Media outlets in Ohio, Florida highlight Clean Earth Rover’s efforts

Venture Lab-backed startup prepares rovers for deployment

Clean Earth Rovers, a University of Cincinnati Venture Lab-backed startup that’s developing autonomous rovers that clear debris from waterways, has been in the news following its announcement of a distribution deal with a Florida-based company.

The deal guarantees a minimum order of 20 rovers to be delivered within the next year. They’re expected to be deployed in South Florida and the Gulf Coast region to clean up plastic, hurricane debris, oil spills, dead fish and seaweed.

"This here is an autonomous platform; it can drive itself, it can operate itself,” Clean Earth Rovers Chief Technology Officer Robert Charvat told Local 12. "It just simply Pac-Mans and finds a piece of debris and goes for the next."

One of the rovers was back at UC’s 1819 Innovation Hub after being deployed to Florida to aid cleanup efforts after Hurricane Ian.

"When you start talking about the comfort of our Coast Guard, who allowed us to develop this technology, the university participation, the universities creating top-notch students to want to go out and change the world and that's really where you see something like this come together here in a place like Cincinnati, when a lot of people would say there's a lot of other places this could happen but the magic is happening here," Charvat said to WVXU.

The rovers, which can move autonomously or by remote control, can be used in places where it’s too dangerous to send humans.

"It’s really unmanned aircraft technology that we’ve taken off the drone and put on a boat; it works very much the exact same way,” Charvat said to Local 12.

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Featured image at top: Clean Earth Rovers' autonomous rover. Photos/Clean Earth Rovers

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A leading model for urban-centered universities, the UC Venture Lab activates a high density of rapidly curated startup opportunities that attract outside entrepreneurial talent and investors. We connect university students, faculty, staff and alumni to talent and funding to help launch new companies. Our team includes Office of Innovation staff as well as Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, coaches, curated service providers and subject matter experts.

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