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Drones to be used to suck oil from the sea

There are many methods used to remove oil that has been spilled at sea, but Cesar Herada’s new design may take some beating.

Cesar Herada is a researcher who, prompted by the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico last year, has designed an oil sifting Protei drone and scoop up the spilled oil. Cesar, who was previously associated with MIT’s Senseable Lab says the drone will work semi-autonomously, protecting the welfare of the workers who would otherwise be needed.

The idea is that the drones sail through the sea scooping up the spilled oil with a powerful sucking boom. The oil and the sea water are separated and the oil is stored in the boom. It is estimated that each device will be able to hold two tons of oil per outing. The booms are detachable so a new boom can be fitted quickly to the drone device.

Mr Herada’s Protei drones can also be modified to cope with other disasters, he says. Future models may be able to collect radiation polluted water or detect radiation levels. The design is Open Source Hardware so can be built by anyone.

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