Following the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, César Harada, a Franco-Japanese environmentalist and project leader at MIT, designed an oil spill cleaning technology with his team. He ultimately decided to quit his job, however, because the research work, protected by patents on all sides, was unlikely to reach many of the people who would need to it most.
He decided to start over from scratch, focusing on an open source technology that was less expensive and relatively fast to develop. The Protei project was born: a drone capable of collecting 2 tons of spilled oil and other waste. His source of inspiration is nature: the hull of the boat is flexible, like the scales of a fish, and is perfectly resistant to waves.
Voluntary contributors from around the world (sailors, researchers, engineers, designers, entrepreneurs, manufacturers, etc.) are collaborating to develop a fleet of prototypes. And there’s no need for a research centre to bring innovators together – to talk, all they need is a Skype connection.http://scoutbots.com/