fleet of robots designed to clean up oil - oil spill absorbent materials
Want to clean up the oil spill?
There's a robot.
A team of scientists at MIT developed an oil fleet.
Absorbing robotSeaswarm —
Clean the ocean with super oil collection
"First Test in Charles River, Boston, August, box-
The shaped robots are able to stay in the water for a long time without repeating back to shore as they work independently and communicate with each other through GPS and wireless communications.
The Seasrobot robot is 16 feet long and 7 feet wide, smaller than most commercial skim devices, so it is able to enter hard waters. to-
Reach the estuary and other places. The MIT-
That is to say, the fabric enhanced by nanotechnology-
It is a network of extremely small wires made of potassium manganese oxide, which can absorb oil 20 times its weight.
Conveyor belts made of nanofabric push the robots forward, enabling them to be cleaned continuously
Maybe a few weeks at a time.
These robots use solar energy and only need 100 watts of electricity, which is equivalent to a bright light bulb.
Carlo Latty, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's perceptible City Lab, led a research team that launched this year.
He talked to The Times about robots, how they were made, his team, and future oil spills.
Describe the robot.
How do they work?
Seaswarm receives energy from a series of photovoltaic cells in the vehicle's "head" and uses swarm technology to coordinate its position in the water, making the operation of these vehicles completely autonomous. The nanofabric-
The covered conveyor belt, like a tissue, selectively absorbs oil from the oil spilled on the surface, which can then be removed so that the nano-fibers can be reused continuously.
Where did the idea of this project come from?
How long have you been working on these robots?
It's actually a random thing.
Of course, we are all worried about the oil spill.
In the Gulf of Mexico.
But we received a request for the Venice Biennale in Italy.
Exhibition of Contemporary Art and Architecture
Explore how the use of nanotechnology will change people's lives in 2050.
They asked us to work [
Visiting Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
Francis Stellacci and nanofabric helped.
We looked at how this absorbing material captures oil, and it all started there.
Can you talk about scientists and engineers in your team?
In order to solve today's problems, you really need a cross-cutting team.
From Marine engineers to physicists to product designers, we all have a team that participates in this project from all angles.
When can robots be used?
They need more work.
We have been working on prototypes.
By the end of this year, we will work well.
Is it possible for these robots to help in the Gulf disaster?
It's too late for the Gulf disaster.
Our vehicle is intended for oil leakage on the ground. [
Most of the oil in the bay is underwater. ]
I think they will be more useful in the next leak.
We don't even want more spills, but there are always smaller ones.
To get a frame of reference, how many of these robots are needed to clean up the Gulf oil spill?
It will cost about 10,000.
How long does 10,000 take?
About a month.
Can the oil absorbed by the robot be reused?
There are two possibilities.
One possibility is that you can burn the oil.
So you also need to burn oil while cleaning the sea.
Another design is to seal the oil into a bag that can float in the ocean for a period of time.
Imagine floating reservoirs with GPS, where large ships can pick up oil.
Your robot uses GPS and WiFi.
How do these robots work?
You want to know where they are and they need to communicate with each other.
They need to operate like a group.
Groups can be realized through GPS and WiFi.
In our future, will you imagine more such disaster reversal robots?
Technology for the first time allowed us to clean up some of the pollution left over from last century. I'm not sure [
All solutionswill be robots.
Of course, we will be more skilled in reversing the damage in the future.
What other similar projects are going on at MIT?
Last year, we did a project called "junk track" in Seattle.
We put small labels on millions of garbage so that we can better understand the chain of garbage disposal.
Some results are a big surprise for us, such as the distance a piece of garbage actually spreads. lori.
Kozlovsky @ latimes.