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Razer and Clearbot Are Making a Real-Life Wall-E to Clean Ocean Waste

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Razer has announced that it is partnering with marine waste cleaning enterprise, Clearbot, in celebration of World Oceans Day.

This partnership will see the two companies team up to create an AI-powered drone that cleans the ocean. Clearbot, which already uses robots to clean the ocean, says its goal is to remove 100 tons of waste through 2022.

Doing so would allow its drones to collect over 1000GB of data about ocean pollution and cleanup, and Clearbot says its drones can do all this with zero emissions. Clearbot is working with Razer now to make a more efficient, marketable, and scalable AI-driven drone to further its efforts. You can see a rendering of this drone below.

Razer x Clearbot Drone Rendering, Photo Credit: Razer, Clearbot

“We are extremely happy to have the opportunity to work with a startup focused on saving the environment,” Razer Chief of Staff, Patricia Liu, said in a press release. “Clearbot’s unique AI and advanced machine learning technology will enable and empower governments and organizations around the world to broaden their sustainability efforts.”

According to the press release, approximately 11 million tons of plastics enter the ocean each year and ocean-cleaning efforts often face “difficulties with dated technology, cost, and efficiency.” This partnership between Razer and Clearbot allows the two companies to collaborate on a new ocean-cleaning drone that eliminates the difficulties similar efforts have faced in the past.

“The newly designed and fully automated robot is armed with cutting-edge AI and machine learning capabilities that can detect marine plastics within two meters in rough waters,” the release reads. “The robot can collect up to 250 kg of plastics in just one cycle, while running on solar-powered energy.”

A current Clearbot ocean-cleaning drone, Photo Credit: Clearbot

A current Clearbot ocean-cleaning drone, Photo Credit: Clearbot

Clearbot says an onboard camera and AI algorithm detect trash and the robots collect it and bring it to shore. It works with recycling companies to get the waste sorted and recycled with the ultimate goal of making a dent in the 11 million tons of plastic that ends up in the ocean each year.

It’s important to note that Clearbot is no stranger to using AI-powered robots to further its cleaning efforts. Today’s announcement, however, represents a new collaboration with Razer to create a smarter, more efficient AI-powered drone.

“By partnering up with this game-changing startup, our design and engineering expertise has helped take Clearbot’s innovative solution to the next level with a design that’s more efficient, marketable, and scalable,” official wording on Razer’s website reads.

There’s no word on when the Razer Clearbot AI drone will actually make its way into the ocean, but this is exciting nonetheless — it’s like an ocean-based Wall-E. For more about the ocean, check out this story about a new reef discovered in Australia that’s taller than the Empire State Building. Read about this bionic moon jellyfish created by scientists after that.

Wesley LeBlanc is a freelance news writer and guide maker for IGN. You can follow him on Twitter @LeBlancWes.

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