There is a depressing amount of trash in our oceans, and a lot of it is washes up on beaches. [Glenn Morris] has turned collecting all this trash into a favourite pastime, using a series of custom radio-controlled Litter Buggies to haul the load.
The most basic versions of these buggies are off the shelf RC rock crawlers, usually a Traxxas TRX-4, with a basket mounted in place of the body. However, [Glenn] has developed the buggies far beyond that, making extensive use of 3D printing to create purpose-built trash haulers. He has created several frame systems to hold removable baskets, buckets, lights and tools. Most of the buggies use lithium power tool batteries to allow quick swapping, and the electric motors, ESCs and gearing is selected for low speed and high torque. Since the buggies spend a lot of time exposed to salt water, almost all the steel hardware on the chassis are replaced with stainless steel. To allow for one handed control, [Glenn] attached 3D printed levers to the steering knobs of the standard RC controllers, allowing steering to be done with his thumb.
We really like what [Glenn] has been doing with these buggies, and think they might be a good platforms for adding some autonomous capabilities. Add a smartphone for target following or obstacle avoidance, or some solar panels and a GPS autopilot system.