Environment

Beach-cleaning BeBot sifts through sand to gather small pieces of trash

Beach-cleaning BeBot sifts thr...
The BeBot was built by marine infrastructure manufacturer Poralu Marine
The BeBot was built by marine infrastructure manufacturer Poralu Marine
View 4 Images
The BeBot was built by marine infrastructure manufacturer Poralu Marine
1/4
The BeBot was built by marine infrastructure manufacturer Poralu Marine
The Bebot in action
2/4
The Bebot in action
The Bebot is a remote-controlled cleaning robot operated by humans up to 300 m away
3/4
The Bebot is a remote-controlled cleaning robot operated by humans up to 300 m away
The BeBot mechanically sifts through sand to collect small pieces of trash
4/4
The BeBot mechanically sifts through sand to collect small pieces of trash
View gallery - 4 images

Despite the efforts of good-hearted folks that sweep beaches for trash others have left behind, such is the magnitude of our plastic pollution problem that it can be hard to collect it all, particularly the smaller debris. The BeBot is a robot designed to tackle this problem, mechanically sifting through sand to gather up waste while leaving behind a minimal footprint on the environment.

The BeBot was developed by marine infrastructure manufacturer Poralu Marine and 4ocean as a way of cleaning up coastlines with minimal disruption to these precious ecosystems. While manual human sifters can certainly pick up meaningful amounts of trash, it is labor-intensive work. Tractors and other heavy-duty machinery, on the other hand, can cover more ground, but can destroy fauna and flora or cause erosion of the landscape.

BeBot is designed to take a more tactful approach. The electric robot runs on a combination of solar and battery power and is remotely controlled by a human operator up to 300 m (984 ft) away. It digs up to 10 cm (4 in) into the sand and mechanically sifts the grains through a mesh screen to gather pieces of plastic and other debris as small as a centimeter squared, such as cigarette butts, food wrappers and bottle caps.

The Bebot is a remote-controlled cleaning robot operated by humans up to 300 m away
The Bebot is a remote-controlled cleaning robot operated by humans up to 300 m away

The robot can apparently clean up to 3,000 sq m ( 32,000 sq ft) of beach per hour, give or take depending on the topography, and features an agile track system that enables it to turn on the spot, allowing it to function in tight areas. Its creators imagine it finding use in everything from hotels, to beachfront properties, to nature reserves and even golf courses.

For now, it is being tested by 4ocean on the beaches of Florida, with plans to send BeBots to Hawaii in the near future to assist with local cleanup efforts.

The video below shows the BeBot in action.

bebot

Source: 4ocean

View gallery - 4 images
10 comments
10 comments
martinwinlow
If it is controlled by someone, it isn't a robot. Why add the complexity and cost of remote operation (not to mention potential danger)? What is the advantage over just sitting on it?
Bricorn
Shell-less beaches. Kids will love those - not.
paul314
Going to need something that works on rocky beaches or beaches with seaweed too. (Probably sorting based on density?) But this is a start.
freddotu
@Bricorn, not so much shell-less, especially if someone culls out the shells, but cigarette-butt-less beaches, a big problem on the Florida coasts. Coming soon to a Bebot near you: sponsor messages written in the newly graded sand, ala Ivan Miranda!
Adrian Akau
President Biden's wife Jill was injured in the foot while walking in the sands of a beach on Oahu. The cause was not known but it would be good to have a robot to remove harmful materials from the sand in hotel areas.
Worzel
What is really needed, is a machine that collects the people that dump their rubbish on the beach, and then dumps them in a trash can, together with their rubbish! ;-) However, this machine is very limited, to soft sandy beaches, that are probably in a minority in the world, It would be more effective to convince people not to litter the beaches in the first place.
christopher
Looks like it consumes huge amount of power form the way it drags through the sand - probably an hour tops of a pair of car batteries. The solar panel on top will add about 1 minute to that endurance. I wonder why they bothered? (actually I don't - PR is more important than honesty).
ljaques
I'll bet that metal detector enthusiasts will happily help the beach patrol clean the BeBot's bins...at no charge. (wink)
Simon M
Where are crabs supposed to get their hypodermic needles if this robot scoops them all away?
gerald fichtner
Hi ,I'm a lazy metal detectorist ; can you make a automated driven unit with built in coin detectors that scoop up beach change ?