Protei is an oil spill cleaning machine. Protei is a family of unmanned robots (drone) that sails. It is articulated and some versions are inflatable. Oil drifts downwind, so Protei need to be able to sail upwind to capture more oil. Protei is an innovation using conventional technologies, it is therefore immediately possible to build it at a low cost with conventional materials. Protei is developed Open hardware, so everybody can use, modify and distribute our designs. Besides oil spill cleaning many other applications are envisoned for this revolutionary drone.
_ One Protei (001, 002) can be remotely controlled from the shore. But the idea is to build a Protei that has sensors (005) in order to navigate autonomously. The objective is to make a fleet (many) of Protei that would communicate and swarm together, piloted by swarm algorithm, avoiding collisions and optimizing ocean cleaning patterns.
_ We do not know yet. We need to build a Protei at real scale (probably about 8m tall all together - 10 meters long without the tail / payload) to be able to declare officially how much oil one machine can collect. This number will be confirmed after test. We are in Research & Development phase now. A conventional oil absorbing boom can absorb up to 20 times its own weight in oil. With a 20m + tail, that represent several tons of oil, yet we cannot declare these as our performance with a time performance indicator.
_ There are lots of interesting oil spill cleaning technologies out there. Protei main advantages are :
- it does not expose the health of cleaners.
- it can go very far away from the shore.
- it can operate continuously at night or in storm condition.
- it will probably be much cheaper than existing skimming technologies.
- it is flexible so it does not constitute a danger for fast moving vessels.
- it is designed open-source. There are oil spills everywhere in the world, so making an open-source technology will help developing countries set up their own technologies based on Protei.
_ What we are developing is the propulsion head. Protei pulls a long conventional oil absorbing boom, so
- the performance of the absorbent
- the weather conditions (wind, waves, currents)
- the consistency (viscosity) and chemistry of the oil
are variables that determine the efficiency of Protei.
We do not develop oil sorbent, we focus on the propulsion head, Protei.
Typically, a conventional oil absorbing boom can absord up to 20 times its own weight of light oil in regular wave conditions. We are aware that thick oil tends to coat the outside of sorbent booms leaving the inside dry and light : Protei is more specifically for light oil.
_ We are working very hard to complete the first fully functioning prototype for September 2011.
- you can squeeze an oil boom like a sponge to extract oil
- you can heat a boom up to gasify oil - the first step of the refinery process.
- you can recycle the boom + oil by either organic or chemical processes.
- unfortunately, many oil booms end up in landfills, with high risk of contaminating the water table below.
_ You do not have to take it to shore, Protei comes back to you the same way it went out. The primary idea is to have recycling plant on land, but if the oil spill happens too far from shore, it is possible to have a Protei mother-ship that is a "floating recycling center". The design of the oiled booms recycling facility is another project, not Protei. We encourage this research to be developed on the Open_Sailing website.
_ You can't buy Protei YET! We haven't build yet a version of Protei ready for production, but we one day will - once we have a stable release that is environmentally sound and that we have all agreed of the price tag and commerce process. What you can buy now, is to help us build Protei by donating to us. [setting up donation button soon].
_ Yes, you can use Protei design if you
- cite your source (us) adding a URL to us (http://protei.org)
- you can take our design if you also share back your design with us, it is fair :).
We are trying our best to comply with the licensing as defined by "open hardware" - read below.
_ Absolutely. That's the whole point of making this open hardware - so you can fork protei and make your version. What we would love to see, is other people build their own Protei for their specific application and add their designs to this website with a serial number so it is all indexed and easier for all of us to collaborate.
_ Absolutely (again)! Protei is a powered by the wind and surface currents. The plastic concentrates in the oceans following these weather patterns forming massive plastic patches. We are only starting to discover the incredible amount of man-made pollutants in our oceans. Protei may be part of the solution, especially because it is using natural energies to capture pollutant moved by natural mediums (wind, currents, waves etc).
_ Indeed. The low cost and high cargo potential of Protei make it a very promising ocean research framework. Protei is initially developed to pull oil absorbing booms that can absorb 20 times their own weight - to say it is a very versatile propulsion machine for a great variety of payloads.
_ Ocean cleaning and Environmental research are our priorities for the time being. We expect Protei to develop and serve commercial applications such as pulling dracones. if you have even more applications in mind - please suggest.
_ To our knowledge, it is.
_ You are encouraged to let the world know about this new exciting technology.
- You can share our general link : http://protei.org
- our editing and page specific link : https://sites.google.com/a/opensailing.net/protei/
_ Most pictures can be found here : http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/sets/72157624542692308/
_ You can :
- Join our team : get in touch with our manager Piem Wirtz <email@example.com>. Check out our "to do list" : whatever your expertise, you can help us from designing Protei hardware and software, to building it, to clean the code of this website, contribute with ideas, possible partnerships, helping us finding competitions we could win etc.
- Donate [Donate button will be set up soon]
> How can I be kept informed about Protei's development?_ The easy way is to join the Open_Sailing Facebook group : http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=50492762861.
You can also request to be added to the "insider" mailing list - send an email to <firstname.lastname@example.org> to be added.
_ You can request editing permission to <email@example.com>. Send an email explaining how you would like to participate to Protei and we will create you an <firstname.lastname@example.org> address with which you will be able to edit every single page of http://protei.org and http://opensailing.net with the same ID and Password combination. Every page has a 'sign in' button at the bottom left in the footer.
_ The principles behind Protei 1, 2, 3, 4 have been invented by French-Japanese member Cesar Harada (articulated sailing boat + upwind tacking capturing wind from both sides) but the project has been open hardware since the very beginning. Cesar invented Protei at night in his kitchen while he was working at MIT with Sey Min (randomwalks Korea) - they came up together with the name. In its early stages Protei has been facilitated by LA Bucket Brigade, Earl Scioneaux III, Jessica Rohloff and Suzette Toledano in New Orleans. The TED network, including Nate Mook and David Troy immensly helped Protei take over. Quickly the project became a collaboration between Open_Sailing and randomwalks (Protei005), but soon V2_ The Institute for the Unstable Media in Rotterdam decided to support the development of Protei. Protei is now a team effort, joined by the design collective Amorphica (USA, Mexico) and many independent architects, designer, engineers, inventors, researchers, students, retired geniuses, makers, DIYers, Open Hardware advocates.
Protei is an international collaboration and you can participate too!
_ Certainly do ask more questions, questions are our fuel to move forward, if you don't have permission to edit this website yet, please add questions below as comments or send us an email - your question may be added to this page. Thank you very much.
_ Just send an email to <email@example.com> and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks for your patience.