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An Autonomous Sailing Robot To Clean Up Oil Spills 62

Posted by Roblimo
from the sailing-without-human-help dept.
rDouglass writes "Protei is a low-cost, open-source oil collecting robot that autonomously sails upwind, intercepting oil sheens going downwind. This crowd sourced, open source hardware, collaboratively developed project could help prevent the tragedy of the next oil spill. Furthermore, it is a prime example of what people can do together when they collaborate, working together on the research and development, design, and funding. Licensed under the Open Source Hardware (OSHW) license guarantees that as many people in all parts of the world will benefit from this effort as possible."
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An Autonomous Sailing Robot To Clean Up Oil Spills

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  • Unsinkable (Score:4, Insightful)

    by seepho (1959226) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @02:59PM (#35769104)
    Haven't we learned by now not to call any sort of seafaring vessel unsinkable?
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @03:05PM (#35769152) Homepage Journal

    could help prevent the tragedy of the next oil spill.

    The slick on the surface isn't "the tragedy" of these oil spills. Most of the tragedy is below the surface, where TV cameras and congressmembers won't see it.

    I welcome anything good at cleaning up our messes. Especially a device this open and energy efficient. But let's not pretend that cleaning up the surface could possibly "prevent the tragedy". By the time this thing is out there cleaning up, most of the tragedy has already gone down. And pretending it's OK is exactly what the oil drilling biz depends on people thinking so the oil drillers don't have to invest anything in actually preventing the next tragedy.

  • Re:OSHW (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday April 09, 2011 @03:07PM (#35769164) Homepage Journal

    Unless oil drillers are required by law to pay someone for devices like this one. In that case, there'll be lots of people making them in quantity, especially without the intellectual "property" obstacles and costs.

    And if they're not required by law, it doesn't matter how closed or proprietary they are: oil driller will never spend a cent on them, no matter in whose interests (including their own) it would be.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

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