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Grove Boats Mini-E Cleaner, an unmanned debris recovery catamaran


mini e-cleanerGrove Boats, a Swiss company with over 20 years of experience in designing solar electric boats for carrying passengers in inland waterways and busy harbours, has now developed a debris recovery drone vessel.
The Mini-E Cleaner is a 1.20 metre long unmanned catamaran which operates debris recovery with no emissions. Being much smaller than conventional recovery craft, it could be successfully used even in the small spaces among boats in congested dock areas.
The debris recovery is operated through a recovery net with an arm extending upwards that can be operated remotely via a electric/hydraulic piston. The circular recovery net extends into the water to collect any debris between the hull sponsons and can be lifted up clear of the water for manual recovery of the debris.
The wide spacing of the drive units allows excellent control and manoeuvrability within the draft of just 0.2 metres and steering is by means of varying the thrust from the pods, while a beam of 0.85 metres guarantees a good stability. The complete unit weighs just 12 kg, which, together with its compact volume, makes it easy to carry even by one single person. The Mini-E Cleaner requires minimal maintenance.
The catamaran is self-powered by a pair electric pod drives each of which produce 350 watts and whose lithium ion batteries give the units a two-hour autonomy. Batteries can be re-powered while afloat by a solar panel mounted on the vessel’s top: otherwise, re-charging is of course possible from shore power points.