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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.
331 backers pledged $33,795 to help bring this project to life.

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The Protei batman wants

Posted by Cesar Harada (Creator)

Here we are, we have now a draft preview of how Protei_006 will look like. And it has a serious... Batman touch! What a surprise! For us too!
Getting closer and closer to the water, we wonder how it will perform. It has also something of the early flying machines with its animal-like forms. 

Now, a little video to relax the atmosphere before the tests ; because being a team of pioneers is crazy, and lots of fun !

We hope we'll do better than that hahaha!

All the pieces, now assembling

Posted by Cesar Harada (Creator)

We have now all the parts. We are putting them together.
This was last friday, 3 days ago.

Now, the skin is done.

The motors and the electronics are ready.

Let's go to the water! This coming week is going to be decisive!
Will Protei come alive in the next days? 
Thanks again to all the backers!

Protei to the water!

Posted by Cesar Harada (Creator)

3 weeks without updates - where were we last time? Again, so much has happened. As we do it every time, we are proudly introducing our team member. Ladies and Gentlemen, Mathew Lippincott from the Public Laboratory.

Introducing Mathew Lippincott

Video by Toni Nottebohm 

Prototype testing!

Also we went testing our latest prototype, a 3 meters long Protei! We tested the machine without motors at the sailing club on Kaag Island where we go every saturday. 
We departed from the V2_ workshop at Hofman en Zonen in Rotterdam, took the  good old van.

The day we tested we had quite strong winds, Beaufort 4 with 5 gusts of wind. the part that might have suffered the most was the mast but it survived thanks to its elasticity. 

Roberto ended in the water with the help of Francois and it was actually very useful for testing the prototype.

Without motors, we were just moving Protei around with cables and we had good surprises of how it moves with the waves. 

Francois de la Taste had the genius idea of setting up a camera on board of Protei. This is what you would see if you were riding a Protei : welcome on board!

We also have underwater pictures showing us how much Protei had deflated and how well the keel did. 

Protei in China

Thanks to the amazing work of Kasia Molga, Sey Min, helped by Boris Debackere, , Simon De Bakker from V2_ and Daniel Henneberger (amazing team support!) : Protei is in China! Protei, "under cover" of the art piece "Oil Compass" is exhibited at the National Museum of Art in Beijing China in the "Weather Tunnel". 

See this awesome interactive installation. 

According to the words of Kasia Molga : "Oil Compass v.1" is currently exhibited in National Musuem of Art in Beijing, China. It is an interactive visualisation depicting “past”, “present” and possible “future” scenarios of oil spills in world's oceans; and threats which oil rigs and tankers carry while scattered all over the planet. Based on Google Earth API, it take live data visualisation of oil tankers and oil rigs and juxtaposition it together with the 10 worst spills in the history put together with data of energy consumption (and therefore need for oil) all over the world. "Oil Compass v.1" was produces in V2_ in Rotterdam as a part of Protei development - unmanned drone which can clean waters - brainchild of @Cesarharada

Zeilen magazine

We also had a great article in a Dutch Sailing Magazine Zeilen. You can buy this one in magazine stores nowadays.

And the journalist Willem Plet also took a nice group picture of us :

Protei official Logo

Thanks to Nadine Freischlad (Open_Sailing) who organised the competition we got the wonderful logo designed by  Роман Яблонський from Ukraine!

So, we are now getting in touch with Роман aka Romko to see how this design with fit on our sail, t-shirt, manuals, rewards! 

Wrap up

We have one month left to make it happen before we hold our press conference the September 2nd at 17:00 in our workspace in Rotterdam - PLEASE COME! We have not yet seen Protei sailing autonomously and the pressure is rising on the team in Rotterdam. We are working hard every day and we hope we will soon be able to show you a video of Protei sailing proudly. I hope in the next update!

Have a great week !!!


1/3 of the summer is gone, 2/3 left to make it happen

Posted by Cesar Harada (Creator)

Dear Backers!

Introducing Gabriella Levine

Updates from the Protei team in Rotterdam! Many good things happened in the last 10 days. Let me start this update by introducing the fantabulous Gabriella Levine from New York, who has been instrumental on the electronics and fabrication. 

As Gabriella Levine reminds us, Protei is being developed as and Open Hardware project, which means that ultimately the technology we are coming up with will be free to use, modify and distribute. The only 2 conditions are : 
1. Credit ""
2. Share with the community the improvements based on Protei technology. 

In legal terms, Protei documentation is  "licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License." The overall project falls under the description of Open Hardware.
Gabriella has submitted Protei to be presented at the Open hardware Summit in New York this September, we hope to take part in this great event :)

Protei visual identity open competition

We are also currently running a competition for the future Protei Logo!
Nadine F, working at both Jovoto and Open_Sailing is running the contest, deadline in 12 days! Submit your design ideas :
Please tell your graphic designer friends, register on Jovoto to feedback, help us choose the best visual indentity and soon the best design will be on all Protei merchandises (T-shirts, caps, printed materials etc). Crowd-sourcing, creating it together, it works! Thanks to each of the designers that are contributing to the Protei visual identity contest, you all rock!


We had an internal presentation of our research to the V2_ our producers. We presented the different generations of Protei and where the project is going. Above, you can see Kasia Molga explaining her real-time data visualisation system for Protei. Kasia Molga and Sey Min "Oil Compass" is now being shipped to Beijing Triennial at the Weather Tunnel (National Museum of Arts).

We simply aligned our prototypes in the chronological order and presented many small demos by subjects : mechanics, electric, electronic, admin....

Sent by DNV, we have now Francois de la Taste aka "Mr Oil", young french engineer that is focusing specifically on oil technologies, testing oil sorbents in particular.

Another close up :  Sebastian Neitsch. He made a simulation of Protei hull on vvvv that also includes a home-made wind sensor, very nice construction.

As we speak, Protei next prototype is making good progress. Here in the hands of Sebastian Muellauer - with his evil look. He's not always like this :D.

Sailing & Testing

Super exciting : SAILING !!!
We have now a formal agreement of sponsorship with the great sailing club DeKaag ( on the Kaag Island. The people over there are fantastic, the water space big enough to test our prototype, small enough to be super safe. That means that every saturday  onwards we are going to be
1 - testing our prototypes under the Kaag Staff supervision
2 - Have sailing classes for Protei Staff (YAY)
3 - Have feedback session with De Kaag Watrsport academy staff, to brainstorm with us on Protei.

We are doing our first test of traction with the boom and it is all looking good. 

And now...

Not to be forgotten, we had the visit on a giant inflatable rubber duck !

Credits to who is being so helpful at every steps of the process. Thank you so much dear Florentijn!!!

Next update, we hope to show you the 1/2 prototype in action in the water! YES!!! Stay tuned! Thanks for your support again!

Starting to prototype new ideas!

Posted by Cesar Harada (Creator)

Hello dear Backers,
Sorry for the slight delay, we've been so busy building stuff, it is getting overly exciting!
After a first week of installing the space, a week of brainstorming, a week of smaller prototype, we are now in the process of building small scale prototypes to test different mechanisms and actuation systems. 

A lot of small scale experiments. Trying to see if it is possible to make a self-righting trimaran. 

Really interesting potential actuation mechanisms below. 

And a lot of brainstorming. So we are building at different scales, trying radically different ideas. We start to have cool hacking happening as the urgency to find a good mechanism arises.  At the end of this week, the team will be divided into subgroups : Mechanics, Electronics, Mathematical model and simulation, admin. 

You can follow the parallel Progress of all these different versions of Protei under our versionning system : 

Stay tuned, because in the coming days we should start putting stuff in the water :) ! 

This is a very exciting time, and this week, we would like to introduce to you our advisor for Oceanography, the fantastic Peter Keen, brought to you by Toni Nottebohm, our film maker .