Protei, the Sail Bot that Cleans Up Oil

Allison Guy
December 14th 2011

Protei is a sailing robot that's designed to clean up oil spills without human assistance. After sailing upwind, the bot drifts downwind, zigg-zagging across the surface to absorb oil in its long, tail-like boom. Since Protei is self-righting, it will be able to operate even under hurricane conditions, keeping human crews out of danger from both high winds and toxic chemicals. The robots can be operated by remote control, or can be programmed to work together as an autonomous swarm.

Though it's currently only a prototype, the eco-friendly, open-source Protei may some day radically change how we clean up the ocean. Though it was originally designed to sop up  future Deepwater Horizons, modified Protei could possibly be used to gather plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.

More photos after the jump.

Thanks to Alex Adriaasens. Photos via Cesar Harada's Flickr page.

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Should men be able to give birth to children?


Joyce Nabuurs: To me this question seems to be a logical next step in the emancipation movement of the past century. More and more women entered the workspace, but the responsibility for pregnancy and childrearing remained female.

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