The developers of the robot claim that annually 4.5 trillion (!) Cigarette butts fall into natural ecosystems.
This type of garbage is most often found on the beaches – because many still do not consider cigarette butts as waste and throw them directly into the sand. They can lie there for more than 14 years – that’s how much a cigarette filter decomposes on average.
The filter contains microplastics and more than 30 substances, many of which are classified as toxic and are associated with various cancers, asthma, obesity, and decreased intelligence. Naturally, they are dangerous not only for humans but also for animals and plants.
Humans teach robots to collect garbage
BeachBot, created by Edwin Boss and Martin Lucaart, uses the Microsoft Trove machine learning application. Thanks to the application, the robot receives photos of discarded cigarette butts and “learns” to recognize them. Any user of the service can upload photos and take part in robot training.
BeachBot has a short battery life – it can only move independently for an hour, then it needs recharging. The creators plan to install a solar panel on the robot’s roof and teach it to collect more types of garbage (for example, plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and packaging made of chips).
In addition, TechTics is thinking of adding two more jobs to the company’s first job – they will be exploring and polluting the map, and BeachBot will only collect garbage found by assistants.