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Tomorrow, the start-up TechTics from The Hague in the Netherlands will use its new robot on World Cleanup Day to help clean up the beach area there. People will be encouraged to clean up their streets and surroundings on this day. Cleaning up the beach is the key focus in The Hague.

How the Beach Bot works

This Beach Bot (BB) is a robot that can detect and also clean up small amounts of trash. The self-learning robot drives around identifying waste using its cameras. A special algorithm has been developed for this purpose.

When the robot fails to identify waste, it can take a photo of it that will mark it with a GPS tag. These photos are uploaded to an app. In this app, people can fill in what kind of trash is on the photo. This allows the robot to better identify waste more and more easily.

Cigarette butts

The creators have designed the app as a kind of game. In this way, they want to make users aware of the waste problem facing the world. In the beginning, the prototype of the robot could only identify and clean up cigarettes. Approximately 2000 billion cigarette butts are thrown away in public spaces every year. Many of these cigarette butts are dumped in the environment. For example, on the beach, where they eventually end up in the sea.

The goal

The goal of the project is not to have any robots clean the beaches. The robot’s inventors mainly want to raise more public awareness of the pollution problem. They hope to get people thinking about what they can do themselves in order to keep beaches clean.

The company hopes that in the longer term the robot will also be able to gather information on beach pollution. This information could help the municipality to clean the beach more thoroughly and efficiently.

The Beach Bot demo will take place on 19 September on Scheveningen beach in The Hague. More information about the project and the demo can be found on the project’s website.

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