Project BB, the enemy robot of smokers and friend of the beaches

Project BB, the enemy robot of smokers and friend of the beaches

Project BB

Environmental robots for the beach are certainly not new, but the sector is growing rapidly and is starting to offer very specialized categories. The Project BB prototype, for example, is an autonomous vehicle capable of recognizing, collecting and trashing only and exclusively cigarette butts. Thanks to artificial intelligence and the collaboration of Microsoft, it aims to improve not only the beaches but also the habits of its visitors.

The creator, the Dutch Edwin Bos, has specifically aimed at cigarette residues by having us a to do (with your family) regularly on the beaches of Scheveningen. Lacking as always the controls on "casual" pollution, he decided to look for a technological solution together with his colleague Martijn Lukaart. From ideas we quickly moved on to facts so much that after the first presentations the robot became a constant in events such as World Cleanup Day.

On the Microsoft side, the house of Windows has collaborated with the support offered by Trove application. The latter puts other environmentalists (or ordinary people interested in the project) in contact with the Project BB initiative. Since artificial intelligence learns thanks to images, useful photos must be collected for the recognition of "targets". In this way, the robot is able to search, collect and remove cigarette butts even if partially covered by sand.

In the plans of the TechTics parent company, there will soon be two other robots to support the unit main (to map beaches and speed up collection). In addition, other models dedicated to the collection of general waste are planned, as well as solar-powered versions. The battery-powered prototype can operate for a maximum of one hour, collecting about 10 cigarette butts every half hour. But the improvements of the AI ​​and the continuous updates are destined to increase its efficiency.

We don't know if a robot is also in the works to remove smokers from beaches, which would solve the problem faster. Or a special version that "baskets" the smoker himself along with his cigarette. Meanwhile, the aim is to raise awareness among ordinary people about pollution by bringing these robots to the most populated beaches and to events dedicated to ecology.