3D Robotics

Here's another cool autonomous vehicle project on Kickstarter. Pledge $400 or more and, if the project hits its funding goal, "We send you a remotely controlled 1m (3.2ft) long, articulated, inflatable Protei in KIT to assemble yourself. The design and functionalities would be similar to the one of Protei002 (http://goo.gl/dWG7p)."


"We are developing Protei : a low-cost open-source oil collecting robot that autonomously sails upwind, intercepting oil sheens going downwind. Protei combines conventional technologies in an innovative design that we can implement in the short term to address timely environmental crisis such as the BP Oil Spill, cleaning the ocean gyre garbage patches or performing ocean research. We need your help to build our next prototype of Protei - the first articulated sailing boat that can tack upwind pulling a long heavy payload and initiating a revolutionary family in ocean robotics. http://protei.org"

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  • Hello dear Chris. 
    I am coming back to you begging for a generous slice of your wisdom.

    We are launching Protei as a Open Hardware company and as I am writing the business plan, I would be really interested by your feedback. Can I have your email to send you the pdf of the document? In fact I would really love to talk/skype with you, if you had a little moment. My email is contact [at] protei [dot] org. Really excited to the idea of talking with you and ... happy new year !!! best wishes :)

  • Thanks a lot Chris, We might take this route. Will take this decision next week. Thanks so much for your help.
  • 3D Robotics
    Cesar: We've discontinued the original ArduPilot board, but it's still being sold by Sparkfun:
  • @ Chris : thanks so much for the post ! Will you be at the Open Hardware forum this year. We have our member Gabriella Levine who is applying to represent Protei.
    @ Hernan : Check out our video of Protei-002 https://sites.google.com/a/opensailing.net/protei/v/002
    @ GeoffreyLBarrows : Yes, that's one of the inspiration!
    @ Mick  : Thanks a lot for feedback. Yes, working on each of these points now - many things we don't know yet - that's why we are building it... Let's see! 

    002 "Articulated" - Protei
    Protei is Shape Shifting, Open Hardware, Sailing robot to sense and clean the oceans.
  • Hello, 
    thanks so much for writing about Protei on DIY drones, It is a great honour and we hope we can contribute to the community. I have called the other Protei members and I hope you will accept our group as multiple individuals

    We have been very excited about the developments of the DIY drones and we are now in mechanical prototyping phase and about to purchase a micro controller. We were trying to purchase an Ardupilot for our prototyping phase, but it seems to be out of stock... What alternative board would you suggest for our autonomous sail robot project? It can be heavy and slower than what airplane uses since it is a sailboat. We are building in Rotterdam now, but we are happy getting components shipped.

    We would really love to use DIY drones standards in order to contribute to the DIY drones community and have great discussions going on here. Ultimately we'd love to publish the manual of the first fully functional Protei here on DIY Drones. Thank you very much, and thanks for putting up this great website!

    Protei is Shape Shifting, Open Hardware, Sailing robot to sense and clean the oceans.
  • I'm not entirely convinced that an articulated boat would be able to tack at low speed with a heavy drag on the stern. I sail a fair bit (Yes much to the dismay of my wife, I love the toys) and there is always the chance you can stall when turning through the wind. The articulated design is clever in putting the sail through the wind with the bow (and rudder) on the new course but a sailboat is not pushed forwards by it's sail, it's pushed forward by it's keel.

    The most efficent and fastest way to sail is on a broad reach (perpendicular to wind direction) This is the point where you can bring your sheet right in and the sail is tight. The wind is deflected off the sail and because all of the keel in against the wind, forward movement is the fastest. When you want to reverse this direction you have to choices. You can tack (Bring the bow through the wind) or jibe (Bring the stern through the wind)


    Even though the design appears to bring the sail through the wind via it's articulation, most of the keel is still behind the wind and so there is not a lot of keel transfering the perpendicular thrust into forward movement. Add a long oil soaked rag to this and I think you have pretty good conditions for a stall and eventually having your boat blown over the top of your oil skimmer.


    I'm not trying to be a pessimist and it's a noble persuit but I'll reserve judgment until I see it tow the skimmer and make a tack through the wind.

  • 3D Robotics
    Congrats to the team! The project met its funding target on Kickstarter and will now be made.

  • 220px-Portuguese_Man-O-War_%28Physalia_physalis%29.jpgThe sail boat in the picture reminds me vaguely of the "sail" attached to a Portuguese Man-o-War marine animal. (The one that looks like a jellyfish but is not a jellyfish.) Could be a new class of unmanned vehicle? :) Very cool though.
  • https://sites.google.com/a/opensailing.net/protei/v/002

    It's RC controlled, but shows how the steering works.
    002 "Articulated" - Protei
    Protei is Shape Shifting, Open Hardware, Sailing robot to sense and clean the oceans.
  • Is there any working model (all the pics there, also on the w3; seems to be renders... not real enought) ¿? how does it work?¡,...
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