French students invent a robot turtle to clean up the oceans | Nature and the Environment | SHANTIBADI POTRIKA 

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Natureza e Meio Ambiente / 24/07/2020


French students invent a robot turtle to clean up the oceans

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French students invent a robot turtle to clean up the oceans

Fonte Trust my science

Green Turtle, that's what they called it. It was presented on the occasion of World Environment Day, held on June 5. Designed specifically to clean water in ports, it displays ergonomics adapted to the marine environment and incorporates active recognition technology for underwater waste.

A “bio-inspired” robot cleaner

The challenge is enormous: it is estimated that 270,000 tons of waste float in our oceans. As project members point out in their video presentation, if nothing changes, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050… Students at the ESTACA (Graduate School of Aeronautical and Construction Techniques) automotive designed the Green Turtle to contribute to the cleanup effort, in which the whole world must participate to reverse the trend.

Thanks to its turtle-shaped design, the machine is perfectly suited for collecting waste on the go. In fact, turtles are very good swimmers, they are fast and agile in the water and, above all, they are able to step in the water (essential for the collection of debris). By reproducing the movements of a turtle, the team guarantees extreme compatibility with the underwater environment. The following video shows how much they were inspired by the animal's anatomy to design each vessel's joint:

The challenge is enormous: it is estimated that 270,000 tons of waste float in our oceans. As project members point out in their presentation video, if nothing changes, there will be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050… Students ESTACA (School of Aeronautical Techniques and Automobile Construction) designed the Green Turtle to contribute to the effort cleaning, in which the whole world must participate to reverse the trend.

Thanks to its turtle-shaped design, the machine is perfectly suited for collecting waste on the go. In fact, turtles are very good swimmers, they are fast and agile in the water and, above all, they are able to step on the ground (essential for the collection of debris). By reproducing the movements of a turtle, the team guarantees extreme compatibility with the underwater environment. The following video shows how they were inspired by the animal's anatomy to design each vessel's joint:

It is believed that the robot acts in a targeted manner, in the waters of ports, that is, closer to the places of human pollution. Staying in these areas also prevents you coming into contact with swimmers or other users (or even turtle predators).

What exactly are your cleaning features? This robot can swallow 50 liters of garbage (the equivalent of 1420 plastic bottles), which is already a good serve ... It is programmed to go to and a dock, it can dump what it has collected; After the battery is recharged, he can get back to work.

A prototype planned for the summer of 2021

After a first inconclusive sketch of the machine structure developed in Solidworks, the team designed a much more viable “housing”, detailing the main part in several parts. The garbage inlet (the turtle's mouth, so to speak) is equipped with rotating flaps, which prevent the garbage escaping once inside.

In order to ideally dimension the motors and parts of the device and choose materials well, students performed several motion simulations with XFlow. The software also made it possible to simulate the behavior of plastic waste when approaching the robot; thus, they were able to adjust the movement and amplitude of the fins as the robot swallows an object.

The technology at the heart of the device allows you to track waste and then collect it in an intelligent and agile way. He also wants to be energy efficient. It detects waste thanks to on-board sonar. To determine the shape and nature of the plastic objects it encounters, the robot uses a handle - a remote sensing system similar to sonar, but based on light waves and not acoustics. There is no risk to the surrounding fauna: the robot knows how to distinguish fish waste, thanks to its active recognition system.

Unfortunately, the project was delayed a little due to the pandemic, but Green Turtle designers hope to offer a working prototype in the summer of 2021. In the meantime, if you want to keep up with the news and the progress of this beautiful project, don't hesitate to consult the Facebook page!


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