Faced with the pollution from cigarette butts littering the beaches, two engineers have created a mobile robot that combines artificial intelligence and image analysis to identify and collect waste.
Tired of seeing their children find cigarette butts on the beaches, Edwin Bos and Martijn Lukaart, Dutch engineers at TechTics, set out to create the BeachBot, an autonomous robot whosehave the ability to identify cigarette butts on beaches.
Its appearance is surprising: visually, theseems straight out of the factories of the to explore the planet Mars. With only 80 centimeters wide, BeachBot has two cameras giving it dual front and rear vision. To pick up the , he uses his two gripping arms which he lowers and then pushes into the . Finally, the cigarette ends are thrown into an internal container. Currently, BeachBot can operate for one hour in autonomy. If the robot is still in its first prototype, TechTics promises future progress.
After identifying a cigarette butt, the BeachBot will pick it up using both arms. Suffice to say that he has his work cut out for him! © Project BB
AI and image detection to identify cigarette butts
BeachBot uses algorithmsand image detection to distinguish a cigarette butt from other objects and waste on the beach. To do this, the TechTics team had to train the vehicle and its AI using photos of cigarette butts in different states. The company uses the Microsoft Trove, which provides AI developers with photos shared by people. So far, she has collected 200 photos, and plans to collect 2,000 so that BeachBot can find almost all butts. “ Cigarette butts are full of ”Said Edwin Bos. This type of waste accumulates more than 30 toxic chemicals that can have a serious impact on the . « Our robot cannot be the final solution to this serious problem. The main cause of this waste remains human behavior He adds.