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Hong Kong marine tech start-up Clearbot: Revolutionising Ocean Cleanup with Solar-Powered Boats

Clearbot launches new solar-powered, self-driving boats to clean up ocean waste in India. The boats have the capacity to collect up to 500kg of plastic waste and other debris. Clearbot aims to electrify the marine services industry and replace polluting diesel boats.

Clearbot, a marine tech start-up based in Hong Kong, is set to revolutionise the fight against ocean pollution in India with its new fleet of solar-powered, self-driving boats. These innovative vessels have the capacity to collect up to 500kg of plastic waste and other debris from the ocean, doubling the capabilities of Clearbot's current robotic cleaners.

Founded by graduates from the University of Hong Kong, Clearbot aims to electrify the marine services industry and make it more sustainable. Utkarsh Goel, co-founder and chief technology officer, expressed the company's mission to automate the dirty job of cleaning up the world's waters and replace manned, diesel-powered boats with eco-friendly alternatives.


Clearbot initially started as a student project in 2019, focusing on helping Indonesian surfers clean up waterways. The success of this project led the founders to recognize the global demand for sustainable infrastructure in the marine services industry. Since then, Clearbot has deployed 13 boats in Hong Kong and India, each capable of collecting up to 250kg of plastic waste per day.


India, accounting for approximately 13% of global plastic waste in the oceans, is a key target market for Clearbot. The company conducted a successful pilot project in the city of Shillong, collecting 600kg to 700kg of waste from a lake in just three days. With significant volumes of trash in Indian waters, Clearbot aims to make a real impact in the country by scaling up its operations.


The new, larger boats are currently being demonstrated for commercial use in India, with plans to deploy them in the coming year. Clearbot's boats operate on solar energy, producing zero carbon emissions and contributing to the preservation of marine ecosystems.


The importance of addressing ocean pollution cannot be overstated. Over 11 million tonnes of plastic enter the oceans each year, posing a significant threat to marine life and ecosystems. Plastics account for at least 85% of total marine waste, according to the United Nations. By utilising solar power and advanced technology, Clearbot aims to combat this issue and protect the oceans' ability to act as a carbon sink.


Clearbot's innovative approach has garnered support from investors, including the Alibaba Entrepreneurship Fund, Gobi Partners GBA, and CarbonX Global. The company received a valuation of US$4 million in its recent seed funding round, highlighting the confidence in its ability to create a positive impact in the marine services industry.


In collaboration with Sino Group, Clearbot has also embarked on a one-year partnership to clean up the marina at the Gold Coast residential complex in Tuen Mun, Hong Kong. This initiative demonstrates Clearbot's commitment to creating a healthier and more sustainable future.


With its solar-powered, self-driving boats, Clearbot is leading the charge in cleaning up ocean waste and promoting environmental sustainability. By harnessing the power of technology and renewable energy, Clearbot is making a significant contribution to the fight against plastic pollution in India and beyond.

 
  • Clearbot launches new solar-powered, self-driving boats to clean up ocean waste in India

  • The boats have the capacity to collect up to 500kg of plastic waste and other debris

  • Clearbot aims to electrify the marine services industry and replace polluting diesel boats


Source: SCMP

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