here's our story:
our goal: TO HELP OUR SOCIETY by CLEANING OUR ENVIRONMENT
I adapted ArduPilot, an opensource software intended for autonomous flying drones for the SeaSkimmer's navigation.
The boat is currently capable of remote control and GPS waypoint navigation. We are currently working to implement our trained object detection model onto our boat using an onboard NVIDIA Jetson graphics processing unit.
For the last half year, we have been designing, manufacturing, and testing the first iteration of our drone. The boat has fiberglass pontoons and uses components from a treadmill as its conveyor belt to pick up floating trash.
I designed a few options for our concept models. I tried to strike a balance between imagination and reality when making these.
The majority of these models use a tri-hull design. The two small front pontoons provide ample space for trash intake, and the large back fuselage has a large storage volume.
The boats will have solar charging onboard, and depending on the use-case, may not need another power source. This self-sufficiency would drastically simplify the system, as each boat could have a self-contained, sealed electrical system.
The boats will have an onboard trash compactor/shredder. Since the trash is floating, by definition, it is not very dense and it can be compressed so we can store more. Solar-powered trash compacting garbage cans are a widespread and reliable technology which we can apply here.
In the future, we hope to make 'hubs' where the SeaSkimmers will dock, charge, deposit their garbage, and occasionally be serviced. The hub is modular so the system can easily scale to any port. The method of docking is important, depending to what degree of autonomy we will reach, and whether we expect the SeaSkimmers to charge while docked. We may use inductive. Their form factor is an important consideration, as the ports may want to place these hubs and SeaSkimmers in cramped spaces.