Robots helping us clean the environment.
An environment friendly solution, that has the ability to navigate all kinds of rough terrain.
In 2021 WWF reported an average of 995 garbage per 100 meters on Greek beaches. Disposable plastics such as lids and straws were the most common types of litter found. It is a problem that doesn't only occur on our seas but is also intense in our forests and cities. It is clear that not only do we need to reduce disposable plastics in our daily lives, but we also need to find new ways to restore and clean up the environment.
Robotics and Artificial Intelligence could help us deal with such problems, much faster and efficiently. This is a design that could make the process of allocating and collecting waste completely autonomous.
This design has a battery life that reaches 3.5 hours per charge. It can carry a load of 5 to 10 kilograms and a volume equal to 22.5 liters (about the size of a small-medium bucket). The robot has four sets of depth cameras that allow it to create three-dimensional representations of space. Three onboard computers, two of which are GPU accelerated, handle all the calculations. Finally, the robot can locate its charger with the help of April tags allowing it to charge automatically.
In the video below, the robot’s software runs in real-time. The bottom right view shows how the robot perceives the space around it. It reacts quickly to changes in its environment, as all the calculations happen five times per second. Using multiple depth cameras the robot can recognize where the target objects are in space. Using these data the robot plans the best route to collect these objects.
It is an almost 100% autonomous solution with a positive impact on the environment. It can work on uneven terrain and handles the sorting of the waste it collects. An example of automation, offered by this solution is that the user could set a path that the robot should follow or even repeat. For example, every day at 6 a.m. move along the shore of a beach and pick up all the litter you find.
This project provides an autonomous solution to the public and private sectors for cleaning large outdoor areas and at the same time supports initiatives aimed at protecting the environment.
A 3D printed miniature was developed as a proof of concept. It demonstrated the kinematics model and the machine vision model on a small scale.
The development of the final design is in progress. The demonstration of the robot's capabilities is scheduled for September 2022.
Crowdpolicy supported the project through their accelerator program for five months. The project finally got funding from AC Laskaridis Charitable Foundation, Lidl Hellas, and the Sani Resort.
Get in touch
If you want to support the project or participate in the pilot phase, you are more than welcome to contact us.