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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:

  1. Saildrone: http://saildrone.com/
  2. Wave Glider: https://www.liquid-robotics.com/
  3. Datamaran: http://www.automarinesys.com/
  4. Ada from UBC: https://ubcsailbot.org/
  5. PilotHouse : http://srlm.io/2015/07/02/introducing-pilothouse-a...
  6. A-Trima: https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-73tqwqNt_d8/WAZV3n6bStI...
  7. ArduSailor: http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=241548.0
  8. Green Powered Sailbot: https://hackaday.io/project/10652-green-powered-sa...
  9. Epsom School Sailbot: http://www.rock7mobile.com/case-study-epsom

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:

  1. Sneel, by my friend Gabriella Levine: http://gabriellalevine.com/SNEEL
  2. Titanoboa: http://titanoboa.ca/
  3. NTNU University Norway Research of robotic snakes: http://robotnor.no/our-robots/ and http://folk.ntnu.no/kyp/?id=ansatte/Pettersen_Kris...
  4. SnakeRobot S2: http://www.snakerobots.com/S2.html
  5. EE 125 Robot Snake: https://sites.google.com/site/ee125robotsnake/pro...
  6. Kraken: http://www.sgsphysics.co.uk/projects/the-poseidon...

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 :)

Step 1: A Roadmap to Get Back on Developing Protei, Short Term

This is my roadmap for the next few weeks of work:

  1. "Protei Cardboard Model" to see and feel the size of the components. Built entirely from waste and recycled materials. That this instructables!
  2. "Protei Mini-RC 001": small, simple and affordable, that can be made as an activity for kids and control via standar RC transmitter. The goal is to make it under 100 USD per unit.
  3. "Protei Mindstorm 001": using a standard that kids know and love, that many schools already have and use as a STEM education tool.
  4. "Protei Particle Pi 001": using Particle and Raspberry Pi for coastal mapping in a GSM range.
  5. "Protei RockBlock 001": using RockBlock for satellite communication. Probably on top of the previous ParticlePi. But honestly, if I get to #4 and things work out ok, I would be so happy already.

So let's go : "Protei Cardboard Model" step by step :)

Cool!!!!
<p>Thanks ! More coming !</p>

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Bio: Education: Makerbay.org - contact@makerbay.org Sailing robots: Protei Inc & Scoutbots CEO Personal: contact@cesarharada.com
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