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Preliminary Research and Documentation

Design and build a AI-based aquatic drone that can be used to clean up floating trash from the surface of rivers, lakes, seas and oceans.



The Aquacycler must contain the following parts and components

  • Body - A water-proof and aerodynamic body that is designed to collect floating trash and store it. 
  • Arms - Aquacycler has a pair of movable arm-like structures that can collect trash and lead it to the crusher and shredder.
  • Crusher/Shredder - An inbuilt crusher and shredder to break down large plastic and other trash.
  • Conveyor Belt - A conveyor belt that carries trash to the crusher and shredder.
  • Aquacycler Console - A console is needed to view camera input and control the movement and navigation.
  • Cameras - Multiple underwater cameras that can take high resolution pictures and transfer them to a computer.
  • Proximity sensor - Proximity sensor to safeguard Aquacycler from crashing into other ships or rocks.
  • Aquacycler Software - Software to schedule trash cleaning, pickup and drop points, and quantity of trash collected.
  • Solar panels (optional) - Aquacycler can be designed to run on solar power, especially when far away from land.
  • Automated Navigation - Aquacycler can be programmed to navigate to a specific location in the sea using AI and ocean mapping.
  • Remote Operations - When not in automated navigation mode, Aquacycler can be remotely operated from a computer on land.

How Aquacycler works

Whether in automated navigation mode or when operated remotely, Aquacycler can perform the following actions:

  • The arm-like structures skim the surface of water and collect the floating debris and trash. 
  • The collected trash is pushed towards a conveyor belt.
  • The conveyor belt transports the debris to the crusher. The water drains back in to the ocean or sea.
  • The crusher crushes the debris and the crushed debris falls into the shredder.
  • The shredder shreds the crushed debris and stores it.

When Aquacycler returns to land, shredded debris can be removed for recycling or disposal.


Figure 1 - Schematic diagram of Aquacycler


Figure 2 - Top view of Aquacycler

External Links


This project is being developed as an open-source project with the following licensing: