A remote controlled robot called BeBot is on a mission to help keep our beaches clean and beautiful. “Leave nothing but footprints” is a common sign you’ll see posted in various beaches throughout Pinellas County. It’s a motto Floridians love to live by, but how often do we miss small trash when packing up our beach day? Throughout July, Pinellas County beaches will see a robotic visitor to help tidy up our sands. This new technology is a unique way to captivate beachgoers’ attention on litter prevention and waste reduction in honor of Plastic Free July.
A generous donation from Suring’s Evolution & Preservation Foundation will hit 14 beaches along the Pinellas County coast. The beach Roomba sifts the top layer of sand for tiny pieces of litter that are often overlooked by families or clean up crews. It can pick up trash particles like cigarette butts, bottle caps, food wrappers, and more. The helpful robot is about the size of a John Deere Gator utility vehicle, and can clean about a football field-sized area in about a hour and a half.
Pat DePlasco, the executive director of Keep Pinellas Beautiful, hopes to use BeBot as an educational tool, rather than a long term solution to beach litter. According to ABC Action News, DePlasco stated “The reason why we’re using this is so that we can show people that what they’re accidentally leaving behind.”
BeBot will start its mission on Tuesday at Madeira Beach and work throughout the month at other Pinellas County hotspots. It is a team effort, BeBot will collect any hard to find litter and volunteers from Keep Pinellas Beautiful will sort out the small litter the robot collected. As a part of an educational event, the collected debris will then be displayed and discussed.
Don’t miss your chance to see BeBot in action, you can see the full schedule here.