Protei Exhibition

This summer, V2_ hosted an international team of designers and engineers on the development of Protei_006, the first full-scale version of the autonomous sailing robot that will clean oil spills in the oceans. The exhibition as part of Festival Wereld van Witte de With will feature all early prototypes and a documentary about the working process.

Sep 2011
Sep 2011
location: V2_, Eendrachtsstraat 10, Rotterdam

What is Protei?

Protei is an autonomous sailing robot that tows a long oil sorbent boom. Oil spilled at sea drifts downwind, following surface currents. The most efficient way of collecting an oil spill is to sail upwind to capture the oil. Protei uses the power of nature - specifically wind- to collect a man-made problem- oil. Protei is unmanned, so no human health is at risk. It will operate continuously at a low cost, it will be hurricane-ready, self-righting, unbreakable, cheap and easy to manufacture for immediate deployment, even in rough weather far from the shore. Besides oil spills, many other applications are envisioned for Protei such as plastic debris collection in the oceans, radioactivity sensing, physical oceanography and much more. All components and the design are open source: meaning that Protei can be reproduced and modified by anyone forfree.


Why Protei?

Environmental disasters have become an almost daily subject in the media. Human activities are threatening the environment and it has become necessary to develop and test environmental cleaning technologies. Many of our current lifestyles are unsustainable and our environmental remediating technologies costly and inefficient. In the anthropocene, pollution does concern each of us.


Protei Project Presentation (2011) from V2_ on Vimeo.



The Protei Community

In April 2010, the explosion on BP’s oil platform ‘Deepwater Horizon’ caused the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the most devastating environmental event in the history of the United States. Cesar Harada, at the time a MIT project leader, left Boston to move to New Orleans envisioning Protei, a fleet of oil collecting sailing drones.

The issue was too big for Harada alone to solve, so he started sharing his idea publicly through social media platforms. Hundreds of people donated money through kickstarter.com and soon a community of organisations and people from all over the world started working together to make Protei a reality. Protei prototypes are regularly tested at the Kaag Watersport Academy on Kaag Island. This summer, the success of Protei in the gigantic port of Rotterdam may lead to the spawning of many other Protei projects around the oceans.

Exhibition info

Wereld van Witte de With:

Friday 9 September: 17:00 - 23:00

Saturday 10 September: 12:00 - 23:00

Sunday 11 September: 12:00 - 18:00

Admission: free


24 Uur Cultuur

Cesar Harada will give an exclusive tour through the exhibition for holders of the 24 uur Cultuur passe-partout at Sunday 11 September at 15:00 www.24uurcultuurrotterdam.nl.



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