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Published on April 13th, 2011 | by Jo Borrás

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Protei Sailing Drones Use Wind Power to Clean Up Oil’s Mess {VIDEO}

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April 13th, 2011 by  

The next time “big oil” makes a mess (and you know they will), it can be cleaned up quickly and safely by a flotilla of small, inflatable sailboats dragging oil-absorbing “tails” across the water.  At least, that’s the thinking behind Cesar Hereda’s “open-source” Protei concept, which is rapidly picking up pace now that they’ve acquired the necessary funding (via Kickstarter) to take the project to the next level by building a full-scale prototype.

Each Protei “sailing drone” stands about 4 meters above the water (est.), and is capable of dragging up to 2 tons oil in its detachable (and replaceable) tail boom.  You can get a sense of the scale of the thing in the illustration, below.

In its current state, the Protei sailing drones need to be manually controlled, but Hereda would eventually like to see thousands of Protei drones controlled by central computers that make use of GPS data to attack environmental disasters as they happen.  Perhaps more likely (and fun!) Herada has an eye toward opening up drone-control to “gamers,” handing over control of individual Proteii (Proteii?  Prii?) to online users around the world, so they could “compete.”   No word yet on what kind of prizes they’d be competing for, but I guess a clean planet, drinkable water, yadda-yadda-yadda. I want an inflatable Protei drone hat.

Check out the project in Hereda’s own words in the video, below.

Enjoy!

Image Source:  Protei, via FastCompany.

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About the Author

I've been involved in motorsports and tuning since 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the Important Media network. You can find me on Twitter, Skype (jo.borras) or Google+.



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