The Robot Missions trailer on Westboro Beach has been destroyed, and the Ottawa Police Service is investigating the incident as an arson.
The trailer was used to house beach-cleaning robots, electronic supplies and extra parts for the bots.
Robot Missions Founder Erin Kennedy says, luckily the robots themselves had been taken out of what she called 'the pod' over the weekend, when the fire is believed to have happened.
Update from Robot Missions regarding the fire at the Pod on Westboro Beach. Let's not let this overshadow the great moments and progress we made this summer. A big thanks to @pdottawa, @JLeiper, the community, Ottawa Police & Fire, and the City for their assistance on this. pic.twitter.com/0NqEFZTkBI— Robot Missions (@RobotMissions) September 24, 2018
Police are asking anyone with information about the incident, or anyone who noticed any suspicious activity at the beach over the weekend, to contact the OPS Arson Unit at 613-236-3770.
In the meantime, Kennedy had set up a GoFundMe on Monday to cover insurance costs and the cost of some destroyed parts, asking for $1,700, and the community responded, donating more than $2,800 to help get the beach cleaning project back on its feet.
Officials at Algonquin College have also since offered to assist in the building of a new shed for the robots.
Thank you @UPEI21SB for showing us the shed. Would be a good fit as Bowie's new mission control centre for the community. Working together, we'll try to make it happen! @cheryljensen @AlgonquinColleg pic.twitter.com/FwqV7MQSCm— Robot Missions (@RobotMissions) September 26, 2018