Cigarette butts picks up a new robot called beach bot, which Edwin Bos built when he saw his son playing with cigarette butts on the beach.
Humanity every 12 months produces 4.5 trillion cigarette butts, with many of them ending up on beaches. Each cigarette butt takes 14.5 years to be absorbed by the environment. During this time it can end up in the sea posing a risk to sea turtles, fish and all other species living in the water.
In addition, Cigarette butts contain microplastics so even when dissolved in the environment, they leave their imprint.
In order to rid the beaches of this type of contamination, the Dutchman Edwin Bos, together with his partner Martijn Lukaart, built the Beach Bot. It is a robot that scans the beach to detect cigarette butts using artificial intelligence (AI), and then picks them up with its robotic arm.
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The robot is equipped with cameras that constantly record the beach, with Beach Bot’s software constantly analyzing the images to detect the “goes”.
Microsoft, which provides the Microsoft Trove application, is also involved in the effort. This application can be used by anyone. Through it, anyone who sees a cigarette butt on a beach, anywhere in the world, can take a photo and send it to the Beach Bot. All these photos are analyzed so that the robot’s algorithm improves and can more easily identify cigarette butts.
For now, the Beach Bot can collect 10 Cigarette butts every 30 minutes, with its battery lasting one hour, but it is gradually expected to improve. It will certainly play a part in how many photos the public sends.
Video from YouTube channel Microsoft