We are back out on the Pod with Grant for a quick look at the ASTRO(Autonomous Surface Trash Recycling Operations) drone. Check out this interview with Connor about the project. The guys have it in the water and they’re breaking it in and configuring the setup for it.
For the moment we are still developing this technology so things aren’t 100% completed. One example of that is the two motors. This surface drone has two motors that are used for propulsion and steering but the mounts are not completely finished yet so we are a little bit limited on how much and fast we can drive it. We have to be a little bit delicate with it until everything is finished.
Once the motor mounts are finished, we will be able to start letting the ASTRO run autonomously. We will start with a small area here in the Linton Bay Marina and the drone will use a map that we build based on the area to navigate autonomously throughout the marina. While it is driving around, it will be collecting trash that is floating on and near the surface of the water.
Another function could be a “mission” mode where we send the drone out to a Pod to make a delivery or anything like that. It will be able to navigate to and from the Pod and will be collecting trash during the journey. As you can see in the video, we can add waypoints that the drone will drive to before returning to the starting point. This way we can map a custom route that the boat will automatically navigate through.
This system is very flexible and allows us to make the ASTRO drone do almost anything that we need. It uses GPS to navigate to each waypoint in as straight of a line as possible. This drone will be a valuable way to make the areas around our SeaPods look better and be healthier, but more importantly, it will help remove trash from the ocean which is a massive problem all around the world. It’s still a work in progress but things are coming along nicely and we should be able to see it in action very soon!