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Can we envision a tool to optimize beach cleaning efforts or find a way to improve existing tools?

Image credit: Pinterest - Hout Bay Beach

Spook Louw
Spook Louw May 18, 2022
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Every city/town with a beach regularly organises beach cleaning operations, either organised by the community or as a public service. This usually consists of groups of volunteers simply picking up litter on the beach by hand, or using rudimentary tools. Can we think of a tool that might help with these efforts?
There are many obvious reasons to keep beaches clean. Creating a tool to optimize the process will simply make the work easier and less labour intensive.
Points to consider
  • Such a tool should not harm the ecosystem while cleaning the beach.
  • Such a tool should not disrupt beachgoers.
  • Such a tool should ideally be affordable to obtain, or easy to make.
Some examples of existing tools
  • Self-propelled beach cleaning machines are highly effective, but are extremely expensive and disruptive.
  • Tractor-towed beach cleaning machines like the Beach Rake, these are also effective but are still very expensive and disruptive.
  • Hand drawn equipment like Rasco or Sand Cleaning Tool, these seem like some of the best options, but since they require humans to pull or push them, they might still not be the most effective.
  • Conventional handheld tools like rakes or litterpickers, these are the cheapest and least disruptive options, but they do not add as much efficiency to the operation as other options.
Can we conceive of or design a tool that does not cost as much to manufacture or cause as much disturbance as a self-propelled beach cleaning machine, but still greatly reduces the effort required to clean a beach?
Or can we change the design of some of the existing examples to improve them in a substantial way?
Creative contributions

A remote-controlled robot

Spook Louw
Spook Louw May 19, 2022
I had the idea for a remote-controlled robot with a camera that streams live to the controller.
So that people could clean the beach from the comfort of their sitting areas while also having some fun playing around with a robot.
After doing some research, I found two similar products that already exist.
This one is extremely rudimentary, but it does not appear like it would be that expensive to manufacture, so if it is effective, it might be a good solution.
And this one, the BeBot, which is very impressive. The BeBot is too expensive to be a solution to this challenge though.
Neither of these is as exciting as the idea I had in mind.
My idea
The product I'm suggesting would look more like a RC Beach Buggy with capabilities similar to those of Battlebots.
  • An onboard storage area, or alternatively, a trailer attachment.
  • A spike tool.
  • A scoop.
  • A grabbing mechanism.
  • A rake attached to a trailer with a sift at the bottom that allows sand to fall through but retains foreign objects.
If something like this can be designed and produce at a reasonable cost, I think it would become a popular way of cleaning the beach and apart from reducing the workload for the people who already clean the beaches, it might even encourage more people to clean the beach in return for getting to play with a robot.
Beachfront restaurants can let their patrons' children occupy themselves by playing with these robots while cleaning the beach at the same time.
What other features could a robot like this have?
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General comments

Goran Radanovic
Goran Radanovic2 years ago
I think municipalities should consider fitting dustbins on the beach. Usually, they're at the beach's entrance, not in the sand. Some people don't want to walk twenty metres to a bin, so they leave their waste on the sand.
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Spook Louw
Spook Louw2 years ago
Goran Radanovic I agree, at my local beach, there are giant trash cans in the shape of whales to grab people's attention.
But at the same time, people simply shouldn't litter, regardless of where the trash can is or how big it is.
That said, I realize that all the litter on the beach do not necessarily come from beachgoers, it often is swept in with the tide, so even if people didn't litter on the beach, there would be trash to pick up.
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