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Our product, known as the Marine Autonomous Remover - Plastic Edition (MAR-P), will be a small scale prototype of a surface water robot designed … Read More
Our product, known as the Marine Autonomous Remover - Plastic Edition (MAR-P), will be a small scale prototype of a surface water robot designed to collect plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Read Less
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Team Members: Griselda Cardona, Maha Haji, Sarah Thornton, and Ricardo Zagal
 
This is a project that I worked on while taking the course ME 102B: Mechatronics in Spring 2011. The goal of this project was to create an autonomous surface water robot that collects plastic. When we first started this project, we envisioned our robot being deployed to collect plastic debris in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Plastic constitutes approximately 90% of all trash floating in the world's oceans. In some areas, the amount of plastic outweighs the amount of plankton by a ratio of 6:1. 
 
Our product, known as the Marine Autonomous Remover - Plastic edition (MAR-P), is a small scale prototype.
 
I was one of the designated machinists of the team and spent considerable time in the Mechanical Engineering student machine shop. MAR-P was functioning by the end of the course and was presented at the course tradeshows on May 5th and May 6th.
 
Here is a link to our project website.
Early low fidelity prototypes of MAR-P.
Machining the shelf.
An early iteration of MAR-P being tested for buoyancy.
The original shelves within the pontoons were made of balsa wood. After discovering that it was not durable enough for this application, we designed new shelves that were then manufactured using a water jet machine.
One of my favorite instances of re-purposing during this project involved the creation of the axil. We cut old allen wrenches to size and found that they worked perfectly for our design!
The inner components of the pontoons. 
Just a fun view of the under belly of MAR-P.
The successful capture of plastic bottles!