Researchers at the National University of La Plata (UNLP) in Argentina unveiled an autonomous robot powered by photovoltaic energy that collects waste and hydrocarbons from water surfaces.
From pv magazine Latin America
Engineers from the Electronics, Control, and Signal Processing Research Institute (LEICI) at the UNLP and environmental protection company Recyclamer Pampa Argentina have developed a solar-powered robot that collects waste from water bodies and surveys hydro-environmental variables.
“The robot has the capacity to clean waste on the surface and up to 40 cm deep, in bodies of water such as rivers, lagoons, and ports,” LEICI researcher Juan Luis Rosendo said. “Macro-plastics (bottles, bags), micro-plastics, and floating hydrocarbons, which are among the main pollutants in water courses, are usually found at this depth,” he explained.
The solar panels located on the deck of the device, which resembles a small catamaran without sails, can recharge its batteries while the robot operates.
Recyclamer Pampa Argentina contributed with its experience in waste treatment and cleaning of water bodies, while LEICI automated the system.
This automation “consisted of the design, sizing, and electronic integration of a modular hardware architecture on board (speed controllers, computer, sensors, antenna, etc.), and the development of the control logic to achieve robot autonomy,” Rosendo added.”
Recyclamer Pampa Argentina aims to commercialize the robot in Latin America and the Caribbean.
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