Solar-Powered Bebot Sifts Sand and Collects Small Pieces of Trash to Keep Beaches Clean

By: | August 2nd, 2021

Image courtesy: 4ocean

It’s a tough job to clean up the ocean. Despite the wholehearted efforts by volunteers to clean the beach, it becomes impossible for them to clean it up. This is because of the magnitude of trash and especially the smaller debris and tinier scraps of plastic. So to tackle this issue, researchers have developed ‘BeBot’. 


BeBot is an innovative beach cleaning robot that is designed to recover coastal plastic debris. Developed by marine infrastructure manufacturer Poralu Marine and 4ocean, it mechanically sifts through the sand to gather up waste. It is designed to tactfully clean up the shores with minimal disruption to these precious ecosystems.

Alex Schulze, co-founder and CEO of 4ocean, said, “It’s designed for areas that have relatively clean beaches but large amounts of microplastics,”

Following are some of its features:

  • The BeBot is essentially solar-powered.
  • It is agile and easy to maneuver.
  • BeBot is remotely operated by a human operator up to 300 m (984 ft) away.
  • The electric robot operates on a combination of sunlight and batteries.
  • It especially excels at removing small pieces of plastic, using 1 cm x 1 cm sifting grids.
  • The robot digs up to 10 cm (4 inches) of sand.
  • It can clean up to 3,000 square meters (32,000 square feet) of beaches per hour.
  • BeBot can function even in tight spaces.
  • It is claimed to be about 20-30 times more efficient than manually collecting trash by hand. But when the collection bin is full, one has to sort through the waste. To separate the trash from materials that can be returned to the sand.

 It is a great innovation, but it is not a solution for rising plastic pollution in the oceans

 Schulze, said,” This machine is by no means a solution for the ocean plastic crisis. We hope to use this machine to collect that plastic that exists as well as raise awareness to how that plastic is getting on the coastlines and in the ocean. And we hope to use it as a tool to drive awareness so that people live a more sustainable lifestyle and cut down on the amount of single-use plastic that they’re consuming,” 

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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