Open Hardware for the Ocean: Protei, a Proliferating Fleet of Ocean-Cleaning Sailing Drones

Protei is an open-source, flexible-hulled robotic sailboat, constructed to carry research instruments and environmental clean-up equipment autonomously over long distances on the ocean via wind power. The project was conceived in response to inefficiencies in oil spill relief efforts, and frustration with the unsustainable research and design costs of current robotic oceanic drones. Protei’s mission is to provide a locally accessible, economically efficient platform for the development of ocean-cleaning data collecting robotic drones. The goal is to harness human innovation, technological ingenuity, and creative design to preserve the integrity of our natural resources.

About the Authors

Cesar Harada [FR]

Cesar Harada is the founder of Protei, currently acting as coordinator under the Open_Sailing flag. Cesar (France & Japan) is a TED senior Fellow, former MIT project leader, Ars Electronica Golden Nica [NEXT IDEA], graduate from the Design Interactions at the Royal College of Arts in London

Etienne Gernez [FR]

Etienne Gernez is a maritime engineer. Currently acting as Academic coordinator for Protei. He’s working at DNV (Det Norske Veritas) in Oslo, Norway, in the Ships Hydrodynamics and Stability unit (NTANO362). He is a graduate from the University of Southampton (UK), the University of Bordeaux (France) and the University Centre of the Westfjords (Iceland) in Numerical modeling, Maritime Engineering Sciences, and Coastal and Marine Resources Management.

Gabriella Levine [US]

Gabriella Levine is an international interactive artist and open-source hardware designer interested in the relationship between technology and ecology. She recently graduated with a Masters (MPS) degree from ITP at Tisch, NYU. She is the Director of Open-H2O, a global community and US-based non-profit developing oil-collecting robotic sailboats called Protei.

Sebastian Müllauer [DE]

Sebastian Muellauer explores and invents on the intersection of the fields of art, design, architecture and engineering. His works show a focal interest in ecology and experimental humanitarian design development. In his practice he advocates values and ethics of collaboration, community and open source/hardware.