Artificial Intelligence: AI-Powered BeachBot Fights Litter Nuisance On Beaches

July 27, 2021 | Artificial Intelligence, News

The AI-powered vehicle is currently trained to target cigarette butts.

Edwin Bos and Martijn Lukaart of TechTics floated Project BB to clean up the litter on the Scheveningen Beach in Holland. The battery-powered, 2.5 feet wide BeachBot was the result – an adorable, Mars-Rover-like machine that traverses beaches on plump wheels designed not to leave any tracks on the sand. For all its cute looks, it descends on the hapless cigarette butt with determination and precision. (YANKO DESIGN)

According to Bos, the filters of cigarettes are full of microplastics, and unfortunately, these end up in nature.

When water touches discarded cigarette butts, the filters release more than 30 chemicals that are “very toxic” to aquatic organisms and pose “a major … hazardous waste problem.”

With 4.5 trillion cigarette stubs strewn across the planet, the problem is obviously human attitude and behavior. However, until awareness sets in, inventions such as BeachBot must care for our beaches.


Working in tandem with the Microsoft Trove app, BeachBot trained to recognize cigarette butts from a database of images received from globally concerned citizens. It, therefore, picks out cigarette butts from other litter and tourist belongings such as towels and sandals.

Computer vision and image detection software, therefore, help BeachBot on its litter-free crusade. What’s more, the bot keeps learning from its beach trips and becomes progressively more accurate in its detection of stubs.

“The most interesting part of our concept – we have a human-robot interaction where the public can help make the robots smarter,” says Bos.

Related Story:  AI In The MARLIT APP To Keep Tabs On Plastic Marine Litter

Images Credit: YANKO DESIGN                                                   

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