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Clearbot Joins the Flying Labs Network.

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March 14th, 2022

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We’re very pleased to announce that Clearbot has joined the Flying Labs Network as a formal technology partner! Clearbot is a young startup based in Hong Kong, and they build autonomous surface water vehicles (ASVs) for waste collection. We first learned about their good work last year when they gave a webinar presentation to the Flying Labs Network. Multiple Flying Labs came away from that presentation with a strong interest in expanding their expertise and services to include autonomous boats like Clearbot. 

Clearbot’s mission is to use robotics to build a sustainable relationship with the ocean. Clearbot’s current ASV model is 3m long and has a weight capacity of up to 150Kg. It can be used for marine cleanup, foam cleaning, water quality monitoring, and cargo movement. Designed in partnership with Razer, their all-electric, self-driving machine has been deployed in Hong Kong with the government and property companies. They plan to expand to India and Panama in the coming months.

Like Youtube is more than just videos, Flying Labs are more than just flying. Together with Flying Labs, we share a passion for robotics, not because robots can fly, drive or swim, but because they can be made to do so with greater autonomy than ever before. This autonomy is precisely what can accelerate the positive impact of social good projects, helping them become more sustainable and effective when said projects are locally-led. 

This is why Flying Labs and WeRobotics are not new to robots that swim. Several years ago, we teamed up with a university to build this autonomous cargo boat prototype, which Panama Flying Labs later used to field-test ASVs for medical delivery. The map below shows all the state health facilities in Panama that are directly accessible by autonomous cargo boats. We also explored the use of ASVs to detect early signs of Himalayan Tsunamis. More recently, we acquired this industrial ASV and promptly shipped it to Panama Flying Labs, given their strong interest in expanding local expertise in ASVs. Last year, Panama Flying Labs teamed up with a university in Colombia to build an autonomous kayak. 

One of several reasons why we’re particularly excited to partner with Clearbot is because they share our strong interest in both ASV use-cases, i.e., cargo delivery and waste cleanup. By partnering with Clearbot, Flying Labs now have preferred access to an ASV solution that can be used for cargo delivery in the morning and marine cleanup in the evening. Another reason we’re excited to team up with Clearbot because they have specifically designed their software with drone pilots in mind. As a result, an experienced drone pilot can very quickly learn how to safely and effectively operate the Clearbot ASV. 

This brings us to a related announcement. We’re delighted to share that we are already working with Clearbot and Panama Flying Labs on a funded operational project to use the Clearbot ASV for cargo delivery and waste cleanup! Clearbot is in the process of manufacturing an ASV specifically for Panama Flying Labs, and we expect to be operational in the coming months and in time for an important launch event slated for August. So stay tuned for more!

In the meantime, we’re thrilled that Panama Flying Labs is continuing to expand its work into autonomous surface water vehicles. They are truly becoming the go-to hub for all Flying Labs who want to deploy ASVs to accelerate locally-led social good projects. We look forward to working with Panama Flying Labs by helping to fully document our joint learnings to share this first-hand knowledge with all Flying Labs across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the South Pacific.

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