The Protei Drone-Sailboat Gets a Shakedown Cruise

by brian lam

After visiting the Deepwater Horizon’s tragic aftermath in the Gulf, Cesar Harada left MIT to engineer an open source oil spill cleaning robot called Protei. Here,’s video team trails the Protei in its first shakedown cruise and the thinking and powerful genesis moments behind the drone’s conception.

Protei is a small robotic sailboat that Harada and his team started designing in 2010 to deal with the fact that the current oil skimming technology and methodology leaves 97% of the oil uncaptured. He envisions a fleet of these sail-bots running upwind with booms trailing behind them, running counterdirection to the wind-driven slicks and collecting a lot more of them. Protei are open source, relatively cheap, and Harada’s imagination envisions Protei helping field science among other uses.

*, Protei, Cesar Harada*

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