The Maco robotic detection fish, designed for use in rivers, is a groundbreaking innovation. Maco efficiently detects microplastics and chemicals in the water, thereby contributing significantly to environmental conservation efforts.

Maco robotic detection fish: Measure Analysis Clean Observe

The Maco detection robot fish is an autonomous underwater vehicle designed to navigate Dutch rivers in search of pollution and its source.

Equipped with a camera system utilizing UV light, Maco measures the presence of (micro)plastic particles, effectively detecting plastic pollution using intelligent software that precisely quantifies the amount of plastic detected. Additionally, with a chemical detection probe, Maco can identify other pollutants such as carbon compounds like petroleum, heavy toxins, and metals.

Once Maco identifies pollution, it remains within the contaminated area, signaling cleanup teams and allowing itself to be retrieved from the water along with the pollution.

Maco swims in a school of fish to facilitate thorough pollution detection. The school collaborates, continuously measuring and searching for different values. Wherever the values are highest, the school moves towards, enabling the robot fish school to precisely locate the source of pollution. Real-time communication within the school ensures efficient tracking of the highest pollution concentrations. Maco can also be deployed to monitor industrial discharges by releasing the school of fish into the discharge area, potentially transitioning towards a paid monitoring system for polluters.

This concept was developed during a PWN (Puur Water Natuur) hackathon.

Interactive 3D model: maneuver the model using your mouse or fingertips. Double-click for full-screen view.

Clean rivers and surface water are of paramount importance for the entire world, and with our Maco robotic detection fish, we strive to contribute to a better world.

After all, all rivers lead to the oceans and seas, where (micro)plastic particles have become significant problems. Maco operates on the principle that what doesn’t enter the river doesn’t pollute it. Therefore, by cleaning the river, we prevent pollution from reaching the sea.

By positioning a group of our Maco fish at the national borders, we can monitor the pollution coming from neighboring countries and influence better legislation and regulations within Europe.

Maco can also station itself near factory discharge pipes to ensure compliance with quotas.

Everyone who enjoys the river bears responsibility for its preservation.

Using technology to make the Earth habitable is what we believe in at ABID.

To make Maco tangible, we have created a highly detailed 3D model using our SLA 3D printer.

Designed by using Fusion 360 to easily create a complex curvature 3D model and rendered in Keyshot to create a clear vision and presentation on the concept. This model has also undergone testing in a basin, albeit with basic technology, as a proof of concept.

If you find this concept exciting and believe you can bring it to fruition, we would love to personally explain the concept to you and show you the prototype. Please schedule an appointment with us; you are warmly welcome.

For scheduling an appointment, please visit our contact page.


Year: 2016

Client: PWN plastic free rivers hackaton

Status: Conceptueel idea, a 1-on-1 prototype has been created and ‘swam’ in a test basin.