MIT Eats Oil - The UpStream

MIT Eats Oil

posted Sunday Aug 29, 2010 by Scott Ertz

MIT Eats Oil

MIT is always hard at work trying to solve the world's problems one piece of technology at a time. This week's solution is a floating yellow box that collects oil.

This autonomous robot, named Seaswarm, is capable of floating around on its own, without any human interaction, searching the sea for oil and collecting it. Now, this would be impressive by itself, however, this little guy can team up with friends to take on the ocean together, with the help of GPS and Wi-Fi connectivity.

For more on the Seaswarm and to see the MIT video, hit the break.

On Seaswarm's official website, it says,

Seaswarm uses a photovoltaic powered conveyor belt made of a thin nanowire mesh to propel itself and collect oil.

Basically, that means this little guy is floating around dragging a very fine mesh through the water and trapping the things it collects in the mesh. It is able to collect 20 times its own weight in oil without absorbing any water. As a way to help with the BP oil spill, this little guy would be a lifesaver. MIT believes that 5,000 Seaswarm devices running all day, every day for about a month would have the Gulf back to normal. The small drawback is that each device costs about $20,000, but at the rate BP is hemorrhaging money right now, $100 million to fix the Gulf in a month would not be a bad decision.

Want to see this sea-faring Roomba in action? Here's a video for you!


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