An industrial design student named Elie Ahovi has developed an underwater drone that is capable of sucking up plastic and other waste, while keeping fish at bay. The drone could potentially be used to absorb the mess that is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch while at the same time, distributing the plastic to recycling companies who can then reuse it.
So how does it work?
According to Popsci, the drone can live underwater for as long as two weeks before its battery begins to drain. While collecting plastic waste (bottles, debris, etc.) it discourages fish and other creatures from entering its jaws via an annoying sonic transmitter. Once the drone is full, it can return to an ocean base, where human crews will haul it up and empty the plastic for recycling.The project is a response to a challenge from France-based environmental services firm Veolia, which asked students to come up with ways to tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.
Along with the potential to seriously reduce the amount of plastic that makes up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, the trash drone could also yield profits for companies seeking to reduce petroleum use and recycle plastics. Win-win!