One of the challenges of a floating home is trash removal. We can’t simply roll the trashcan to the end of the driveway or throw it in a dumpster like we typically do on land. While we will have the aerial drone that can make deliveries between your SeaPod and the shore, the heavy payloads of trash can be difficult for the drone to handle, and it also risks spilling trash into the ocean.
Our solution for this is an unmanned surface drone which is essentially a little boat that can drive itself to and from shore. You can load the trash or whatever else needs to be taken back to land, press a few buttons, and the surface drone will automatically transport the load back to land where it will be handled by the Ocean Builders crew.
The surface drone can carry more weight and travel further than an aerial drone. With a payload capacity of 200 kg(440 lbs) for up to 30 nautical miles (55 km). These numbers simply can’t be matched on a feasible scale by an aerial drone.
Another use that we are considering for this surface drone is to act as a water taxi for people. This could be an alternative to having to take your boat back to shore, you could hop in the surface drone, push the buttons, and it will take you to shore in the same way. It could then wait for you at the marina and take you back to the SeaPod when you are ready.
There are a few off-the-shelf options such as RoBoat which could fit our needs but we may have to custom build our own surface drones depending on the limitations that we run into with commercially available options.
You can read more about this project in our Wiki. Be sure to follow along as we continue to make progress on the development of the surface vessels and the technology that will allow them to integrate into life at sea with the SeaPod.