Saturday, August 28, 2010

MIT offers robotic swarm for oil spills

It looks like a picnic cooler trialing a set of venetian blinds, but MIT's newest robot has an important job. Engineers at the school think their solar-powered robot, equipped with a sort of floating treadmill of a nanomaterial that absorbs oil, can be deployed in swarms to clean up an oil spill faster and cheaper than traditional skimmers. The robot, prototypes of which have been sea-tested, can either burn off the collected oil or leave it floating bags for collection.

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