Scoutbots & Protei core values published!

originally posted on http://scoutbots.com/blogs/news/14316913-core-values-published

It’s a big step I feel. I just published our company licenses, documentation, core values, order of priorities and our people’s page. It is a long overdue and these documents will change but we are really growing as a company and myself as a leader. I am grateful to our supporting partner SOW Asia incubating i2i program because they have greatly contributed to formalise these documents that will help us grow.

Below is a video of Tony Hsieh, Founder and President at Zappos, explaining how they came about and what their core values mean.

Our values are a mix of The Maker’s bill of Rights, Zappos core values, the seven virtues of the bushido  and the scout rules and methods – which make total sense to me :D When talking to potential investors / sponsors, we had sent them hints about our values but now it’s on our website, “it is official” :)

Our licenses has actually been decided long ago when we published our first big report back in 2011. At the time we had been very much influenced by Arduino intellectual property setup and business model. We have decided to upgrade for the CERN Open Hardware license for that it looks like it is the most “mature” Open Hardware license we can find out there and that it is actively being updated.

The documentation has been one of the main problem in defining the standard of the young Open Hardware movement (first Open Hardware Summit was in 2010 in Queens NY). There have been a lot of discussions, but there is no set standard yet, more a recommandation list. We follow that trend even though at some point we would want to define a minimum of set required documents to qualify as an Open Hardware project.

The adventure continues!

20140531 Scoutbots at TEDxHongKongED

Original post on : http://scoutbots.com/blogs/news/14309529-scoutbots-at-tedxhongkonged-20140531


Cesar HARADA, “People, places, things, ideas” http://youtu.be/GwP4zS3RMoE

It was a great honor to present Protei recent development at TEDxHongKong Ed. I was originally planning to speak about how much we are engaged into education with Scoutbots and Protei, but in the light of the discussion I had with the curators of the event, it turns out they were more interested in my personal learning experiences. So I am sharing here some very personal stories. I don’t know when the talk will be up online, but in the mean time you can enjoy my slides.

In this presentation I argued that I learn most from people I meet and work with, places I go and study, things that we make and play with, producing new ideas we love sharing.

The People I talk about :

  1. “Captain Courage” in New Orleans, that worked on the BP Oil Spill despite his handicap
  2. Nathan Prochownik, my figure of grand father, Shoah survival. His book about the death camps
  3. Tetsuo Harada, my father the Japanese sculptor based in Paris France

The Places :

  1. BP Oil Spill, Gulf of Mexico
  2. Unreasonable at Sea
  3. Fukushima, journey with Safecast
  4. London, My yurt
  5. Hawaii, plastic pollution, video
  6. Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh city, water pollution
  7. India, Kochi, water pollution
  8. Ghana, Axium (near Takoradi), Oil pollution
  9. Hong Kong, Lamma Island Oil Spill, Oil pollution

The Things :

  1. Protei
  2. Windtrain

TEDxHKED

Thanks again to the organisers, and to all who attended for your support and attention.

Thanks to the other amazing speakers for inspiration : Daniel Makoski, Mark Sagar, Karin Ann, David Hanson, Steve Brown, Maurizio Rossi, Ryan Lee, Josh Steimle, Kim Anderson, Edwin Keh, Lizette Smook, George Skoumas, John Hoffmann, Po Chi Wu, Mark Kersten, Marty Schmidt, Judy Tsui, Bernie Quah, Underload, Jameson Gong.

Cesar Harada, Protei & Scoutbots CEO

My yurt in the city

I have been asked many times how I built a yurt in central London that is adapted to the urban environment, british weather and local ressources at low cost. I am not going to make an instructables about it, but I have a selection of pictures that I hope will help you if you want to make your own. Do not forget to add many sandbags against the walls inside the structures to hold it from flying away with the wind. Also  have a fire extinguisher at all times nearby. All the photos underneath are by Photographer Moritz Steiger | www.steiger.co.uk

My yurt in the city

My yurt in the city

My yurt in the city

My yurt in the city

My yurt in the city

 

How I made it. Thanks to friends for help :

https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6653700789
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6653694063
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6653698779
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6653699725
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6752258281
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6653691565
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6703143355
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6703127579
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6703223369
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6703287717
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6752263421
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6752266385
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6791572047
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6791571583
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6801194657
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/7016166365
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/7021089329
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/6874966616
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/7021077771
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/7021248505
https://www.flickr.com/photos/worldworldworld/7021259081

20140527 Protei at DimSumLab, Hong Kong HackerSpace

I am very excited to present Protei and recent Scoutbots developments at the Dim Sum Lab tonight.
These are my slides : http://goo.gl/HiWKH1

We are calling Hong Kong hackers to work with us :

  1. Web Development : Community website (currently on Grou.ps)
  2. Android robot Dev : Upgrade from RC hobby to Android powered boat
  3. Sensor Development : Plastic sensor in June (intensive)
  4. Sensor Development : Underwater Radioactive sensor (for Sept 2014)
  5. Finding a Sponsor : we need money (now :)
  6. Make your own boat / Buy your boat / document share (anytime)
  7. Help sea testing (starting again in July on larger boats)

Please get in touch : admin@scoutbots.com

20140523 Protei in France Info

Original Post : http://scoutbots.com/blogs/news/14228713-protei-on-france-info

 

Protei sur FRANCE INFO

We are lucky to have Protei featured in one of the good radio in France : FRANCE INFO. You can listen to the reportage on their website if you are feeling a little lazy to read :) Thanks to Côme Bastin, Journaliste of WE DEMAIN. Thanks a lot Meng Lau and BlackSheep HK Production for the picture :)

For our archive, I repost it here in French:

Protei : un drone marin pour dépolluer les océans

César Harada et son bateau Protei
César Harada, un jeune homme franco-japonais, veut dépolluer les océans avec ses bateaux sans pilotes et low-cost. César est à la fois un militant du logiciel libre, un activiste environnemental, un entrepreneur entêté et un globe-trotter chevronné.
Il s’appelle Protei. A première vue, il ressemble presque à un jouet, un petit bateau inoffensif. Détrompez-vous! Protei est un drone marin, conçu pour la défense de l’environnement.
César Harada consacre sa vie au perfectionnement de ce drone écolo.  Avec des chercheurs et des ingénieurs du monde entier, il a créé une coque spéciale qui lui permet d’être très maniable même par mauvais temps, comme durant les marées noires.

Un drone articulé

Protei possède différentes coques articulées entres elles qui lui permettent d’épouser la forme des vagues et de changer facilement de direction. Les plans de Protei sont open-source et l’on peut fabriquer Protei facilement avec des matériaux récupérés, un logiciel Arduino et une mécanique traditionnelle.
L’objectif est de permettre une production en grande quantité et à peu de frais de petits voiliers autonomes commandables à distance et capable d’intervenir en cas de catastrophe environnementale dans les océans.

“Anaconda” : un projet qui utilise l’énergie des vagues

César Harad a d’abord planché en Angleterre sur Anaconda, un projet de bateau qui récupère l’énergie des vagues pour se déplacer. Puis il a fait un tour au Kenya où il a travaillé pour Ushahidi (“témoin” en Swahili), une application mobile qui permet à tout un chacun de localiser et d’alerter sur un événement, comme une violence ou une pollution.

Origine du projet Protei

Après la marée noire, de 2010, liée à l’explosion de la plate forme pétrolière “Deepwater Horizon”, exploitée par la firme BP à 70 km des côtes de la Louisiane, il est recruté pour ses doubles compétences (design maritime, design logiciel) par le MIT pour plancher sur un projet de drone nautique capable de repérer la pollution et de nettoyer les océans.
Suite à des divergences éthiques, il quitte son poste. “Quand on veut développer de la technologie au service de l’environnement, on veut être certain que celle-ci va servir le plus grand nombre au moindre coût possible”, explique-il.
Après la Nouvelle Orléans, Londres, une conférence à Dubaï pour présenter son projet Protei et la remise d’un prix environnemental de 300.000 dollars pour son travail, il s’installe à Shenzen, au cœur de la Silicon Valey chinoise, pour accéder aux matériaux électroniques au plus bas coût possible. Il ouvre un atelier où il emploie designers et ingénieurs nautiques et informatiques et lance la fabrication de Protei.

Testé à Fukushima

Ce drone maritime à coque est aujourd’hui commercialisé en kit à 700 dollars, lorsqu’un bateau autonome entré de gamme se vend 28.000 dollars. César manque encore de sponsors pour passer à la production grande échelle, mais Protei a déjà été testé à Fukushima pour mesurer la radioactivité autour de la centrale. Une trentaine de bateaux ont déjà été commandés.

What is a windtrain?

Original post on Scoutbots here.

Maybe you have heard through social media that we have been working on a new type of terrestrial sailing machine we call “Windtrain” – we also have now the Windtrain.org domain. Now you must be wondering “how is this going to help the oceans?” – and you are right to ask. Well, let me explain : a few weeks ago, we were testing Protei “Rationale” in Hong Kong and we left the workshop with a good wind forecast. By the time we arrived, there was no more wind. Bummer. It happened a few times and I started to feel frustrated. So I thought it might be a clever idea to build a sail testing platform on wheel that I could use on the parking lot next to our workshop. Windtrain was born! I also realised that many people have a hard time understanding how Protei – the shape shifting sailing robot – works, because it is in the water ; while a land-based equivalent would be understood by a greater number of people. Also many things that we would learn from Windtrain can be transposed to Protei.

windtrain first test

Let’s face it, Windtrain Zero was not spectacularly mobile :) It moved a little bit but… not something to be hugely proud of :)

Followed a sleepless night : Windtrain “Mister T” was born, for that it is based not on an “+ frame” but on a “T frame”. And it sailed beautifully on Kam Sheung Road MTR parking lot.

That was too exciting to stop there, so I kept going!
For the next version, I decided to bet everything : build a giant Windtrain, 6m, still controlled by the same tiny servomotor : will it work? We had no idea, so we called it “Heads or tails” :) Guillaume Dupont helped me test this one at the Hong Kong Science Park.

To me, what is really beautiful about the Windtrain is that the huge machine is still controlled by a tiny servomotor that uses about the same energy than an iphone ringing.

We only had 24 hours before I would fly to Estonia and demo this new concept when we realised that transporting the Windtrain “Heads or tails” that is 6m long + , would be a problem – oops. So, in a situation of total emergency, we had to develop, build and pack Windtrain “Baltic”, which is the one at the very top of this post. Windtrain was presented for the first time publicly at TEDxTallinn with this slideshow commenting about the history of transportation.

So what’s next? We’ll keep developing the Windtrain until we have a first stable version that is easy to manufacture and ship. So everyone can buy, improve and share :) In other words, you will soon see the Windtrain in our shop and you will be able to buy it online :) We cannot say exactly when or how much it is going to cost but stay tuned :) Exciting !!!

20140519 Cesar HARADA @ La Paillasse

Time : Monday, May 19at 7:30pm in UTC+02
Location : La Paillasse, 226 rue Saint Denis, 75002 Paris, France [map]
Language : French & English

https://www.facebook.com/events/1510343822511741/

Cesar Harada Masterclass @ La Paillasse Paris France

http://prezi.com/_dukir2btdmy/

Cesar Harada 2010 - 2014
http://prezi.com/_dukir2btdmy/
Above were my slides as a Prezi
We are delighted to present Protei at la Paillasse in Paris, one of the most exciting place in France for creative technologies. Come! Share :)

1- Contributeurs

  • César Harada : invité d’honneur
  • Clément Épié : co-organisation
  • Nicolas Loubet : co-organsiation
  • Quitterie Largeteau : documentation
  • Amandine Marty : documentation

2- Descriptif

Quoi : une masterclass d’une journée pour (1) découvrir l’univers de Cesar Harada (inventeur de Protei) (2) ouvrir les portes de l’écosytème ‘makers’ de Paris (Ile-de-France) à César.

3- Communautés

#Open hardware
#Crisis design
#Océan / écologie
#Bio hacking

4- Makerspaces

  • WoMa Paris (Guillaume Attal)
  • Ici Montreuil (Nicolas Bard)
  • EcodesignLab (v/ Gayané)

 5- Planning

  1. 9:00-12h00 : Test du Protei 011.1 dans l’eau avec 3 élèves ingenieurs de l’ESPCI (RDV 9:00 RER Parc de Sceaux)
  2. 12:00-13:30 : Déjeuner à La Paillasse
  3. 14h – 15:30 : Visite d’ICI Montreuil en compagnie de Nicolas Bard (135, bvd Chanzy, 93100 Montreuil)
  4. 15:30 – 16:30 Déplacement en metro
  5. 16:30 – 17:30 : Visite de WoMa Paris, en compagnie de Guillaune Attal (15 bis rue Léon Giraud, in Paris 19eme)
  6. 17:30 – 18:30 : Déplacement en métro
  7. 18:30 – 19:30 : Apéro à la Paillasse (226 rue Saint Denis, Paris). Chaque participant ramène à boire ou à manger / l’ensemble est mis en commun !
  8. 19h30 : Introduction par Thomas Landrain (président de La Paillasse)
  9. 19:45 : Interview de Cesar par le (super) blogueur Jean Noel Lafargue
  10. 20:30 : Keynote Cesar Harada
    Nairobi, Kenya. Ushahidi HQ.
    Boston, USA. MIT
    Definition of ethics
    New Orleans, Birth of Protei.
    Documentation
    Crowdfunding
    London, Homelessness
    Savannah Ocean Exchange
    San Francisco
    TechShop
    Unreasonable at Sea
    Ocean issues & opportunities
    Hong Kong / Shenzhen
    Built of a office and workshop
    Running a business
    Open hardware / design
    Windtrain : Physics, low renewable energy vehicle
    Panthalassa : Ocean workhorse
    Method, plans
  11. 21:30 : Conversation sur le Futur de Protei and open hardware pour les oceans avec MarcTirel

Cesar HARADA at TEDxTallinn Estonia

My slides are here
http://prezi.com/4xqopxwak0d6/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

The prototype that I presented to demo was tested (for the first time) the next morning in the parking lot in front of the hotel : http://youtu.be/yZu5t5Vqeoo

Life drawing / changing workshop

http://goo.gl/Sys4e7

This is my slides for the GOOD100 + you workshop that took place in Hong Kong Paperclip with Rachel Chan, on the invitation of GOOD HK Chapter leader Maggie Lin.  Thanks to all for coming !


That’s a 20 minutes video that explains the process in more details :)

Protei is looking for sponsors

Yesterday evening, Scoutbots LTD and Protei INC CEO Cesar Harada pitched Protei for sponsorship as the closing event of the incubator i2i incubation program organised by SOW Asia at Paperclip coworking space in Hong Kong. We would love to share the slides here on our blog as we are looking for sponsors. These are our current sponsors.

As a google presentation :

On slideshare :

For enquiries, please email : admin@scoutbots.com

20140426 Ocean Plastic Debris Optical Sensor. Research Proposal for DIY low cost sensor

I am interested in developing a low cost, DIY plastic debris sensor that would be mounted on the bow of regular ships, boats … or an autonomous sailing robot :p
The project was suggested by both Doug Woodring of Ocean Recovery Alliance and Christine Greenberg of the Harbour School, Hong Kong. The concept was born during a conversation with Hank Carson (Hilo University of Hawaii), Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummings (5 Gyres) in January 2013 while sailing on the MV Explorer across the Pacific Ocean and after a visit of Kamilo Beach south of big Island.

In a nutshell and richly illustrated :
Plastic ocean map, macro, micro debris
The ocean have millions of tons of plastic, but it tend to be broken down so small, the naked eye cannot see it.

Current technology _ manta trawler
Currently we are using large extremely expensive research vessels to drag plankton manta trawlers and we count plastic bits manually under a microscope. It is slow, expensive and potentially dangerous.

our solution
I suggest we use a machine similar to an LOPC (Laser Optical Particle Counter) that marine biologist use to count plankton, but refit them to measure plastic. This machine could be installed at the bow of ship. A vertical stack of them would allow the continuous collection of plastic as well as plankton data, at different depth. I insist, we would not collect physical samples, only data. This system would provide near-real-time plankton / plastic qualification and quantification, much higher resolution, and all of that without human repetitive labour. I believe that such installation at the bow of a ship would be safer and attractive since the ship could sail much faster than with a trawler. The idea is to make the system lightweight and low cost so it could be mounted not only on research vessels, but on any type of vessel becoming a sort of Ship of Opportunity.

In the document I outline a roadmap to develop the sensor, from the lab, to the river, to the ocean. I am aware that few micro-plastic debris can be found in rivers, mostly large debris that end in the ocean where they are broken down with the action of UV, salt, the mechanical action of wave and animal bites.

Step 1 : recreate the elements of study and the conditions.
Plastic, algae, plastic + algea

Step 2 : create a “loop” where water flows carrying plastic debris as well as plankton and contaminated plastic debris.
Lab

Step 3 : Get out of the lab and test the counter in an open channel.
Channel

Step 4 : try out a stack of channels in the open sea.
our solution
Step 5 : map the data.
plastics map

 

This is a very exciting topic for me and I look forward to update you about our progress – that will be logged on Scoutbots.com.

You can view and comment the original document (much longer) here : https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_pVjD9tWjHNkvA9ZPX_OD27gRgoPCt9KAEWeEBHc_rQ/edit?usp=sharing

Please let me know if  you are interested in helping on the project. We need expertise in :

  • optics
  • image processing (still and video)
  • electronics
  • fluid mechanics
  • GIS
  • marine biology
  • physical oceanography
  • underwater robotics
  • statistics

Thank you for reading.

How do you make money with Open Hardware?

Protei 011.1 test in Lamma Island Hong Kong
Photo by Meng Lau [blacksheep.com.hk] Cesar Harada, holding Protei 011.1 in Lamma Island, Hong Kong.

I should say as a preface is that I am far from being rich (in money) but I am rich in ideas about how one can make money from Open Hardware. Just a few minutes ago I sent this email to an academic friend of mine who is trying to convince his senior University staff how Open Hardware can be profitable. I am sharing this for myself as research note, but also because it might help other people doing Open Hardware work to explain what they do, and how they might sustain it. The technology I am commenting about is Protei, the Open Hardware, Shape-Shifting Sailing robot to explore and protect the ocean.

A/ how you make your profit based on open source hardware and software?

On top of my head writing in the MTR (Hong Kong train system) I can give you a few short term ways to profit from an open source technology.

Open Hardware does not mean free :

  1. We make and sell boats. Either on demand, small scale, middle or large scale manufacturing
  2. We can operate boats and replace multi-million operations
  3. We can sale software, on the boats and server side
  4. We sell services at sea (communication, sampling etc)
  5. We collect data that we can sell
  6. We can analyze data and sell that to policy makers or other labs
  7. We can do consulting work to improve other boats
  8. We keep inventing new things thanks to the community inspiration
  9. We get money from donations because people understand this is an amazing technology and what it does for the world
  10. We get funding from private sources, like sponsorship
  11. We get funding from the public state, because we do it for the general interest
  12. We get to teach about the new tech
  13. Oh! … And we can get paid to do the research :)

On the long term open source could mean that other people fork your technology – transforming your technology / product into a market.
Product -> Market. So suddenly you would benefit from people improving on your work, and you can improve of theirs.

I like to think about it this way :
You can become a leader by taking an unfair advantage and keeping it
You stay a leader by fairly inviting everyone to enjoy the advantage you found.

So it is not about developing a cool technology but also about building a vibrant community around the technology. In fact even if you started it, the community will overtake the technology and make it its own. That is particularly true about science and innovation. The more people would cite you, extend your work, improve it the more valuable you will be recognize as the source.
In the industrial context the more people copy, the more influence. The history of Arduino is a great example of that, now you can find hundreds of copycat, their brand is thriving more than ever. Your competition becomes essentially your best advertising. And they automatically become part of your community and you can learn from their improvement. It is not about control, it is about having access and making sense of the information. Building the intelligence nexus, is how you stay the leader in your area. We cannot control the boat makers, but we can become the resource where everyone goes to, and share their improvements and new ideas.

Two closing references

And, yeah, let’s explore and protect the oceans with Open Technologies!

20140422 Gamers controlling fleets of robots at sea? Protei at Polytechnic U. Hong Kong, Game Design Department

It’s a great pleasure for me to present Protei at Hong Kong Polytechnic University and brainstorm how Protei could be used by gamers.

  • Time : 19:00 – 20:00. Tuesday April 22nd, 2014
  • Location : V1124, School of Design, The Jockey Club Innovation Tower. Polytechnic University, Hong Kong

Below are my slides : http://goo.gl/7j6Evt

 

Thanks to Prof Gino Yu and Hanna Wirman for the invitation.

Protei TED talk slides

Here are the slides of my TED talk in a Google presentation format. Thanks so much for watching it.

http://goo.gl/fX2yC8

The TED Talk (from the TED official website)

www.ted.com/talks/cesar_harada_a_novel_idea_for_cleaning_up_oil_spills.html

If you want to embed THE SLIDESHOW :

<iframe src=”https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1WCa1dMLxcjMtT10lkLF0rWp4TdEFnFF1yJLCLn4Af-Q/embed?start=false&loop=false&delayms=3000″ frameborder=”0″ width=”500″ height=”404″ allowfullscreen=”true” mozallowfullscreen=”true” webkitallowfullscreen=”true”></iframe>

If you want to embed the THE TALK VIDEO :

<iframe width=”500″ height=”281″ src=”//www.youtube.com/embed/iNDXvJjSniI” frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

20140419 Lunchbox in space

Today, I was really enthralled to witness the launch of a lunchbox in (near) space by the  Hong Kong Space Group, going after the Global Space Balloon Challenge. The balloon started flight around 11:00 and descended at around 13:00. Here is a short video of the launch :


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iW5m_XRbWdU
The official video is here : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x9FX3qGcjk

launching a camera in near space
The team is

  • Andy Kong – Mission Control
  • Allen – Software Guru
  • James – Plane Designer
  • Henry – Plane Designer
  • Ricky – Balloon Specialist
  • Marcus – Test pilot
  • Marc – Classified
  • Sunny – Software

Many Dim Sum Lab members joined the launch. The lunchbox is currently drifting in the middle of the ocean, if you can collect you and return it to to Andy Kong, there is 500 HKD reward for it :) Current location is being updated on the group blog : http://gsbchkteam.wordpress.com/2014/04/19/location-of-the-box-there-is-500-reward/
We all hope we can get the blue box back and enjoy the video it has taken, most likely looking like this one : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCAnLxRvNNc

This is what the box looks like inside.
Dim Sum lab member about to launch a camera in space
The team had made very nice job sharing their research, about the weight calculation of the balloon, the camera control, they used the ardupilot (manual) and they even logged and published the data of their last crash. I would love to have the full parts list and diagrams perhaps. The video feed did not work today during the flight even though it worked before during tests.

I’m excited to meet great people with creative technology initiatives in Hong Kong and I hope great collaborations with Protei will happen in near future