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Water mirrors: the “green” robot drones that monitor water quality and plastic pollution

These small robot drones are built with recuperated plastic bottles and provide information regarding water quality


It has been said that sometimes it is solutions derived from simpler materials and objects that can be most useful for noble purposes. In fact, there are no other words that could describe better the project presented by Matteo Cristini and Alberto Nidasio, two students of ITIS Galilei di Crema (Italy).

The two resourceful students realized how important it is to avoid an exaggerated use and waste of plastic materials. Especially because these behaviors are said to be causing serious and difficult to reverse changes to our planet.


I piccoli droni che monitorano la qualità delle acque creati da Cristini e Nicasio
Small drones that monitor water quality created by students Matteo Cristini and Alberto Nidasio


With ingenuity and “green spirit” they designed and realized “Water Mirrors” that are small drones created to constantly monitor aquatic environments, especially those that are at risk of being subject to high levels of plastic pollution. In order to reach this objective, they chose to re-use “end-of-life plastic” materials, that is to say, very common plastic bottles there are ready to be recycled. These plastic bottles have, in fact, found a new life and function as “floats” for the robot drones.


The hull of the robot drone is printed in 3D and next comes a GPS module, temperature, brightness, humidity, and CO2 sensors and the small water pollution monitoring robots take on their final shape. The robot drones are guided and monitored by a specific Android app and everything is powered by various energy sources, including a solar panel.


A detail of a “Water Mirrors” robot drone (photo: Alberto Nidasio/YouTube)


I droni creati da Cristini e Nidasio comunicano con una stazione Raspberry PI, che raccoglie dati e informazioni per poi inoltrarle a un sito web. Quello dei due studenti lombardi è un lavoro i cui piani sono disponibili e scaricabili per tutti, sulla piattaforma GitHub.

The robot drones created by Cristini and Nidasio communicate with a Raspberry PI station, which also collects data and information and then forwards it to a website. The two Italian students’ project plans are available and downloadable for everyone, on the GitHub platform.

Simplicity, economy, practicality, and attention to the environment are the distinguishing characteristics of these “’vigilant” robot drones that these two students have created to provide concrete and practical help to safeguard nature. “Water Mirrors” will be at Maker Faire Rome – the European Edition 2019, the world-famous innovative technology fair that will take place from 18 to 20 October at Fiera di Roma.