A new robot has been developed in a collaborative project between Blooming Robotics and Technical University Delft for removing cyanobacteria from open waters. Current methods for killing cyanobacteria, such as using hydrogen peroxide, damages the surrounding nature and leaves nutrients available for new blooms.
The new Algae Removal Vessel is a fully autonomous boat that removes cyanobacteria from the water using a conveyor belt for storage offshore. The first prototype has been built and the filtering system is set to be tested this Summer to coincide with the typical timing of cyanobacterial blooms. As part of this system, the low cost TriLux Fluorometer has been installed on the front of the vessel via an Arduino platform and is used to measure chlorophyll and phycocyanin. Once a specific threshold is passed, the system transitions into an algae-harvesting state.