At his stage, the idea was very abstract and futuristic. I was at MIT and pretty disconnected from reality, I was asked to make a machine that would do everything, now. I was asked to design a machine that would solve the on-going oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, solve the eutrophication in urban area, solve the Plastic Garbage Patch in the North Pacific, how ambitious is that...
There are an uncountable number of problems in the oceans, and the scale is colossal and growing. We may never be able to make enough robots to clean the ocean, so the idea of SENSEable city lab was to develop a robot that would collect plastic in the ocean and burn it, turning it into energy ; my idea was to recycle part of it into raw construction materials to build more robots : multiply and thrive. This proposed following design was immediately rejected by the lab but we kept working on it with Open_Sailing.
The robot in the presentation below is more of a design framework - in the spirit of Open_Sailing : it is a simple basic design in which more complex and diverse functions can be implemented over time, version after version. The first generation would only collect, the second generation would transform what it collects (into energy and raw material), the third generation would collect, transform and fabricates a child machine with the raw material and energy. We put these 3 generations into an evolutionnary scenario traveling over earth's oceans.
This may be a good idea for the future, but it is very far, so for now it is good to focus on the on-going oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and do whatever we can do to address this immense problem.
This is the earliest version of Protei.