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Aqatic Trash-Tracking Devices

This Optical Sensor Scans the Ocean for Pollutants

— October 7, 2015 — Eco
Cesar Harada collaborated with students from the Hong Kong Harbour School to design an optical sensor that scans the ocean for pollutants. Recent reports have suggested that there may be more than five trillion pieces of plastic trash floating in the ocean. Despite early research, many smaller particles have yet to be measured.

In order to provide more accurate data on exactly how much plastic is floating in the ocean, Harada began working with students from the Hong Kong Harbour School. The students helped Harada come up with an optical sensor that can collect plastic as it scans the water. Based on the ideas provided by the students, Harada was able to overcome issues such as the size and shape of the sensor. The team ultimately developed a prototype that will be used by the organization 'Ocean Cleanup.'

The project demonstrates how designers can work with children and young adults to approach projects in new ways and overcome design obstacles.
Trend Themes
1. Ocean Pollution Tracking - Utilizing optical sensor technology to track and measure smaller plastic particles in the ocean to provide more accurate data on plastic pollution.
2. Collaborative Innovation - Collaborating with younger generations can provide fresh and innovative perspectives to overcome design challenges.
3. Sensor-based Environmental Monitoring - Developing sensor-based solutions for environmental monitoring and protection.
Industry Implications
1. Environmental Conservation - Use of technological innovation to monitor and tackle environmental pollution.
2. Maritime/waterborne Transport - Opportunities for monitoring and preventing ocean pollution to protect industry and the environment.
3. Education & Technology - Collaborative innovation with young students and leveraging technological solutions to improve learning and problem-solving.
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