Wednesday 1 September 2010

Seaswarm: Solar powered Oil Skimmer Swarm Robot prototype

is a very smooth autonomous floating robotic system that can re-mediate oil soaked waterways of any scale. Conceived and designed to be used in the gulf was built by a significantly large team of collaborating MIT scientists.

"A Seaswarm has been described as a “rolling carpet” that moves along the surface of the water. It uses a special nanowire mesh developed by Visiting Associate Professor Francesco Stellacci.  The mesh is able to absorb 20 times its weight in oil.  The nanowire is attached to the robotic skimmer like a conveyor belt.  The mesh absorbs oil from the water which is then heated up and burnt locally." Green.Blorge

Perhaps not the only critical thing about this little beauty is that it looks as if I wouldn't cope very well in anything more than undulating wave conditions. Nevertheless, this cool little robotic vacuum cleaner has escaped the lab and got itself into the latest Venice Biennale, where visitors can view it in the Architecture section of the Italian Pavilion, until November 21, 2010.

Here now is a charming little video animation to the exhibit detailing how the vehicle was constructed and how it operates.

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