Seaswarm Oil Eating Bots Could Clean up Gulf in 1 Month

MIT researches have created a device that potentially (when working a large swarm) could clear up the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The technology is a prototype at the moment and uses technology that can separate water and oil. The researches behind it have calculated that 5000 of these autonomous robot cleaners would take just one month to clean up the surface oil on the water.

The technology is based on the use of robots, 16ft long and including a 7ft wide solar-powered conveyor belt that is made of an oil-slurping nanowire mesh. The material is capable of isolating and absorbing up to 20 times its weight in oil. The robots will use the principles of swarm robotics, where thousands of such devices will be interacting and coordinating with each other using GPS and wireless technology.

The devices can either burn the oil they collect to keep them working uninterrupted or can break away from their teams occasionally to deposit their oil in large, GPS-tagged floating reservoirs. A large tanker could come and collect oil from these reservoirs.

It’s a smart idea and if it works, it will certainly be a great help to the current oil problem.

The video below shows a demonstration of how it is all expected to work…

Via: GizmoWatch

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