Class of 2026Seattle, WA
AboutHello, my name is Vehd. My project is focused on creating a robot to remove golf balls from the ocean and water hazards. And my project could be easily expanded to remove all types of plastic from the ocean under the surface. I chose to work on this project because I used to (and still somewhat do) play golf, I have a history of working on environmental issues, and I love doing robotics. I hope to present my project at several science/engineering fairs once I am done with it.
- "What an effective design for a robot to remove golf balls from the ocean/water hazards?" with mentor Willie (Working project)
What an effective design for a robot to remove golf balls from the ocean/water hazards?
Started Jan. 12, 2023
Abstract or project description
There are thousands of golf balls in the ocean and water hazards. These golf balls pose a major environmental risk as they degrade and release microplastics and chemicals into the water. Golf balls are likely ending up in natural water hazards around the world. However this problem has been documented and confirmed in the Carmel area of California along the coastline that Pebble Beach golf course and Cypress Point golf course border. Modern golf balls are made of a polyurethane elastomer shell typically filled with synthetic rubber. Chemicals such as zinc acrylate, zinc oxide, and benzoyl peroxide are added to the rubber core to add flexibility and durability. Zinc oxide and zinc acrylate are poisonous in marine environments and zinc oxide has been shown to create stress reactions in fish, crustaceans, and algae.
The goal of this project is to create an autonomous robot to remove golf balls from water hazards. This robot could be modified to remove other types of plastic debris, however for now I will start with golf balls. The robot consists of a number of systems including a movement system, a buoyancy system, an intake system, and a control system. The movement system is responsible for the movement and navigation of the robot. The bouyancy system is responsible for the bouyancy of the robot, and ensuring that the robot has the appropriate bouyancy with a load of golf balls. The intake system is responsible for collecting golf balls, and the control system manages and coordinates all the systems of the robot.
This project is intended to create a system that is capable of removing golf balls from water hazards safely and efficiently. By removing golf balls from natural water hazards we are removing a substantial environmental threat. The robot also has the possibility of generating money for golf courses as they can sell collected golf balls. This provides incentive to use the robot to clean up water hazards.