An Atlanta-based startup RanMarine has built a drone that swims rather than flies. The “WasteShark,” traverses waterways to collect litter, biomass, microplastic and other debris using a basket underneath the device. In addition to removing litter, the drone also collects data on water conditions. Sensors allow the WasteShark to analyze water temperature, pH levels, depth, green algae, or hydrocarbons in oil. Additionally, the WasteShark uses radar to avoid collisions and GPS and autonomous software to follow pathways collecting the waste and data. The device can travel through waters for up to 10 hours without a charge.
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