The "Waste Shark" can vacuum up to 1,100 pounds of floating trash. FourÂ different Waste SharkÂ prototypes, which look somewhat likeÂ floating Roombas, will be cruising the harbor of Rotterdam in the Netherlands over the next few months in order to pick up garbageÂ before it floats too far out to sea.
RanMarine, an "environmental technologies solutions company" in the Netherlands, providedÂ the Port of Rotterdam AuthorityÂ with the four prototypes, which will cruise the Rotterdam harbor waters through the end of the year.
And if things go well there, hopefully these trash-collecting robots will be launched elsewhere. After all, the Great Pacific Garbage Patch isn't getting any smaller.
âHumans are very good at forgetting where waste truly ends up," Richard Hardiman, the CIO of RanMarine, says on the company website. "If it's not going into some landfill somewhere then odds are it has ended up in a storm-water drain, river or outlet and then off into the ocean never to be seen again; by humans that is. The impact of plastic soup and these huge plastic islands out in the Pacific Ocean and elsewhere cannot be underestimated.â