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Robot Missions – Cleaning Our Environment

Erin Kennedy, founder of Robot Missions with her Bowie robots.
Erin Kennedy, founder of Robot Missions with her Bowie robots.
Erin with two Bowie robots at Sunnyside Beach, Toronto, Canada. July 2017. Credit: David Kavanagh, licensed under CC-BY 4.0

Robot Missions - Cleaning Our Environment

Robot Missions is an environmental cleaning robot platform founded by Erin Kennedy. Kennedy’s first robot for this project, nicknamed Bowie, was assembled from 3D printed pieces and is the size of a small dog. With human assistance, Bowie picks up trash on the beach and deposits it into a container with a mechanized lid for easy cleanup. 

Bowie is programmed to pick up tiny pieces of trash, including fragments of plastic, styrofoam, and cigarette butts. Because manual cleanup efforts tend to focus on larger pieces of trash, Bowie can find even the smallest pieces of litter. Although small, when small pieces of litter accumulate, they pose a serious environmental threat. 

One of the most appealing features of Kennedy’s robots is that they are extremely cost-effective. They are also lightweight, making them both adaptable and easily repairable. By 2030, Kennedy hopes to have at least one robot per Ontario park. 

Through technology and creativity, Kennedy has developed a tool to preserve and protect our environment— what will you create with technology?

You can read more about Robot Missions on their site.