Protei is a fleet of pollution-collecting sailing drones. Initiated by senior TED fellow Cesar Harada it is a result of collaboration between artists, designers and scientists and as such it belongs to the intersection between fields. It is designed as a low-cost open-source oil-collecting device that semi-autonomously sails upwind, intercepting oil slicks going downwind. It is meant to be hurricane-ready, self-righting, inflatable, unbreakable, cheap and easy to manufacture for immediate response. It appropriates existing technologies so that it is possible to apply them quickly to address the crisis. The machine in development now is Protei_Oil_Spill for collecting oil spilled at sea, but being an open-source project other versions may be designed in the future for other purposes: Protei for the North Pacific plastic garbage patch, heavy metals in coastal areas, toxic substances in urbanized waterways etc. Protei has multiple facets anchored in art (beauty is vital), design (commodity is good), engineering (technology defines us as human) and science as we came up with this ground-breaking sailing technology.
Protei has been developed as open hardware, not only because it is the most ethical, the fastest, cheapest and most fun way, but because it is building a community around the technology, ensuring our leadership to serve environmental purposes.
Protei gained huge support on Kickstarter during spring 2011 and media coverage (CNN, VICE TV, Vogue Man Italy, Good.is, Treehugger, The Guardian, FastCompany, Fashioning Technology, Motherboard TV, WWOZ New Orleans), and more. It won the Artificial Life Award der Fundación Telefónica (ES) and was presented at the 2011 Open Hardware Summit (NYC), TED2011 (LA), Wereldhavendagen (Rotterdam), TEDxMidAtlantic (Washington DC), TEDxSeeds (Yokohama), TEDxBasquesCountry (FR) and TEDxSanDiego among many others.
Cesar Harada (Fr, Jp) : Project Coordinator, TED Senior Fellow
Piem Wirtz (NL): Project Manager, V2_Institute for the Unstable Media
Sebastian Mullauer (Germany) : Industrial Product Designer
Kasia Molga (UK) : Data Analyst and Visualization
Gabriella Levine (US) : Hacker, Prototyper
Etienne Gernez (Fr, Norway) : DNV Veritas Oslo