Industrial Design Student 2015

Robert Rouse
Royal College of Art / Imperial College London
Innovation Design Engineering

Ocean plastic pollution is a problem. The smaller the plastic particle, the more insidious a threat it poses to the entire ocean ecosystem. Traditionally, removing ocean plastics has been thought cost prohibitive or unfeasible because of the scale of the problem. The Remora system aims to change that.

By combining two technology streams, Remora offers a unique hybrid platform. this enables it to simultaneously filter and remove ocean plastic pollution whilst providing marine energy or thrust, dependent on whether the variant deployed is the static generator or dynamic thruster. Crucially, this paring means that the Remora can be deployed on a global scale, offsetting the cost of cleaning up ocean pollution with green energy. Furthermore, this is done whilst ensuring minimal collateral damage to marine life through a multifaceted approach based on carefully selected marine biology research.

Through bio-mimetic origins, the Remora utilises an innovative mechanism to allow for the cleaning and removal of plastic from its systems. In essence, this allows it to feed and swallow plastic, similar to the manner in which a basking shark feeds. Plankton, the inevitable by-catch, is returned through this systems to the ocean, ensuring that the only material extracted is the foreign one.

Based on the latest research completed by the ocean plastics network at Imperial, the highest priority areas have been identified as the most likely point for entry into the food change; phytoplankton growth areas in coastal zones. Remora actively targets these.