DEME uses dotOcean’s site automation technology to autonomously collect plastic in river
dotOcean, a Bruges based site automation specialist for maritime and defense industry, used its technology on an autonomous plastic collector on the river Scheldt on behalf of DEME Environmental Contractors (DEC) and its customer the Vlaamse Waterweg (the Flemisch authoriy responsible for waterways in Flanders).
To tackle the increasing problem of river pollution, DEME has devised an innovative solution to reduce the pollution of our waterways by collecting waste from the water. This is done with a mobile system and a fixed installation. The fixed installation consists of a V-shaped trap with a collection pontoon to collect the plastic waste from the river. A remotely controlled crane transloads the waste into a container mounted on the mobile system. The mobile system, called ‘Marine Litter Hunter’, autonomously navigates to the docking station on the shore. This vessel is an all-electric workboat and is charged at the docking station.
dotOcean was responsible for the autonomous navigation and situational awareness by using weather, radar, tidal, AIS and other available data. This data was used to create decision making algorithms to allow safe passage of the vessel and enable object avoidance. A complete framework with safety procedures was worked out and a software app was created for the operator.