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Le projet Protei fait souffler un vent nouveau sur la voile

posted Nov 13, 2012, 2:02 PM by Cesar Harada   [ updated Nov 13, 2012, 2:02 PM ]

http://www.lesechos.fr/entreprises-secteurs/innovation-competences/technologies/0202373179909-le-projet-protei-fait-souffler-un-vent-nouveau-sur-la-voile-510020.php

Les Echos, Protei. 2012 11 13

Great article about Protei in French newspaper "Les Echos" today by Paul Molga. 

Texte : 

INNOVATION COMPÉTENCES

Le projet Protei fait souffler un vent nouveau sur la voile

Par Paul Molga | 13/11 | 07:00
Avec sa coque flexible, le prototype Protei permet notamment d\'éviter la perte de vitesse lors des virements de bord. - Protei
Avec sa coque flexible, le prototype Protei permet notamment d'éviter la perte de vitesse lors des virements de bord. - Protei

Les architectes navals ont tout essayé pour améliorer la performance des voiliers : utiliser des matériaux plus légers, réduire les frottements, affiner la dérive, allonger le mât... mais aucun n'a pensé à articuler la coque. « En pliant légèrement le bateau, on optimise sa prise au vent. Il est non seulement plus rapide, mais aussi plus puissant », résume Cesar Harada. Après douze prototypes, cet ancien chercheur du MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) vient de présenter la version la plus aboutie d'un ambitieux projet de recherche qu'il coordonne : constituer une flotte océanique « low cost » de drones autonomes de surveillance et d'intervention.

« Quand un voilier traditionnel tire une lourde charge, explique Cesar Harada, il perd peu à peu sa précision de pilotage. La dérive n'a plus assez de puissance, le levier de gouverne faiblit, l'énergie accumulée dans la voile se dissipe. Le mouvement général ralentit et la force de traction s'éteint. »

Pour espérer doter ses voiliers d'assez de puissance pour tirer par exemple des barrages flottants, l'équipe a d'abord déplacé le gouvernail... à l'avant de la coque. « En mettant la maquette à l'eau, nous avons observé qu'elle pouvait traîner une longue et lourde charge. Partant de ces résultats, nous avons fait l'hypothèse que plusieurs gouvernails, contrôlant chacun un segment d'une coque articulée, seraient susceptibles de démultiplier la puissance de traction tout en offrant un meilleur contrôle de la direction. »

Baptisé Protei, le prototype de ce navire testé ce printemps a prouvé la pertinence du concept. Quand un voilier traditionnel vire, il se trouve pendant un court moment face au vent, sans énergie dans ses voiles. Son mouvement tient alors à l'énergie cinétique résiduelle. Une charge tractée le ralentit, voire le stoppe. La flexion de la coque évite ce problème : en se pliant lors d'un changement de bord, la grand-voile reste sous pression tandis que le foc vire plus rapidement. Aucune perte de vitesse, la traction est continue.« Le navire peut même remonter au vent », observe Cesar Harada.

Autre intérêt : avec une coque souple, le navire épouse les vagues, absorbe leurs impacts et maintient le cap dans les pires conditions. Résultat : alors que 30 % de la vitesse d'un navire traditionnel sont généralement perdus dans le clapot, Protei conserve toute l'énergie qu'il capte pour avancer, sans aucun dommage sur la coque. Plus besoin de matériaux complexes et chers pour optimiser les performances de navigation. « Nous étudions deux options à faible coût, précise le chercheur. Soit un engin gonflable, soit une construction en fibre de verre. »

Lutte contre les pollutions

La prochaine version du navire, prévue pour fin 2013, tiendra presque autant de la méduse - l'animal favori de son concepteur -que du voilier. Long de 6 mètres, l'engin sera doté d'une aile plutôt que de voiles et charriera dans son sillage une traîne de 25 mètres. L'ensemble pourra embarquer une charge de 2 tonnes : un moteur télécommandé pour contrôler la trajectoire, des batteries à alimentation solaires et éolienne, de l'instrumentation scientifique, des filets de prélèvement, un système de transmission satellite... Grâce à son faible coût, l'engin pourra être déployé en essaims pour mener toutes sortes de missions dans les océans.

La plus immédiate pourrait être le dragage des marées noires. En mobilisant une armada de bateaux de pêche qui ont zigzagué pendant des semaines dans les nappes d'hydrocarbures qui s'échappaient de sa plate-forme offshore dans le golfe du Mexique, BP n'a finalement récupéré que 3 % de l'huile. En remontant la nappe à contre-courant avec un mouvement serpentant, une flotte de Protei aurait pu balayer en plusieurs passes l'ensemble de la zone avec une efficacité très supérieure. « La pollution suit des modèles naturels pour se propager : le vent et les courants de surface. Nous utilisons ces mêmes forces pour les retourner contre le problème », résume Cesar Harada. En plus d'être bon marché, le dispositif pourrait également opérer dans une mer démontée sans exposer l'homme aux émanations toxiques.

D'autres missions attendent ces essaims robotiques, notamment le nettoyage des « continents de plastique » qui flottent en fines particules sur plus de 7 millions de kilomètres carrés dans le Pacifique Nord. Comme le pétrole, ces masses dérivent au grès des courants d'air et de surface jusqu'à des points de convergence tourbillonnaires. Une grande flotte contrôlée à distance pourrait ratisser industriellement ces zones pour récupérer les plastiques flottants.

L'équipe de Protei pense aussi au monitoring de la radioactivité en mer après la catastrophe nucléaire de Fukushima, au prélèvement d'échantillons pour la recherche dans les « zones noires » sous le contrôle de pirates, à la surveillance de la qualité des eaux côtières ou encore au monitoring des quotas de pêche. « Nous avons fondé notre technologie sur la flexibilité. Cela vaut aussi pour ses applications. »

PAUL MOLGA

GM20121007

posted Oct 16, 2012, 5:42 AM by Gabriella Levine

Date: 20121007, 6pm Oslo time


Attending

Guidelines

Date for Next GM

Budget

Costs of hiring a corporate lawyer and an IP lawyer

Kickstarter rewards

Project management

General meetings

Repository of admin documents

Trello

Roles - involving the whole Team and more

Mission statement

Prototyping Protei 10.X


Attending


  • Deborah Brundy
  • Allen Jiang
  • Cesar Harada
  • Ru Mahoney
  • Brian Poissant
  • Etienne Gernez
  • Sebastian Müllauer
  • Gabriela Levine
  • Peter Keen

Secretary: Etienne Gernez
Chairman: Gabriela Levine

Guidelines


  • Each item should be structured according to:

  • update: on the specific item
  • needs: expressed by the attendees
  • actions: to address the needs, assigned to one or several responsible, who by default will give an update at the next GM

The agenda by default for next GM follows the same items as those addressed in the present GM so that it is possible to keep track of needs and actions: do we have any unresolved need?

Date for Next GM

20121016 1600 Oslo time

Budget

Update
Gabby presents the budget version 2

Needs
  • separate Protei and OpenH2O accounts
  • separate income and expenses
  • follow the P&L standard (Profit and Loss)
  • keep track of previous expenses
  • keep track of coming expenses
  • guideline: put ourselves in the shoes of an accountant reviewing the budget
  • set a folder to collect individual expenses
  • find a software for keeping individual accounts and group them together

Actions
  • Brian and Allen to find a software for accounting

  • Everyone: to gather their own expenses and effort, including artist fees as source of income. These expenses will not be reimbursed immediately. They are used to keep track of our operational expenses.

  • Allen to re-structure budget according to P&L standard

Costs of hiring a corporate lawyer and an IP lawyer

Actions
Costs to be reported by tasks responsibles.

Kickstarter rewards

Update
Instruction manual based on newest prototype.
Prototype does not need to be inflatable!
15 Hoodies would cost 40 USD a piece including international shipping on www.customink.com

Needs
Breakdown of costs of kickstarter reward

Actions
  • Instruction manual to be produced when the prototype is built: Cesar for content and Kasia for layout.
  • Cesar to send spreadsheet with detailed costs for electronics and parts
  • Allen to break down the budget to allow for detailed cost of kickstarter rewards. Costs to be updated when ordering the electronics and the prototyping of Protei 10.0 is more advanced (Milestone 1: 20121126)

Project management

General meetings

Needs
  • Agenda needs to be ready beforehand, including:
    • actions to be reported
    • unresolved actions
    • new actions

Actions
  • Cesar to prepare agenda for GM 20121016 based on minutes of meeting
  • Etienne to release a template for GM minutes on google docs

Repository of admin documents

Actions
Brian asks the team to keep storing the documents on Google doc until migration to new server scheduled for end of November

Trello

Needs
  • creating boards for short term actions together with deadlines and responsible:
    • Specs
    • IP
    • Corporate
    • CRM
    • Electronics order
    • Sponsorship Plan

Actions
All task responsible to update Trello with their respective task according to Planning of resource document and role distribution to be agreed upon next GM.

Roles - involving the whole Team and more

Update
Ru asks how she can contribute and what is her exact role, as it is unclear for her, after not being able to attend the Protei summit.
Ru suggests to create committees and "heads of" i.e clear out the different responsibilities.
Cesar proposes to use the following org structure as inspiration:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6684108135/sizes/l/

Needs
  • Finding out mandatory legal roles
  • Agreeing on areas of responsibilities

Actions
  • Cesar to propose a simplified org. structure for Protei
  • Cesar to propose a simplified org. structure for OpenH2O
  • All are invited to look into it and find their desired position

Mission statement

Update
Deborah suggests to agree on the mission statement to prepare for the role distribution and the hierarchy associated to it.
Cesar recalls the current mission statements:
Protei: Open hardware, shape-shifting, sailing robot to sense and clean the ocean
Open-H2O: To develop and promote open technologies to explore and protect the ocean and water

Actions
  • Comment and propose amendment to mission statement for Protei and OpenH2O for GM 20121016. A vote will be taken to agree on the mission on that date.


Prototyping Protei 10.X


Actions
Oslo and Paris team to convene for a first meeting "Protei 10.0 Specs and Design”
on 20121016 1.30pm to 3.30pm


-----------------------------------------------------------------
Meeting closed by chairman at 07:55pm.

Crowd Sourcing and outsourcing problem-solving

posted Oct 12, 2012, 5:34 PM by Cesar Harada   [ updated Oct 12, 2012, 5:44 PM ]

http://www.hypios.com/product-services/seekersolver-ressources (thanks Audrey RIchard Laurent)


Or simply hiring on demand
http://www.ischool.berkeley.edu/programs/masters/projects/2012/mobileworks
There are many ways of working together and outsourcing works we're not best at. 

And also other formats : 

contests
http://www.xprize.org/



and so much more...

Genetically Engineered Bacteria Become The World’s Most Efficient Plastic Factory

posted Oct 11, 2012, 7:16 PM by Cesar Harada

Via Hei Cheng

No more making plastic from fossil fuels and creating huge amounts of carbon emissions. These new bugs eat CO2 and use it to make plastic themselves.


Today, the world consumes 120 million tons of the chemical ethylene to make the world’s most widely used plastics. Almost all of that ethylene is derived from fossil fuels. Between 1.5 to 3 tons of carbon dioxide is released for every ton of ethylene produced, which is why plastic has such an enormous carbon footprint. Now, researchers have inserted a gene into bacteria that turns it into one of the world’s most efficient factories for ethylene by eating carbon dioxide, instead of releasing it into the air.

EDITOR’S NOTE

On the opposite end of the plastic production line, a newly discovered fungus in the Amazon eats plastic, finally giving us a way to get rid of the stuff.

The new cyanobacterium works in the opposite way of traditional plastic production: Its photosynthetic capabilities means it harnesses today’s photons from sunlight (as opposed to old photons stored in the energy of chemical bonds in petroleum) to add carbon from the air to ethylene molecules. This saves six tons of carbon dioxide emissions for every ton of ethylene created: Three tons are absorbed by bacteria and three are avoided from the usual fossil fuels, says the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

“Our peak productivity is higher than a number of other technologies, including ethanol, butanol, and isoprene,” said NREL principal investigator, Jianping Yu, in a release from the Lab. “We overcame problems encountered by past researchers. Our process doesn’t produce toxins such as cyanide and it is more stable than past efforts. And it isn’t going to be a food buffet for other organisms.”

The organism--cutely named Synechocystis--churns out about 170 milligrams of ethylene per liter each day, more than the photosynthetic productivity of other algae biofuels such as ethanol or butanol. And unlike other bacterial cultures, theSynechocystis strain also grows in nutrient-rich seawater and continues to yield ethylene gas over long periods (previous attempts only produced ethylene for short periods). Natural plastic might be just around the corner. And how will we get rid of it?Feed it to the mushrooms.

Super-sponge polymer turns oil spill into floating gel

posted Oct 10, 2012, 4:09 AM by Cesar Harada

Via Harry Vermeulen

12:33 9 October 2012
Sandrine Ceurstemont, editor, New Scientist TV

Following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, many new ways of cleaning up oil have been proposed. Now Mike Chung from Pennsylvania State University in University Park and colleagues have developed a novel approach using a super-absorbent material that turns an oil slick into a gel.

The material is a kind of polymer called a polyolefin, and can quickly soak up crude oil without mopping up water, absorbing up to 45 times its own weight (see video above). The gel that forms can then be removed and shipped to a refinery, where about 19 litres of oil can be recovered from a pound of the material. This is an advantage over existing absorbents, which become industrial waste after use.

According to Chung, the material's low cost makes it a viable solution. "Polyolefin products are inexpensive, with a large production capability around the world," he says.

If you enjoyed this post, watch a forked boom scoop up an oil spill or see a micro-submarine clean up motor oil.

Protei at TEDxParis

posted Oct 6, 2012, 12:41 AM by Cesar Harada   [ updated Oct 6, 2012, 12:50 AM ]

AfficheTEDxParis2012

Today, 2012 October 6th, Cesar Harada will represent Protei at TEDxParis, hosted by the Olympia.
The presentation in french will be recorded by Canal+ and broadcasted shortly on youtube.
The day is sold out, but you can attend a longer Protei presentation in Paris for free, October 10th at the ENSCI Paris

Aujourd'hui, 6 Octobre 2012, Cesar Harada represente Protei a TEDxParis a l'Olympia.
La presentation en francais sera enregistree par Canal+ et rendue publique dans les prochains jours sur youtube.
TEDxParis n'a pas de tickets disponible mais il est possible d'assister a une presentation plus en détaillée et gratuite a l'ENSCI le 10 Octobre 2012.

Kon-tiki and dominant winds

posted Oct 2, 2012, 4:41 PM by Cesar Harada

Today, after a long day of work with the Open-H2O /  Protei team, after diner we watched the famous documentary about the Kon-tiki. 


It was a great delight to watch this film together. 
In our meetings, Peter Keen has mentioned that in order to prove the capacity of our technology, we should be aiming at big challenges, such as spending a lot of time in the ocean if not crossing one. I agree. After thinking a little bit more about this, and the Kon-tiki demonstrating that a rudimentary sailing raft mainly drifting and going down the wind could cover an average of 130 km / day (best day) - it came to my mind that a very robust little boat might be able to achieve great distances too, without being complex. 
Consequently, I made a quick search of dominant winds : 

And their intensities :

http://www.nasa.gov/centers/jpl/news/quikscat-20080709.html

What this tells me is that  a rudimentary and extremely robust sailing robot could make use of dominant winds and currents at the appropriate season and location to establish a real endurance performance. I think we should do that with Protei at some point. 

Protei at Meta.Morf, Trondheim Norway

posted Oct 2, 2012, 7:21 AM by Gabriella Levine

http://metamorf.no/?p=275&lang=en
and more photos
http://www.flickr.com/photos/52250666@N02/sets/72157631648083714/with/8044380779/

IMG_5021

IMG_5011

IMG_5012

Unreasonable at Sea: The Epic Documentary

posted Oct 1, 2012, 4:58 PM by Cesar Harada   [ updated Oct 1, 2012, 5:11 PM ]

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/unreasonablemedia/unreasonable-at-sea-the-epic-documentary


The incredible story of 11 brilliant tech companies circumnavigating the globe, attempting to solve the greatest problems of our time.

An Unreasonable Introduction:

Hello, we are Unreasonable Media and we are not your standard production company. We are dedicated, blindly and exclusively, to leveraging the power of story-telling to shift paradigms and solve problems. We have a world-class team of over-caffeinated filmmakers, graphic designers, composers, photographers, cinematographers, audio engineers, writers, and producers. The common thread throughout our team of misfits and craftsmen is that we all feel at home when working at the convergence of story telling, film, impact, and entrepreneurship.

We invite you to change the world with us by getting involved in our campaign.

What's so Unreasonable about Unreasonable at Sea?

The term "Unreasonable" comes from a quote by British playwright George Bernard Shaw:

“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man [and woman].” 

The kinds of people that George is referring to are entrepreneurs, and theUnreasonable at Sea program that we'll be documenting is a project based on the idea that entrepreneurship is one of the most powerful tools to help solve BFP's (Big Freaking Problems).  

Check out this 2 minute video we made to preview the Unreasonable at Sea journey...

After seeing the traction behind the model of the Unreasonable Institute, Unreasonable at Sea will take a new approach. Instead of uniting entrepreneurs in the entrepreneurial hub of Boulder (as Unreasonable Institute does), we have partnered with Semester at Sea and Stanford's d.school to launch this accelerator on a ship as it travels more than 25,000 nautical miles around the globe to 14 international destinations including:

Over the course of the 100 day accelerator, we will document 11 technology companies as they…

  • Explore the local economies of 13 countries where they will experiment in taking their technology to market and will bridge connections with top government officials, foundations, venture capitalists, and serial entrepreneurs,
  • Bring 2-3 core members of their founding team for the entirety of the program
  • Be mentored by 20 world-class serial entrepreneurs and innovators who will join us on the ship,
  • Be connected to and form relationships with top-tier globally centric venture capital funds and foundations,
  • Go through an intensive accelerator led by the founder of the Unreasonable Institute and the founder of Stanford’s d-school,
  • Live, travel, and work with 10 other extraordinary companies and their teams,
  • Live, mentor, and learn from the over 600 undergraduates who will be studying abroad on Semester at Sea throughout the entire voyage, and
  • Circumnavigate the globe on Semester at Sea’s MV Explorer (fastest cruise-liner in the world).

Who's On Board?

We don't know if we can stress it enough; these ventures are seriously mind-blowing.  Their technologies are applicable to solving problems that exist all over the world, and they're ready to expand their ventures across international borders.


Who Are the Mentors?

We've got some absurdly awesome mentors to help teach these entrepreneurs a thing or two about how to change the world.  From the creator of ER, to the lead designer of the Google Glasses, a Nobel Laureate to a the founder of Word Press, who knows what kind of productive collisions will occur on board the ship.

There's still more to be announced: who knows who else might be joining the Unreasonable Mentors...There's still more to be announced: who knows who else might be joining the Unreasonable Mentors...

You can view the full list of all-star mentors HERE.

Our History with Unreasonable:

Three years ago, we started producing short documentaries about entrepreneurs attending the Unreasonable Institute in Boulder, Colorado. Over time, we fell in love with telling their remarkable stories, and we're proud to say we've told the stories of over 70 entrepreneurs from 40 countries around the world. These entrepreneurs came from every corner of the world, and lived together under the same roof for 6 weeks, learning from world-class mentors, and worked to scale their businesses that are designed to solve world’s biggest problems. From a Liberian civil war refugee getting former child soldiers out of poverty through cocoa production, to a 19 year old girl from Pakistan fighting against the tradition of honor killings, we've been fortunate to meet some incredible people, and we've come to realize that our storytelling abilities are powerful tools to inspire others to follow in the footsteps of these incredible real-life “superheroes”.

Here's an example of one our latest "Entrepreneur Spotlights":

Our stories about the entrepreneurs attending the Unreasonable Institute have been shown to a wide audience in various formats around the world including the UN's 2010 World Peace Day, a 19-part series featured on Fast Company's Co-Exist website, and the newly formed unreasonable.is website. 

Why We Need The Cash:

Semester at Sea has given us unprecedented access to living, eating, and sleeping on their ship for free, but we need your help to take this to the next level: our journey can be made above and beyond Unreasonable expectations with your help!

So why do we need the cash? To take this thing from good to great.

Our goal is to raise $50,000 for the bare necessities for the voyage - every dollar beyond that goes to making the magic happen.  

Some of the basic costs include:

  • Renting necessary video and audio gear
  • Hard drives to store and back-up all the amazing footage we gather
  • Visas to follow these companies on their journeys in each country
  • In-country travel costs like moving film gear via buses, trains, motorcycles, and the occasional rickshaw
  • Expendables used in production, like bug spray, lens cleaners, gaff tape, sunscreen, and more bug spray.
  • People and Gear Insurance
  • And of course food, water, and shelter in country to keep the crew alive.

$50,000 gets us the necessities, but everything beyond that will go towards raising the production value.  As some of you know, documentaries are expensive! Most action films spend more than $50,000 on a single explosion!

Your Virtual Passport Aboard the MV Explorer and Other Awesome Rewards

Although we wish we could take you all on board the ship to experience the adventure of a lifetime, we hope that you can settle for the next best thing.  If you back our project for some of the lower level tiers, we'll bring you along for the adventure with our "virtual ticket", which includes exclusive +Google Hangouts and video updates documenting the progress of our voyage.  

Some of our favorite rewards include specially designed artwork by our incredibly talented Graphic Designer/Cinematographer Patrick Behan.  The artwork will be featured on signed posters and postcards that we plan to send from different parts of the world.

The Official Unreasonable At Sea Documentary PosterThe Official Unreasonable At Sea Documentary Poster
Unreasonable at Sea Documentary Badge/StampUnreasonable at Sea Documentary Badge/Stamp
Personalized post card sent from a surprise destination along our voyage.Personalized post card sent from a surprise destination along our voyage.

slides and photos of Savannah Ocean Exchange

posted Oct 1, 2012, 3:07 AM by Gabriella Levine   [ updated Oct 1, 2012, 3:55 AM ]

slides (pdfs only) .

Presentation coming soon

and Protei receiving the gulfstream navigator award : 
 From left to right: Cort Atkinson, Savannah Ocean Exchange; Gabriella Levine, Protei; and Joe Lombardo, Gulfstream.

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