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Protei V6 Plastic Bottle Prototype

posted Feb 6, 2011, 9:17 PM by Julia Cerrud   [ updated Feb 6, 2011, 11:25 PM ]
When we first joined Protei development team we took some time to review the material and research documented on this site and we were really drawn to version 002 and it's animal like movement, however the more we studied subsequent versions, we  strove to build on the additional properties that these new versions had bestowed on Protei while trying to keep the animal like form and movement.
We began our first Amorphica protei brainstorming session by reviewing some research that Mario Saenz, who is the project manager for Protei within Amorphica, had done. We found Plastiki, a manned sailboat made entirely out of plastic soda bottles which was meant to complete a trip around the world.

When talking about Plastiki what most stood out to us were it's differences from Protei: While Protei will be a fleet of unmanned open-source sailing drones, Plastiki was meant to be manned and capable of protecting it's crew for long periods of time. Also, Plastiki is mainly a conventional sailing catamaran made almost entirely out of plastic bottles,  Protei takes sail boat principles, applying them to a new sail-ship form that will be constantly improving and evolving due to the open source nature of the project. We were very attracted to the idea of using soda bottles as the ship's body for several reasons:
a] they are readily available all around the world
b] soda bottles almost always float, except if they become heavily flooded or damaged
c] constructing the ship's body out of soda bottles would make it so that if one bottle becomes damaged or flooded, there will stil be several other bottles acting as air chambers keeping protei afloat.

After the first brainstorming session we came up with several ideas:
You can see close-ups of our sketches here
During our brainstorming session we also decided to come up with some sort of module made out of plastic bottles. Our nature is to design pre-visualizations to figure out details of our work, so we knew we would be experimenting a lot with 3D models. Here are some images of our first ideas for modules and how they could interact with one another. These are some of the results of our 3D experiments.

Here and here you can see some videos of how the modules could behave when sailing.

When we talked to Protei lead designer Cesar Harada about our ideas and progress we also brainstormed some more with other members of our Protei team.
We have been inspired by flexible marine mammals throughout our process:

Thus we started modeling a version of the structure [bones] Protei that could be cushioned  by plastic modules and had several masts.
Here are some images:

You can see some more images here.