James Dyson, the man for whom his many vacuums are named, is no longer satisfied with just cleaning the kitchen and living room floors of millions of households.
The inventor has set his sights on the far grander and more challenging goal of ridding the rivers of the world of pollution.
Dyson recently unveiled a concept for a special “vacuuming” barge meant to move slowly up and down rivers, removing plastic debris and various forms of pollutants.
There is a logical reason to aim at cleaning our rivers of all that problematic debris: These items will eventually be flushed into the Earth’s oceans.
The large bodies of water are filling up with garbage at an alarming rate.
This concept could prove to be just the solution needed to cut back on ocean pollution or even eliminate it altogether.
— HuffPostUKTech (@HuffPostUKTech) April 18, 2014
When speaking with FastCompany, Dyson explained his concept in further detail:
Large skim nets unfurl from the rollers at its stern and are anchored on each side of the river. Hydraulic winches wind them in and out. The nets face upstream and skim the surface of the river for floating debris.
The plastic waste is shredded on board and then different grades of plastic are separated by a huge cyclone–very similar to the way our cyclonic vacuums work.
The vacuum man also revealed to FastCompany that he initially expected the machine would function in a fixed capacity at certain locations along the rivers.
— Roman DaSilva (@Foxmental_X) April 15, 2014
Dyson said he eventually abandoned the original concept after realizing that boats would provide the mobility necessary to meet the scale of work required.
While his vision is an impressive one, Dyson understands that it’s the easiest part of the journey toward making the vacuuming barge a reality.
“It would need to be prototyped, tested, and refined and that’s the hard part,” said Dyson.
As difficult as it might be to bring this concept to life, Dyson is not a man easily deterred.
It's just a matter of desire: James Dyson wants to build a giant floating vacuum to clean rivers http://t.co/j8FFyNx3YQ
— Preben Ormen (@prebenormen) April 18, 2014
It will be awesome if Dyson can build one for earth's orbit as well http://t.co/ukf4hdjUoz
— shivraj asthana (@ashivraj) April 14, 2014
This is someone who went through over 5,000 versions of his very first vacuum before he found the right one to market.
As time passes and technology advances, Dyson is confident he’ll be able to create a pollution-eliminating barge.
Hopefully the invention comes before it’s far too late to reverse the ocean pollutant trend.
Image via Wikimedia Commons