A Frazer-Nash-sponsored prototype beach cleaning robot, created by a team from the University of Strathclyde, has completed its design stages and is in the process of being built in the laboratory.
BLiSS – the Beach Litter Surveying System – is a prototype robotic vehicle which uses a novel approach to clean beaches, eliminating the issues associated with current methods.
University of Strathclyde MEng Electrical and Mechanical Engineering student, Marnie McKay, one of the creators of the BLiSS robot, explains:
“The robot uses an on-board feeder and filtration system to separate synthetic materials from natural ones, helping to prevent plastics and cigarette butts from entering the world’s oceans, leaching harmful toxins, damaging ecosystems and sea-life, and potentially entering the food chain.
“The cordless design and two-tracked chassis will enable the robot to work well on the sandy beach environment; while a smart system, using image processing and GPS, will be developed to identify potential ‘hotspots’ of rubbish on beaches, optimising the beach cleaning process through data analysis.”
The project team comprises of Marnie McKay, David McCubbin, Chris Rae and Allan Smith, with SNC Lavalin’s Atkins, Glasgow Eco Trust and RS-Components also sponsoring the project.