Dubai Harbor has employed an efficient new AI-powered worker to clean up its waters. The small, floating drone is called a PixieDrone — a waste collection machine fitted with a video camera and remote sensing LIDAR tech.
PixieDrone can operate autonomously for around six hours, collecting and sorting up to 160 liters of organic waste, plastic, glass, paper, metal, cloth, and rubber.
LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sees images in 3D, allowing PixieDrone to quickly understand its surroundings, much like the latest autonomous cars.
Created by French company Searial Cleaners, PixieDrone can travel at 3 kph for up to 12 km on a single charge. The company’s website does note that the robot can operate at a maximum ambient temperature of 50°C, which could eventually become an issue in the UAE’s sweltering summer heat.
Measuring 1.62 by 1.15 meters, the robot cleaner is able to fit into tight spaces. Searial Cleaners says the device is specifically built for harbors and coastal aquatic areas.
PixieDrone is not the first waste collection floating drone to work in UAE waters. In 2018, Dubai Marina used WasteShark, made by the Dutch company RanMarine, to collect waste and test air and water quality.
Abu Dhabi’s Hub71 To Help Climate Technology Startups
The initiative was announced at the COP28 summit and will help selected startups with a $200,000 cash injection and further incentives.
Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global technology system, has launched a new initiative to support climate technology startups backed by several of the UAE’s largest public and private sector organizations.
A total of 342 startups have submitted applications so far, with the top companies being added to a shortlist that will be revealed shortly. Selected startups will receive Dh250,000 ($68,000) in incentives and an upfront cash support package of Dh250,000. In addition, the top performers of Hub71’s new initiative will also receive a top-up of up to Dh250,000 in exchange for additional equity.
Ahmad Alwan, deputy chief executive of Hub71, said: “This initiative aims to bring in different entities that have a shared mission towards climate tech […] Throughout the journey, we will support these companies, not only from being startups to becoming mature companies but also to facilitate their engagement with entities that would support them with access to capital, market, and talent”.
The Hub71+ ClimateTech ecosystem is backed by the Abu Dhabi National Energy Company and the National Central Cooling Company, who have each pledged Dh500,000 to the initiative as anchor partners.
They are joined by corporate partners, including Abu Dhabi holding company ADQ, Aldar Properties, sovereign wealth fund Mubadala, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Masdar City, and Dubai’s Emirates NBD. In addition, Siemens Energy is also onboard as an anchor partner.
So far, Hub71 has helped 260 member startups and created over 1,000 jobs, according to the organization’s website. In addition, it has collectively raised around Dh5 billion since its foundation in 2019.