Clearbot's Year in the Real World: Unveiling Breakthroughs and Impact
It’s been 1.5 years since Clearbot was released commercially on Oceans Day 2021 in partnership with Razer Inc. In this time, our customers’ experience has been overwhelmingly positive, and we’ve learned a lot about how to improve our services to add more value. To celebrate our first year of real-world use, we’ve put together a roundup of what we learned in 2022!
Better systems to handle extreme weather!
Over the past year, we’ve seen a number of extreme weather conditions around the world that have caused widespread flooding, debris flows and other hazards. In response to these events, our team has upgraded our cooling systems and waterproofing so the robot can operate safely in heavy rainfall or high wind conditions.
Better reporting of operations
To meet the needs of our clients across different cities, our team has developed better systems to track operations and analyse data. For example, we developed a dashboard that displays the health of each robot so that we can alert customers when they need to recharge or when rerouting is necessary to accommodate for obstacles. Here is a quick look at what our dashboards look like now:
We have also improved how we report the data that we collect. Rather than waiting for monthly reports, we are now able to share live dashboards that
i) Show the status of each robot in real time;
ii) Track the number and type of objects collected;
iii) Provide maps of collection routes and areas; and
iv) Offer summaries of information for easy reference.
Expansion to different use cases including Hyacinth removal and small-scale goods delivery in urban waters.
With the help of our partners in Hong Kong and India, we are soon launching our first commercial bot for the removal of invasive weeds like Hyacinth from waterways - eliminating costly manual labour and improving the overall water quality of the city. In our conversations with clients, there has been an appetite for more use cases beyond waste disposal. So we’re excited to be partnering with local governments to pilot other services such as hyacinth removal and small-scale cargo transportation using AI-enabled autonomous boats.
Solar-powered docking station to automate charging
Another exciting development over the past year was the development of our solar-powered charging station. After operating more than 10 bots regularly, we realized that we needed a more scalable way to charge them without constantly having to send someone out to charge them manually. So in the last couple of months, our R&D team has been working on a solution to automatically charge and collect waste from the robots when they are docked in their storage bays. At the moment, we are still testing the prototype but we are confident we will start commercial testing by the 2nd quarter of 2023.
Expansion to new markets and testing in new environments
Having scaled from 1 Cleabot to 10 in the past year and a half, we have realised the variation that exists in different environments in terms of setting up and smoothly running operations. To that end, we have been hard at work over the last few months on making the system more user-friendly and flexible so that it can function effectively in different settings and be deployed quickly with minimal technical assistance. We have already deployed two bots in India and will be adding more to our fleet in the region over the next few months as part of pilot projects.
2023 with Clearbot
In 2023, we hope to create a larger fleet of bots in India performing a range of tasks in urban spaces like rivers and open waters. We are also working on a newer version of Clearbot that would be more powerful and more capable than previous models. This along with a better docking mechanism and improved routing capabilities aimed to make Clearbot even more useful and effective in a variety of challenging environments in the future.