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Meet the robot helping clean Florida's beaches

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Posted at 1:44 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-08 13:46:58-04

MADEIRA BEACH, Fla. — It's about the size of a golf cart, runs by remote control, and is 100% electric.

Be-Bot is its name, and it's a machine built to clean the sands of your neighborhood beach.

"The robot is designed to sift a very thin layer of sand and remove small pieces of debris," explained Pat DePlasco, executive director of Keep Pinellas Beautiful."

That debris includes the tiny litter often overlooked and left behind; cigarette butts, bottle caps, food wrappers and straws.

Be-Bot has been cleaning up the shoreline across Florida, and Monday, made Madeira Beach its latest cleanup shop.

For the remainder of the month, the robot will be on the "Keep Pinellas Beautiful Be-Bot Beach Tour," making 13 more stops along the county's shores, doing demonstrations, and combing the sand.

All trash collected by the bot is sorted, a visual reminder to beachgoers of what lurks behind, just beneath the surface.

DePlasco said the device serves as a teaching tool to educate and spread awareness about the damage all types of pollution can do to marine life and the planet.

"It's being mindful and careful about where we dispose of our trash," she said. "If you see something, just pick it up."

Be-Bot will head to another Florida community in August. It was donated to the Keep Florida Beautiful program by the Surfing's Evolution and Preservation Foundation.