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BeachBot cleans cigarette butts off of beaches because humans suck

Clean up your damn trash.

beachbot cigarette butt cleaner
Image: TechTics

Living on the east coast of the United States, I’ve spent a lot of time on various beaches over the years. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than going to a crowded beach that people have adopted as their giant ashtray. BeachBot, or BB, is a new AI learning robot that is looking to rid our beaches of all of those nasty cigarette butts.

Let’s be honest here, this is something that really shouldn’t have to exist. I’m a smoker myself, and it’s really not that hard to dispose of my cigarette butts properly. My mom taught me to clean up after myself at around 6 or 7, and I’ve masterfully applied that skill to everything in life, including cigarette butts.

Knowing what we know about how nasty those things are, everyone should want to get rid of them properly. But this is still humanity, so here we are. BeachBot is a compact rover-style robot that uses images and AI learning to comb beaches and dispose of cigarette butts.

BeachBot was developed in Holland by Edwin Bos and Martijn Lukaart of TechTics after the two became increasingly frustrated by cigarette butts on their local beaches. BB uses its AI and imaging algorithms to differentiate between cigarette butts and other objects on the beach. It’ll then use its arms to scoop the butts out of the sand, leaving its path clean and clear.

As of now, BeachBot is working at Scheveningen Beach in Holland, where it made its initial demo during World Cleanup Day in 2020. The company has also developed mini mapping robots, ironically called MAPP, that cruise around mapping the areas for litter and sending info over to BB.

For now, the company is still building on its database of images and AI learning capabilities for BeachBot. As BB continues to learn, it will become more efficient in its efforts and may even be able to pick up other trash in the future. We can all do our part by not leaving our trash behind us on the beach like a fucking toddler.

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