One of the key components of the SeaClear system is the collection basket. It is more efficient if the underwater robots deposit what they collect someplace underwater, and then transfer everything to the shore. The collection basket was developed since the very early moments of the SeaClear project, however constant improvements have been made.
The latest version of the robot has made it even easier for the collection ROV to deposit the litter. Several AR tags have been added in key locations of the basket, so that the robots can identify its position with great accuracy. This is important so that the robots can know, at all times, where to drop the litter. Furthermore, funnel shaped entrances on the side and the top of the basket, allow for an easier entry of the tortuga.
The basket is also equipped with a camera, for easier verification of litter dropoff during the development stages of the project. As it is seen on the image above, the entry points are now equiped with organic bristles that allow the gripper to enter, without letting the litter escape the encasement of the basket.
Finally, the top part of the basket was painted in a high contrast colour, so that it is visible from air. This is important in clear water conditions, as the drone of the SeaClear system can help locate the basket, and transmit this information to all the robots of the system. This improved interface was tested during the latest campaign in Marseille and yielded great results. This was also the first time we attached the basket to the back of the SeaCAT, and we tested the Launch And Recovery System (LARS) for the basket.
As we are getting ready for the first demonstration of the SeaClear system in June, we are working on some further minor updates. This is mainly focused on the LARS system so that we can control better the deployment of the basket and ensure a safe approach of the ROVs. As always, stay tuned for updates!
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.