System 001 was nicknamed Wilson in reference to the volleyball that is Tom Hanks’ friend in the film Cast Away, while he is stranded on a small island in the South Pacific. Wilson is lost in a storm and floats away. His fate remains unknown, however, oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer suggests he could have ended up in the garbage patch between Australia and South America, floating for years in a vortex, or becoming washed ashore on a small island somewhere in the gyre.

After completing design upgrades based on the insights from System 001, System 001/B was engineered. System 001/B took on the name Wilson′ (Wilson primed) as a logical step since the prime is used in mathematics to generate variable names for items that are similar – therefore, Wilson′ is a system related to or derived from Wilson.

Continuing the Tom Hanks theme, Jenny was chosen as the name for System 002. Tom Hanks named his boat in the film Forrest Gump “Jenny”, after the girl he was in love with. This boat was driven by active propulsion and caught trash. With System 002’s adapted design and active propulsion, we aim to catch plastic more efficiently and effectively than previous systems.

Given that System 03 had to be big (2.1 km or 1.3 miles in length) to increase the catch efficiency, we had an easy reference to the next Tom Hanks movie – BIG. The movie is about a kid named Josh, who is tired of being limited by the rules of adults. When visiting a fair, he sees a wishing slot machine and makes a wish to become an adult. This machine magically grants his wish, and he is transformed the next morning into an adult (played by Tom Hanks). So, Josh is a fitting name for System 03, as the wish to be big became a reality.