H2020 SeaClear - Search, Identification, and Collection of Marine Litter with Autonomous Robots

Litter disposal and accumulation in the marine environment is one of the fastest growing threats to the world's oceans. Plastic is the most common type of litter found on the seafloor, but the list is long and includes glass, metal, wood and clothing. The EU-funded SeaClear project is developing autonomous robots for underwater littler collection using new debris mapping, classification, and collection systems. Specifically, the project will build a mixed team of unmanned underwater, surface and aerial vehicles to find and collect litter from the seabed. The project plans to use aerial vehicles to study the correlation between surface and underwater litter. The underwater vehicles will be fitted with a combined suction and gripper device for both small and large waste. The project budget is about 5 million EUR, funded by the EU, and our team belongs to a partnership of 8 institutions, under the coordination of the Delft University of Technology.

Start date (duration): 
January, 2020 to December, 2023
Project status and type: