Posted by on Nov 27, 2012 in |

Protei, “an open source sailing drone”, is an ambitious, open and distributed interdiscipilinary design project directed at an issue of global environmental concern – ocean oil spills and the limitations and toxicity of conventional clean up methods. The goal of Protei is the development and production of autonomous sailing vessels which trail long oil-absorbent tails behind them. Protei thus combines ‘green’ motivations, a net-distributed collaborative design process, and an open source ethos with a conception of autonomous machine agency. Instigated by Cesar Harada after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, Protei involves an international network of specialists. The project has developed a number of sailing prototypes and several unique innovations in naval architecture. Protei blurs distinctions between science, design, art, environmental activism and political activism.