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Home > News > Seaswarm Robots Could Clean Gulf Oil Spill in a Month

August 31st, 2010

Seaswarm Robots Could Clean Gulf Oil Spill in a Month

Abstract:
Created by researchers at MIT's Senseable City Lab, Seaswarm employs a conveyor belt of absorbent, nanowire mesh. The specially deigned mesh can suck up oil on the water's surface and then process and dispose of the oil it's collected. The Seaswarm can continue to absorb more of the spill while the robot autonomously navigates and cleans the ocean for weeks on end.

Previously featured in a paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, this nanowire fabric can absorb up to 20 times its own weight in oil, while repelling water. When the material is saturated, it heats up and burns off the oil it's collected, leaving the nanofabric available to absorb more oil.

A Seaswarm prototype is currently on display at the Venice Biennale's Italian Pavilion—an international art, music, and architecture festival. The theme of this year's festival addresses how nanotechnology will change the way we live in 2050.

Source:
theepochtimes.com

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