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Florida cleaning beaches with litter-sifting robot

UPI – A Florida non-profit has enlisted the help of a unique robot to clean cigarette butts, bottle caps and other small pieces of litter from the state’s beaches.

The non-profit Keep Florida Beautiful said the beach cleaning robot, BeBot, was donated to the group by Surfing’s Evolution and Preservation Foundation.

“It is meant to go over soft dry sand and it sifts the very top layer of sand, removing very small pieces of debris that are often missed in manual cleanups,” executive director of Keep Florida Beautiful Savanna Christy told WKMG-TV.

Christy said the robot is not yet sensitive enough to clear microplastics, which measure five millimetres and smaller, but it can sift out anything larger than a squared centimetre.

“It does pick up plastic fragments, bottle caps, plastic straws, food wrappers – you name it, it’s picking it up and sifting it out of the sand,” Christy said.

Keep Florida Beautiful is the first non-profit in the nation to use the remote-controlled robot for beach cleaning, the organisation said.

Executive director of Keep Florida Beautiful Savanna Christy with Bebot – the beach cleaning robot. PHOTO: UPI