Drones, like this one, might be the key to cleaning up the world’s beaches and oceans in the future. University of Louisville Bioengineer Ayman El-Baz and his team are working with Abu Dhabi University to link artificial intelligence and drones with cameras to a garbage collecting boat. Here’s how it would potentially work: the drone with GPS flies over beach areas with cameras recording and transmitting video to spot trash in the water and its exact location. This is a small prototype of what that robotic trash collecting boat might look like. The one getting the signals on where to locate and collect the trash. The technology is being tested first in the Arab Gulf. One hurdle is figuring out a way to tell the difference between small boats, large rocks, and other objects that aren’t trash in the water. That’s where UofL comes in. El-Baz’s bioengineering team usually works on medical imaging technology. They’re using that expertise to do something just a little bit different, figuring out how drones, video images, and robotic sea-faring garbage collectors might be an inexpensive way to start cleaning up waterways.