Reuters News

Meet Jellyfishbot, the robot that likes to eat sea trash

CASSIS, France (Reuters) – Tourists visiting the picturesque port at Cassis, southern France, often see an unedifying sight: plastic bags, discarded drinks bottles, and even used surgical masks, floating in the water among the boats in the marina.

But the port has found a solution, in the shape of a bright yellow remote-controlled electric powered boat that weaves around the harbour sucking the trash into a net that it trails behind its twin hulls.

The boat, called Jellyfishbot, is about the size of a suitcase and so can get into the corners and narrow spaces where rubbish tends to accumulate but which are difficult for cleaners with nets to reach.

“It can go everywhere,” said Nicolas Carlesi, who has a PhD in undersea robotics and whose company, IADYS, created the boat.

It is not the only device of its kind. San Diego non-profit Clear Blue Sea is developing a proto-type trash-collecting robot called “FRED”.

A marine technology firm based in the Netherlands, RanMarine, has developed a robot called the “Waste Shark” which has been deployed to clean up garbage in Rotterdam harbour.

“Jellyfishbot” is in operation in around 15 French ports, and has been exported to countries including Singapore, Japan and Norway, according to Carlesi’s company. The firm has just launched an autonomous version.

A keen sailor and diver, Carlesi said he came up with the idea after noticing, whenever he spent leisure time on the water, how much rubbish bobbed in the water in ports.

“I thought: ‘Why not try to make this difficult and sometimes thankless task of picking up trash easier?’ So we made this robot,” he said.

The text, photographs, video, graphics, metadata, quotes, data, information, and all protectable intellectual property available through the this website is the property of Reuters and its licensors. It is provided by Reuters and its licensors to you for your personal use and information only. You may not use the Content or Service for any commercial purpose. You acknowledge that by accessing and using this the service, you agree to be legally bound by and hereby consent to these terms of use and the privacy policy.  Learn more in https://www.reutersagency.com/en/about/brand-attribution-guidelines/

Tags:
Content Types: PicturesTextVideo
Topics: Technology
Platforms: Reuters ConnectReuters.com PlatformWorld News Express
Regions & Locations: Europe
Media Types: PicturesTextVideo
Sign up for email updates

Subscribe
Sign up for email updates