Tempe Town Lake Cleaning Robot

 

Project description

The challenge this project plans to address the litter that has accumulated in the water of Tempe Town Lake.  Tempe Town Lake is a man-made lake used for recreation. Numerous sports teams at ASU utilize the water and community events such as triathlons take place at the lake. Many participants of these events complain about the levels of trash in the lake. The lake is regulated by the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rules, which govern how bodies of water can legally be managed, how the government can intervene, and quality standards for water. [1] However, due to the lake running almost directly parallel to the 202 West freeway, trash often comes down from the freeway and into the lake. It also accumulates in areas where wave breakers are used to mitigate water forces alongside the sides of the foundational wall. The current solution implemented by the City of Tempe is to have an employee with a net on a boat skimming the surface to collect litter. Due to this low efficiency method, the EPICS team has decided to look into alternative methods for removing trash from the lake. A high efficiency method would be defined as able to collect trash from the surface of the lake with less labor and time required to do so. The community partner for this project is Craig Caggiano, the utilities operations manager for the City of Tempe, who has expressed his displeasure with the litter in the lake. Ultimately, the group chose the surface and underwater robot system as the most effective method for trash collection. This option provides the most value because it is able to clean above and below the surface. There are existing models that are similar to build off of, and it is a fun challenge for the team because this gives us the ability to program the robots, and hopefully explore autonomous models for prototyping. The other options did not meet these criteria.