Monday, July 30, 2012

A Robot That Picks Up Trash? You Bet!

Yesterday on the Charles River, we had yet another iffy-weather day, but that did not stop the kids from learning something new and very exciting! Community Boating had a special guest yesterday -- the crew from the Rozalia Project was in town to show off their amazing "robot" that swims underwater to pick up trash! Straight from their website, "Rozalia Project is unique and action based taking trash out of the water, rather than just pointing at it, and operating nationwide from docks and shorelines and throughout New England from the record-breaking circumnavigator and Ted Hood 60’, American Promise. We connect people of all ages to their underwater world and inspire them to be part of the solution by using underwater robots (ROVs) and sonar as well as nets to locate and remove marine debris. We are committed to accurate data collection and working with stakeholders (sailors, fishermen, boaters, citizens, schools, town leadership and more) to clean up and forward solutions to the problem of marine debris..."

The amazing underwater robot

Hillel and Tommy admiring the collected debris from the river
Recording the mysterious findings!
A sample of the debris

Watching the robot on the computer screen "swim" underwater was fascinating, and the kids loved watching the crew try to navigate the robot's claws to pick up the pieces of trash/marine debris.  The crew even allowed the boys to help them record the findings, along with using the net to capture the debris from the robot's claws!

Along with the excitement over the Rozalia Project, we ended this week at the river on a high note, by catching lots and lots of sunfish! One of the girls decided to try something new for bait -- sliced ham, that she brought from home. Fortunately, the fish bought in, which was good news for the kids. Next week promises to bring even more exciting adventures full of eels, sunfish, crabs ... and perhaps even more ham bait?!

-Ashley Wakefield, Senior Harbor Educator at Boston Children's Museum and Community Boating

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