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Oil spilled moves downwind : we are sailing upwind to capture it. Protei is an ocean cleaning and research open hardware drone.
Oil spilled moves downwind : we are sailing upwind to capture it. Protei is an ocean cleaning and research open hardware drone.
331 backers pledged $33,795 to help bring this project to life.

Protei fully equipped test!

Yes! finally we tested Protei with all electronics on board! How exciting this was - the work of the whole team, in one place, on the water. 

We took Protei on the roof of my old van to the most windy end of pier nearby.

We had a nice breeze -6 to 7 knots- and tiny waves -max 10cm- over a nice space on the water with not too much traffic.

Before we do the wet test -during the dry test- we lost control of the stern (back) motor, so we decided to test in the water with the bow (front) motor only - unfortunately we lost control of the front motor after a few minutes of test. The wireless communication always worked and so did the sail winch - which means that the 2 only things that failed were the motors. We found out later that the cylinder containing them were filled with water!

Protei sailed proudly, but because we could not actuate the shape of the hull, we saw it sailing passively depending on the trim of the main sheet.

We had Protei at the end of a rope and it was surprisingly strongly pulling the rope : good sign for our Oil Spill boom :) We were innocently playing when a big boat approached us with bright stripes…

Politie!!! The agents came close to us. He asked us a few weird questions until he got the final confirmation that we were just a bunch of harmless earhtlings playing with water. They took off, we kept on playing. lalalala...

We learnt a lot from this test and we have another test this coming saturday again. This test, our cylinders filled up with water, not perfect for an electronic project - we are re-making all or connections. We bought more powerful motors, new  actuators axes, we have a new 30% carbon mast and a new sail here! it has the wonderful logo designed by Roman Yablonski (via Jovoto)

And this is the perfect time to thank our partners, sponsors and supporters here :

  • Open_Sailing (UK, USA) is the group that is leading the making of Protei with Cesar Harada its coordinator. []
  • V2_ (NL) is producing Protei in Rotterdam, with Piem Wirtz, Boris Debackere and many more great people []. 
  • Amorphica (Mexico, USA) is collaborating with Open_Sailing to make Protei. []
  • randomwalks (Korea) is also collaborating with Open_Sailing to make Protei. [
  • Hofman and Zonen is the wonderful space where we are hosted in Delfshaven []
  • DNV (Norway) is supporting the making of Protei, special regards to Etienne Gernez in Oslo. []
  • TED (USA) amazing network of people and ideas, without which Protei would not be quite a nearly cool and open. Special thanks to the TED Fellow program organisers [].
  • TEDxMidAtlantic (USA) that was the first large public event to give Protei an audience in its very early debut, special thanks to Nate Mook and Dave Troy in Philadelphia. []
  • Kaag Watersport Academy (NL) is the lovely sailing club where we train and test Protei. []
  • (USA) is the company of the fabulous entrepreneur Gerard Cox in New Orleans, that has been one of the early and most supportive of Protei in New Orleans. []
  • Goldsmiths University, London (UK) is where Cesar Harada will start his Mphil and PhD in October 2011, continuing Protei's research for the years to come. []
  • Syddansk Universiteit (University of South Denmark) is where Qiuyang Zhou, Protei head of Engineering recently graduated from []. 
  •  Universidad Austral de Chile, in Particular Professor Gonzalo Tampier and Javier Henríquez Quezada. 
  • HTS consulting (FR), Survant and Toledano (USA) are individuals and companies that have helped Protei become what it is today by their generosity and insight. 
  • LA Bucket Brigade (USA) is the New-Orleans-based environmental advocacy group that was kind enough to let me use their office during week ends to build Protei_001 and give me access to the oil spill on a regular basis and introduced me to the nicest people in New Orleans. 

And you, of course, our backers on kickstarter!!! Without you, we wouldn't be here writing updates :) Thank you so much to you. 

And now, because traditions change, ladies and gentlemen, Protei super-team-members : Piem Wirtz for V2_ !

And … Logan Williams !

So, we are looking forward for the next test !!! Stay tuned :)


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    1. Etienne Gernez on August 19, 2011

      Here we go! VENGA!

    2. Etienne Gernez on August 19, 2011

      Not to forget Prof Gonzalo Tampier and his student Javier from the Universidad Austral de Chile who are working hard on a Velocity Program Prediction together with our MIT Ocean Robotics Engineering student Roberto Melendez. Keep up the good work ladies and gentlemen and see you all very soon in Rotterdam for the big launch. Yeeha!