Sharks are known for having stomachs of steel. The newest product from Dutch scale-up RanMarine Technology is no exception.
One could describe the MegaShark as a robot vacuum for bodies of water. It’s a remotely piloted vessel that sits atop the water and scoots along with a wide-open mouth, sucking up debris and carting it back to shore.
The MegaShark hopes to tackle the ever-growing problem of polluted waterways, a particular concern here in Florida.
According to RanMarine Technology, there’s currently 200 million metric tons (approximately 220 U.S. tons) of toxic plastic in marine environments and another 11 million metric tons (or 12 U.S. tons) are added to the pile every year. The UN Environmental Program predicts the amount of new waste entering waterways will triple by 2040.
The MegaShark has an interesting digestive system too. According to RanMarine Technology, a startup of CleanTech Robotics, the seaworthy drone has an onboard trash compactor which allows it to scoop up as much waste as possible every time it hits the water.
The company said the device can be piloted remotely but is also hardy enough for users to sit or stand on it as it makes its rounds. The onboard battery will keep the MegaShark moving for about eight hours.
A bonus feature: The MegaShark packs all the necessary instruments for water quality analysis.
RanMarine plans to introduce two other “species” to its shark lineup.
The TenderShark is tailored to the boating community. The mini tender is able to carry light cargo loads efficiently and effectively from ship to shore, and vice versa. Users have the option to collect floating waste as the TenderShark makes its cargo runs.
Meanwhile, the SharkPod is what RanMarine describes as a “mothership” — it’s an autonomous floating docking station which can charge up to five WasteShark drones at a time. RanMarine said the solution will allow ports, harbors and cities to keep their drones chugging around the clock. The SharkPod will be available to purchase in early 2023.
Currently, RanMarine’s drones are sucking up garbage for the Port of Houston, Disney theme parks, Universal and the United Nations in addition to several other local and state authorities worldwide.