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ISOTECH participates in European research for the development of marine litter detecting robotic system

ISOTECH is a partner in the newly funded SeaClear 2.0 project  for the development of an autonomous robotic system to detect marine litter.

SeaClear 2.0 is a new, innovative European project launched on January 1st, 2023 with a budget of over €9 million. It aims to solve the problem of litter on the seabed and on the surface of the sea with robotic technologies. Using artificial intelligence, robots will be able to autonomously identify, locate and collect waste. Furthermore, the project incorporates modern methods for engaging Europe’s citizens by implementing citizen science actions.

With almost half a billion tonnes of plastic entering European seas every year, technological solutions to identify and remove waste need to be combined with social interventions to tackle the issue. “Our seas have become landfills and we must all make the effort needed to reverse the destructive trend leading to the collapse of marine ecosystems,” said the our Director, Dr Xenia Loizidou. ISOTECH’s scientific team is leading the development of policy recommendations and the implementation of social interventions across the Mediterranean to prevent and reduce the production and improper disposal of waste.

The SeaClear 2.0 project seeks to develop a fleet of smart robots, using artificial intelligence, to detect and remove marine litter using a combination of aerial drones, Underwater ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles), autonomous surface ships and specially designed robotic arms, the announcement added. The technological core of SeaClear 2.0 consists of a highly upgraded software for automated litter collection, which can go to greater depths, lift heavier litter and also collect surface litter. It uses high-resolution sonar, electromagnetic sensors and microplastic detection sensors. A smart and flexible handle and a collection float are to be developed to collect and transport large garbage to land, it was added.

The SeaClear 2.0 project is funded by the EU’s Horizon Europe research framework with a total budget of €9,086,305. The research consortium consists of 13 partners from 9 countries, with a range of expertise from robotics and artificial intelligence to waste management and participatory processes.

You can find out more about the SeaClear 2.0 project here.

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