Featured Image Credit: Rachel Lallen sack
A young girl just invented a robot that could help to save our oceans from the threat of microplastics. Although Anna Du is only 12, she successfully created a robot that has a goal of picking up plastic in our ocean. The robot is an ROV, remote operated vehicle, that is able to move through water and clean up plastic from the ocean floor.
The seventh grade science project landed her into the top 30 finalists in the Broadcom Masters competition. This is one of the top STEM contests in the world for aspiring scientists. Du’s robot is constructed mainly with PVC pipes, but the design was inspired by famous ROVs like the Curiosity on Mars and the Nereid at Woods Hole.
In addition to the basic movement functions, Du incorporated different types of sensory information into her ROV. Through acoustic, chemical and biological sensors, the ROV is capable of collecting small microplastics on the seafloor. In addition to the sensors, the ROV is equipped with a camera with various types of light to spot plastic. The lights are designed to help the plastic stand out from the background environment of the ocean.
It is a very encouraging to see this young girl work towards solving an important issue such as microplastics, with her invention. Hopefully young minds will continue to build better ways to help our oceans thrive.
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