the underwater draper drone scans the ocean for microplastics
 

the underwater draper drone scans the ocean for microplastics

american not-for-profit research and development organization draper has teamed up with sprout studios to combat microplastic contaminations. together with the united states environmental protection agency (EPA), they have developed the autonomous draper underwater drone, a microplastic sensing drone that can detect and analyze invisible microplastics in oceans, coastal regions, and rivers.

the underwater draper drone scans the ocean for microplastics

images courtesy of sprout studios

 

 

draper‘s aim is to use this drone to help scientists understand where microplastics originate from and therefore enable them to try and prevent them from contaminating our waters. when the automated underwater vehicles (AUV) is deployed, it skims the top nine meters of the water where most microplastics are located, scanning for microplastics, testing for specific types, and ultimately relaying GPS coordinates into a heat map.

the underwater draper drone scans the ocean for microplastics

 

 

‘we designed a large intake on the front of the drone to filter a high concentration of microplastic into its internal processing unit while the excess water is flushed out the back,’ sprout explains.there are two proximity sensors located on either side of the intake that communicates with the GPS antenna to help the drone navigate the world’s waterways. the two thrusters located on either side of the processing unit that propels the drone and the rear rudders handle the steering.’

the underwater draper drone scans the ocean for microplastics

 

 

‘the large outer ring houses the batteries, control unit, and induction charger while the open chassis allows for easy deployment and retrieval. the battery-powered drone is both low-energy and self-sustaining when paired with its self-docking, wind-powered, charging buoy.’

the underwater draper drone scans the ocean for microplastics

 

 

the project is also part of a larger long-term strategic design initiative by sprout studios to develop an iconic visual brand language across draper’s different divisions and product categories. draper hopes to launch a plastic particle pollution index, similar to the world air quality index, which offers real-time air pollution information.

the underwater draper drone scans the ocean for microplastics

 

 

it would employ these drones to post measurements and trend predictions of microplastic particle concentrations in the world’s oceans, coastal regions, and rivers. draper also plans to make its microplastic sensing technology widely available via open-sourcing so others can contribute.

the underwater draper drone scans the ocean for microplastics

the underwater draper drone scans the ocean for microplastics

the underwater draper drone scans the ocean for microplastics

the underwater draper drone scans the ocean for microplastics

 

project info

 

name: draper drone
company: draper
design studio: sprout studios
other collaboraters: environmental protection agency (EPA)
type: automated underwater vehicle (AUV)

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