* But were afraid to ask
Jellyfishbot is an incredible device that is able to clean oil, microplastics, and almost any waste from waterways. In this blog we want to run down some of the most frequently asked questions about Jellyfishbot and share some insights into how its helping to clean-up our oceans.
Why is Jellyfishbot different to other clean-up devices out there on the market?
The first thing that sets Jellyfishbot apart from other clean-up devices is how easy it is to use. Other devices that filter out or remove plastic from waterways are static and rely on being placed in problem areas to tackle waste. Jellyfishbot’s remote control function provides a simple way to clean difficult or dangerous bodies of water without any risk to workers or wildlife.
Jellyfish can operate autonomously. Operators program in co-ordinates for a set cleaning area and Jellyfishbot takes care of the rest. Whereas other, static devices are only able to clean larger plastic waste and debris, Jellyfishbot is able to remove oil, microplastics and other difficult substances easily. Its regular use prevents large scale build-ups of waste and the problems that come along with such pollution. Chemical changes within the marine ecosystem, like an increase in hydrocarbons can lead to biological shifts, such as algal blooms which can have massive consequences for food chains and biodiversity.
Jellyfishbot can also be equipped with sonar equipment, which enables the device to perform bathymetric surveys down to a depth of 10 metres.
Can you talk us through its development?
Jellyfishbot was originally developed by Interactive Autonomous Dynamic Systems (IADYS) in France.
IADYS CEO and Jellyfishbot creator Nicolas Carlési, designed the device after diving in the Mediterranean, where he noticed the proliferation of plastic waste making its way into our oceans. He decided to use his expertise in robotics to design a device that is perfectly adapted to safely cleaning waterways.
As the exclusive distributor for Jellyfishbot in the UK, we are excited to be bringing this incredible innovation to the UK’s inland waterways. With more than 4,700 miles of rivers and canals that lead directly to our oceans, the UK is in dire need of initiatives to tackle the rising tides of plastic waste in our waterways. According to figures from Greenpeace, areas of the River Mersey are more polluted than the infamous ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’. We need to take action against these problems now, before it's too late to restore harmony within the oceanic biosphere.
Who would benefit from using Jellyfishbot?
Jellyfishbot has a broad range of applications for anyone working with or around waterways. As well as being perfect for the marine sector, where it can be utilised to clean-up problem areas and maintain the cleanliness of any waterway. It can be deployed to operate on all calm bodies of water, meaning that it has hugely practical applications depending on where it is deployed. Jellyfishbot is perfect for maintaining high-traffic areas such as locks and canal channels as well as any private or commercial bodies of water in need of maintenance. Jellyfishbot can provide a huge amount of assistance to companies who have water spaces to maintain, without the necessary tools or crew to look after them.
There is also huge potential for Jellyfishbot to be applied to the petrochemical and waste management industries, as the design of the specialised netting is able to effortlessly sift and skim microplastics and oil from water surfaces. This removes any level of human risk from the ordinarily difficult and costly endeavours of clean-up are and allows hazardous materials to be removed from waterways safely.
How can ports and terminals best utilise the technology?
Jellyfishbot should be deployed as often as operators see fit in order to maintain the cleanliness of any waterway. Regular upkeep using Jellyfishbot hugely decreases the risk of plastics contaminating bodies of water and disrupting the fragile ecosystems therein. It can replace any small-scale cleaning operations that would ordinarily be carried out by staff by automating or controlling the process.
Multiple Jellyfishbots can be programmed to work autonomously in separate areas to complete thorough cleaning operations on larger bodies of water. The small, compact design also means that cleaning operations don’t create any disruption to those using the water and allows for managed waterways to be effortlessly maintained.
How do you see Jellyfishbot pioneering waste management for waterways into the future?
Jellyfishbot is a future-proof way to tackle the issue of water-based waste management. By removing risk to workers and wildlife, large-scale processes can be automated and carried out by one or two trained operatives to oversee any clean-up activity. This not only reduces the labour and time required of a waste management team but also increases the effectiveness of a cleaning operation.
By equipping multiple Jellyfishbots with a variety of cleaning apparatus, such as catch-nets and oil skimmers, companies can vastly increase the types of operations that can be completed simultaneously, meaning clean-up operations can be completed more quickly with a reduced risk and need for workers to be on the water.
Why is it important to be looking after our waterways and oceans?
Our waterways serve as an excellent touchstone for how well we’re treating our planet. The impact of poor management of plastics waste on land directly affects the levels of microplastics and hydrocarbons in our oceans. Our oceans and waterways support incredibly vast and diverse biospheres. Habitats that not only support an incredible array of wildlife, but actively help to lessen the effects of climate change. Our oceans are an incredibly powerful carbon sink. Absorbing a quarter of the carbon dioxide released since fossil fuels entered widespread use, it has also trapped an estimated 90% of the excess heat created by climate warming gases.
This has come at a cost, however. The oceans increased levels of acidity, lowering levels of oxygen and changing current patterns threaten not only marine habitats, but the ocean’s ability to support life on Earth. Oceans aren’t just one of the areas affected by climate change, they’re a crucial key to the solution.
How can we begin to tackle the issue of water pollution?
The plastic that makes its way into our oceans starts out on land. Large amounts of refuse and litter can find their way into the inland canals, rivers, and streams which lead to our seas. The problem is compounded enough in our inland waterways. Increased levels of plastic in the marine habitat can massively offset the chemical balance of the water, leading to increases in algal blooms, which can be devastating for marine flora. This has huge effects for fish and other wildlife, whose food sources are diminishing due to the chemical changes in marine environments.
By cleaning waterways, we can actively prevent the huge amounts of plastic making their way into oceans. Large scale clean-up efforts may be a long way off, however, by working to stop the problem at its cause, we can reduce the effect that plastic waste is having on our oceans and prevent more waste from poisoning the marine biosphere.
Devices like Jellyfishbot are revolutionising clean-up efforts around the world. By removing elements of human risk from attempts to restore our environment, we make the job significantly more achievable without causing unnecessary hazards for workers.