The goal of Protei is to deploy ocean sensors on a shape-shifting wind-powered modular platform. Global warming, ocean pollution (plastic, oil spills, radioactivity) depletion of fish and coral, acting as a data link between satellites and underwater devices... There are plenty of reasons to build autonomous surface vessels. So let's do this open-source. Here some past prototypes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GxxJBgC2kLE
This is just a cardboard model, a "research note" - not a functional sailing robot. This is just to explore a new design direction. Also, a way to show how to turn an idea into something tangible. This model was built in 6 hours with basic tools and recycled materials. Budget is 0$, Only a bit of wood glue.
For my part, I had to put this shape-shifting sailing robot "Protei" development on hold for almost 2 years in order to build MakerBay, a MakerSpace in Hong Kong. But now, I am back at developing it, and so excited about it. As an Open Hardware project, I want the entry bar to be as low as possible. For this reason, I have drafted a development roadmap while being an Impact Resident at Autodesk Pier 9 (next step). The world of autonomous robotic sailing is moving fast and I want to develop a design that opens that field for everyone, from the kids, to the researchers.
I made a quick search of some really interesting recent development in autonomous robotic sailing and tried to compare the superficial features. Please dig in these links, so many amazing projects / companies:
The top 3 ones are companies, they seem to be doing good but their products are very expensive, or / and not publicly documented. Below #3 these are mostly universities efforts and are either not super stable or not fully sharing their documentation - some are open source (hi5!). I would like to bridge that gap.
Also because the sailing robot I am interested to develop has many similarities with a snake robot, I also did some researches about snake robots:
There are many many robotic snakes projects out there, I definitely don't know all of them, but I love seeing more of them - staying up to date with them. Please comment and suggest inspirations with images and links :)
This is my roadmap for the next few weeks of work:
So let's go : "Protei Cardboard Model" step by step :)