BeachBot is using AI to help save shores by picking up cigarette butts.
Edwin Bos and Martin Lukaart of TechTics invented BeachBot to deal with them being fed up by worrying about cigarette butts scattered on Scheveningen Beach in Holland.
The solution was to create a robot that looks similar to the moon rover and give it arms to help pick up cigarette butts on the beach. The Beach Bot, or BB, looks like an adorable contraption along with balloon tires and its own green attitude.
With the futuristic design, according to the story by SlashGear, it’s easy to mistake the BB for anything else aside from it being a beach-cleaning machine. Disney also has its own Beachbot which measures 2.5-feet wide with puffy tires that won’t leave tire prints on the sand.
Using Artificial Intelligence Training
The robot also has a pair of arms to pick up cigarette butts from the beach. The question is, how does the BB work? Well, the BeachBot is reportedly well programmed with an AI brain which works like those of modern cars.
BeachBot uses artificial intelligence or AI and image-detection algorithms to differentiate cigarette butts from other items. For now, the BB only picks up cigarette butts of all shapes and sizes through the use of the Microsoft Trove app.
AI Developers Using Images
The app directly connects AI developers with photos that are sent by contributors as well as other photo takers in order to feed the system with different images of cigarette butts. In the future, the BeachBot might be smarter as the database grows.
TechTics notes that the BB will also learn faster once the database starts to grow. The company is now looking to amass upwards of 2,000 images and is now willing to pay for contributors.
BeachBot, however, doesn’t work alone. It still has a trove of other mini robots that help map or scan the beach for cigarette butts before the BB starts working. BeachBot debuted last year at the 2020 World Cleanup Day at Scheveningen Beach and was able to clean up to 10 cigarette butts in just half an hour of work.
Although humans might be able to pick up the same amount of cigarette butts within the same timeframe, the BeachBot is expected to improve over time as it starts to learn more. As of the moment, the least that can be done is to avoid littering especially with cigarette butts.
BeachBot is one of the creative ways that artificial intelligence can be used for environmental good. As of the moment, the BB is still limited to cigarette bots and is still learning and expanding its database. Someday, however, the robot might be capable of much more than just cigarette butts but also other possible liter to be found on the beach.