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1. Abstract

In recent years there has been a huge imperative to work towards sustainable sources of energy. Open_Sailing is developing a range of ‘Energy_Animals’ – small, single devices that generate electricity through wind, solar and wave power.
Energy_Animal’s principles have implications for the energy production industry. Through developing and utilising small-scale, low-cost energy production technologies, we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and move towards a greener future. The designs from Open_Sailing can be converted to be used on land and could be of tremendous benefit to communities where there is currently no standardised source of power.


Cesar Harada, Hiromi Ozaki, Antonio Carvalho Fernandes, Gerard Rallo.

prop dimensions


Why have renewable energies not already become more widespread?
The technology is available, why don’t we use it?
Apart from short-sighted politico-economic lobbying, the main rational reasons I found are the followings :

1 – UNRELIABILITY : the electric output of a solar, wind, wave power unit depends on the changing weather, it varies too much, sometimes you have too much, sometimes not enough.

2 – STORAGE : often times, the cost of the battery is superior to the one of the electric generator…

: Often times renewables require important infrastructures to be installed in “natural” site, thus inevitably become a form of pollution.

: The infrastructure, materials and labour are produced by people, on someone’s land, using somebody’s tools, using a private or national grid, for a customer, that’s all about contract, property, trade, money, conflict of interests.

The Energy_Animal addresses these issues with a simple object supported by a set of radical ideas of what is renewable energy efficiency, storage, infrastructure and ownership.

Energy_Animal (wind-solar-waves power)


1. The Energy_Animal combines 3 sources of renewable energies to output a more regular amount of electricity.

2. It has a local storage which comprises of a recycled car battery.

3. It is free floating in the ocean, but can also be tethered and multiplied into an energetic farm

4. Does not belong to a group of people nor to a state, but just hangs around, informs you about its position and you are always free to go and collect the energy it is producing.

5. The design is open, to be built, modified and released by anyone (Open design, Collective action, network,emergent infrastructure, emergent open systems)

and the original 3d file : 392 kb sketchup 7 file | autocad12

I like to compare the energy animal to a goat : it is happily eating grass, when you want milk, you get it
Human: The energy animal can also be compared to a human, in the sense it is omnivorous (multiple energy sources) and adaptive.

Must be human manipulable

-> At sea, with the waves, slippery hands what can you manipulate ?

Energy_Animal_poster by Antonio Carvalho Fernandes


1. Accumulate energy from Sun
2. Accumulate energy from Wind
3. Accumulate energy from Wave
4. knowing the amount of energy produced and accumulated (charge sensor)
5. GPS module

6. short range networking capability
7. real-time weather : temperature, windspeed (code)

-> diagram of electromechanical functions
-> diagram of programs
-> calculation of electric consumption in mA, W, V. Autonomy required, stability required.
-> program needed



1. Lighting
2. Water Purification
3. More demand -> Navigation, communication


The research is an investigation on the possibility of designing a sustainable energy source (and its infrastructure) which has a stable energy output, making it more cost effective and attractive for investments.

  Conversation between Hiromi Ozaki and Cesar Harada Jun 12 2009 :

The world would be interesting if…
the energy animal is independent from your shelter. it is not owned, it is shared, its design open.

Each animal would be self maintained, behave like a part of the eco system, like a real animal,  let loose to go where ever
if they’re found broken or stranded, we rely on people will fix (like the danube box we saw) or give to someone local who can fix.

The design is open, easy, affordable, so people can create new ones on their own and make them go loose.
people can modify the design to suit the environment they’re in, maybe their area has more sun than wind, maybe they found a better way of making energy.
the basic system is that each animal creates energy, is let loose, self maintained, its energy shared, design opened, is small and cheap.
people without the knowledge of design,fabrication can still access this energy, because these animals are simply found in their environment,
the same way you catch a bird to eat, you catch an energy animal to eat(use) energy..
for small scale needs of energy, wide spread availability of something like this can replace infrastructure, this will be a bottom-up, CPU less infrastructure.
if you add networking capacity to them then it also becomes a self maintaining information network, the living, autonomous, infrastructure-less internet that i was talking about starts to shine through.
then you can think of systems to map where you can find these animals near you (a bit like those rental cars and bicycles) or maybe attract them toward you like swarms.  The animals can collectively act together like a super organism, may network and learn from eachother where are the best locations to make the most energy, or which areas have too many animals and which areas don’t have enough animals.  The desire of an animal is to live, just like an animal, and for an energy animal to live means to make more energy (for self-operation).  We can also artificially add another desire for them to provide.  They always desire to provide excess energy to humans, as long as there is sufficient energy for them to self-maintain.

Instead of developing expensive high-tech technology to create new energy or more energy the idea here is to make the creation of energy “grass root” basically create many inexpensive small devices that gather energy, and effectively use them.

This is really similar to how our view of artificial intelligence changed from centralized system (Chess playing, etc) to decentralized system (swarm AI, self organization) and look at how A.I just progressed 10 times faster after that.

Think local, cheap, lots and decentralized, rather than high-tech, expensive, only one and centralized. We’re actually surrounded by energy all around us,  leaves drop, thunder hits, wind blows, we chew gums the energy animal is a different way of approaching energy crisis,  it gathers small energy around us and shares this just might work amazingly

For many centuries we were bound together to a state or goverment, chiefly because it provided infrastructure to allow us to live comfortably, to have access to electricity, information, water, transport, health, we needed to pay tax to sustain this top-down infrastructure. So if a bottom-up system for these life necessities appears, we will surely feel less need to be tied to a state,
we will rely on a loose, fluid collective action I guess, and good group intension, and what would that be like? how might it fail?

Similar interesting projects and references

To do list for Energy_Animal