'Shawlands Sea Saviours' went through a couple of design ideas before they decided on Norman the litter-eating crab drone.
Norman is designed to fly over the water picking up litter with its claw like pincers and putting it in the hole in the face disguised as a mouth. When getting too big it will expand using the elastic plastic it’s made of. It will play predator sounds to scare fish away so it does not pick them up by mistake. When it’s around a half or quarter of power it will fly back to the operators to be recharged and emptied with the lid at the top of its head. The propellers help him glide over the water surface of the Clyde.
Initial ideas: The Sea Saviours first all worked individually to come up with an initial individual ideas, before discussing them and putting their ideas together. They choose the best parts form each design to include in a final design, so they each contributed something and could discuss changes the design fairly.
The original design was Jeff the shark drone, which swims around eating plastic collected into it's belly and held in a net. They included a vacuum which allowed plastic to be sucked into to its belly. It also includes a speaker to scare aware fish, so it does not accidentally ingest them.
The team had a visit from Dan, their mentor from Jacobs Engineering to discuss their design concepts and make improvements, but they asked him the very important questions such as his favourite crisps – which are smoky bacon Pringles.
The team realised that their initial idea was very similar to one from another team, so they decided to change it to make it more individual to themselves. The team's project manager had a big job to keep everyone positive and ready to take on the challenge following this discovery, however they persevered and came up with an adapted design.
The team were determined to come up with something bigger and better than Jeff the shark, so, they took the ideas and adapted it to come up with Norman the crab!
Materials: Norman is made of butyl rubber because it was elastic, waterproof and durable. They aimed to be sustainable by using waste and recycled plastic for the hinges and lid and a metal rechargeable underwater drone battery.
Model: The team created a physical model so people could see how the design worked. They used the engineering principles they learned in STEM class to build grabbers, which is how the plastic would be collected. The grabbers extend to collect items further away and get smaller so that it can be put into the mouth area.