Today’s oceans contain 26-66 million tons of waste, with approximately 94% located on the seafloor. So far, collection efforts have focused mostly on surface waste, with only a few local efforts to gather underwater waste, always using human divers.
Above: A diagram of the SeaClear system. Credit Technical University of Munich
No solution exists that exploits autonomous robots for underwater litter collection; the SeaClear project will develop the first.
Initial footage from the test sites of the project. The footage was captured using the BlueROV2. In this initial footage you can see the differences between the two test sites, and the amount of pollution that is hidden at the bottom of the sea.