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As the SeaClear project progresses, Fraunhofer CML has been busy with the design and development of the collection basket for the autonomous system. The basket is designated to aggregate collected litter and ensure a safe transport out of the water and later on to shore, at the end of each mission. A modular prototype was built that allows for experiments with different wall materials, ROV-to-Basket docking areas, and Gripper-to-Basket interfaces.

Lateral view of the basket prototype
Prototype basket configuration with mesh-structure walls and elastomer lip interface
After evaluating a first functional prototype, the SeaClear gripper goes into manufacturing to produce a rugged, waterproof version for our trials. This device is designed and implemented by our partners at TUM. This version is decidedly simple for robust operation under harsh conditions and will provide a baseline for comparing its efficiency to upgrades with suction capabilities and other advanced features.
Render of the tortuga ROV with the gripper
Render of the tortuga ROV with the gripper. The gripper in the fully open and closed position is visible
The team at TUM - ITR has developed a prototype of the gripper device for SeaClear. This version is decidedly simple for robust operation under harsh conditions and will provide a baseline for comparing its efficiency to upgrades with suction capabilities and other advanced features. In this video a KUKA iiwa robot is used to simulate the motion of the underwater vehicle the skid and gripper will be attached to. The versatility and robustness of the gripper design is shown by collecting various objects of different shapes and material, from stiff but deformed cans to flexible nets or piles of objects.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 871295.

The SEACLEAR project spans four years, running from January 1st, 2020 to December 31st, 2023.

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