiversity as it prevents the robot from crushing turtle eggs and any plant ecosystems living in the sand.
Once BeBot has finished collecting waste, a person has to sort its contents "to separate the recyclable plastic from the other waste." As Alex Schulze, co-founder and CEO of 4Oceans, points out: "It still takes some time, but it's much faster than trying to sift through every part of the beach by hand." The company will recycle the plastic collected by BeBot for use in products such as trainers and also wants to raise awareness about ocean pollution.
While BeBot is the first coastal cleaning solution marketed by Poralu Marine, it will soon be joined by three other innovative and complementary technological solutions - Pixie Drone, Invisibubble and X Boat - also capable of collecting waste, but in different situations. A super cleaning team of sorts.