Collecta: a drone for cleaning aquatic environments

After earning a Master's in Innovation Management at Grenoble IAE – INP, UGA in June 2022, this year Pierre Bednarek is continuing his student entrepreneurship project, Collecta. This bio-inspired aquatic drone collects aquatic waste to clean up seas, rivers and oceans.

Project pitch

"Bio-inspired" by the mantra ray, the Collecta drone is intended to prevent waste from running off into the ocean by swallowing it up. It is designed for use in rivers and ports in order to "stop pollution as close to its source as possible". Collecta is a static drone, which will soon be motorised, which "swallows waste".  Since it can be adjusted in size to suit the needs of the environment, it can adapt to clean even the most inaccessible spaces, such as rushing streams or areas that are most exposed to pollution, such as ports.

Development supported by Pépite oZer

As an avid water sports enthusiast who increasingly observed pollution in this environment, Pierre began his project with a benchmark in November 2021. He came to Pépite oZer as a student entrepreneur in January 2022 and joined the Pépite Starter programme designed to make resources available to the most successful projects. He is now in contact with suppliers to develop an initial prototype in January 2023.

Testing in the first half of 2023

Pierre Bednarek Next will come a prototype testing phase to collect technical feedback from January to June 2023.  Collecta is in contact with municipalities who will serve as "beta testers". Based on this technical feedback, the drone should be put into production with potential suppliers who are "geographically close in order to minimise the environmental impact". A number of ports and local authorities in the Mediterranean region have already expressed interest in the project.
The transition from testing to production will therefore depend on whether feedback from this testing calls for the project to be readjusted.

But Pierre is not worried: "even if it ends up being a failure, there won't be any sadness, since I've gained skills, knowledge and even a personal awareness! My courses at Grenoble IAE – INP also helped me approach a project from another angle – to not just focus on the product, but to understand the needs and target in advance."

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Photo credits: Unsplash