You are currently browsing the Cesar Harada posts tagged: Ocean


Sampling sea and riverbeds around Fukushima Nuclear Power plant

We have put together a valuable set of sediment samples from riverbeds, estuaries and seabed nearshore in the Tohoku region of Japan, mostly in the vicinity of the Fuksuhima Daiichi Nuclear power plant. Half of the samples have been taken before the Typhoon VongFong, the other half during the Typhoon VongFong (Oct 13th 2014 over Tohoku region).  The goal is to understand the motion of sediments from land to sea using radioactive tracers, in other words “make a map of seabed radioactivity around the Fukushima Power Plant“. Here a rough analog simulation – and here an excellent scientific paper explaining how radioactivity “travels” seasonally that we try to extend – connecting land / river to sea data. We do not have the results / measurements of Cesium of our samples yet, hopefully before the end of 2014.


Video by Philippe Couture

The instrument we use is a “Micro Rolling Trawler” that we developed that captures only a few millimeters of surface (recent) sediments. That allows us to have a “snapshot” of the seabed surface.

Sampling river and sea bed sediment with radioactive tracers from Fukushima Mapping Radioactivity in riverbeds and seabeds around Fukushima power plant Crippled Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant 20141009 Sediments Samples
Photos by Julie Nagai

All the data we collect is publicly available for free. We will study mostly Cesium. If you are interested in these samples to analyse other isotopes, we would be very happy to share with you free of charge as long as you share publicly the data / results. Please get in touch : contact@cesarharada.com

Many thanks to Julie Nagai, Philippe Couture, Jun Kamei, Shinya & Angela Saeki, Dr Olivier Evrard, Kenichi Kawamura, Prof Hiroshi Kainuma, Umilabo, Soness Stevens, Rohini Karen Deblaise, Dean Newcombe, Safecast Joe Moross, Prof Yoshida of Tohoku University, Christina Moorehead, Jay Klaphake, Kaori Hilton, Maria Ichizawa, Takuro Mizuta, Hiroshi Nomura, Katagiri Family, Zhiruo Gao, Yoshiko Toyama, Toby Marshall and all those who supported our efforts. You can see where we drove with Safecast bGeigieNano (Oct 7, Oct 8, Oct 13, Oct 14)  or as one big map.

More soon…

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.

Skype in the classroom : Develop Innovative Open Ocean Technology

Develop Innovative Open Ocean Technology - skype in the classroom
https://education.skype.com/projects/6551-develop-innovative-open-ocean-technology

Next week I am going to be teaching a class on the theme of “Develop Innovative Open Ocean Technology” on skype, for free. You can attend, but please do let me know when you want it to happen here by voting your preferred time : http://doodle.com/3t39ziye8f8sqvp2 The pool will be closed this friday nov 9th.

About this Skype lesson
In 2010, when the BP Oil Spill was pouring in the Gulf of Mexico, Cesar Harada left MIT and moved to the Gulf to develop an Open Source robot to clean up oil spill. From a friend’s garage he developed “Protei” the revolutionary shape-shifting sailing robot that would sail upwind pulling a long oil sorbent to clean up the oil slick. After a successful Kickstarter campaign the newly-assembled Protei team embarked on building Protei_006 in Rotterdam (NL), the largest shape shifting sailing robot to date. In 2013 CEO Harada and COO Gabriella Levine sailed around the world testing Protei technology and developing a business strategy for an innovation that has the potential to drastically lower the cost of surface exploration and cleaning the ocean with an open technology. Protei aims at manufacturing it’s first batch of commercial autonomous sailing robots by the end of 2013 from their newly built Hong Kong Headquarters with their manufacturing partner Seeedstudio in Shenzhen.

In this class, Harada would briefly explain Protei concept, history and future development and will invite you for questions. The themes that we would talk about are ocean robotics, open hardware for the environment, ethics of business for ocean healthy future.

The videos the participants should watch before the class are :
http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/en/cesar_harada_a_novel_idea_for_cleaning_up_oil_spills.html
And imagine what a swarm of highly maneuverable robots could do for the oceans (as maneuverable as these flying quadrotors): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQIMGV5vtd4

Participants should also read
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_pollution
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/0311disaster/fukushima/AJ201309200053

The places are limited, so looking forward to see you there :)
For questions, you can join me here cesarminoruharada – knock knock : do not call during the class  :p

Protei is recruiting 3 interns to explore and save the oceans

Protei, the Open Hardware, shape-shifting sailing robot,  is about to come out to the world.
We are looking to grow our team to take part into this great adventure.
We are looking for 3 smart, hard working good people  for

If you know people in Hong Kong, or people passionate about the oceans, robotics, Open Technologies for the Environment, please share – Thanks!

 

 

2013 Lamma Island Oil Spill needs more Research & Cleaning

On July 14th, my girlfriend and were hiking on Lamma Island (Hong Kong) for her birthday. I was told there had been a small oil spill recently, but I did not expect to see it when we arrived in Tung O Wan, Shek Pai Wan (22.196649, 114.139827).

“June 21, a 10m x 15m slick was reported in waters off Tung O Wan, and a 100m x 15m slick was seen on Tung O Wan beach. The department cleaned small oil patches off Tung O Wan on June 22 and 23, and will send samples of the oil to the Government Laboratory for analysis.”
http://www.news.gov.hk/en/categories/environment/html/2013/06/20130624_180438.shtml

Video


http://youtu.be/9zncIy8exLQ
We made this video with our mobile phone that day, thanks to Nadege Nguyen.

Dissection of a crab

Crab Lungs affected by Oil Spill

Panorama & Photos

Lamma Oil Spill 2013, Panorama, Shek Pai Wan 2013 07 14

Oil Spill at Shek Pai Wan, Lamma Island
That’s how we saw the beach on the July 14th 2013. All the black slug you see on the rocks is oil.

408169_10150581278803149_840967005_n_970
I guess that’s the oil as it was reaching shore a fews days after June 21st 2013 (Aerial photography).

385846_10150410105238149_214526345_n_659
392334_10150410099558149_654439507_n_384
That was before the oil spill. It would be good to get back to this state.

Proposal for further Research & Cleaning

Shek Pai wan site needs more research and more cleaning.

  1. Biological analysis. Sampling crabs, fishes, turtles, shells and study their respiratory, digestive, endocrine and reproductive systems. 
  2. Aerial Photography & Mapping with visible and infrared spectrum.
  3. Underwater photography and mapping with visible and infrared spectrum
  4. Water sample Spectrography to detect traces of oil  (and perhaps other chemicals) in water

All research would be done using Open Source technology and the findings published as we go.

I am looking for Hong Kong residents to collaborate, please get in touch : contact@protei.org

20130425 The Unreasonable Journey of an Entrepreneur Sailing Around the World

Landing

After 4 months at sea. We finally landed. After travelling in 14 countries, together. After sharing a small cabin with no windows and a tiny bathroom. It is all behind us now. As everyone was saying good bye,  I had to tell my Unreasonable Fellows “You are not going back home, the ocean is your home”, they are always welcome.

Last Unreasonable at Sea Night on board of the MV Explorer. So magical, did it really happen?

You can imagine it was not easy saying good bye. A new family was formed, now scattered as a global network. Each going back to their countries.

Hard to believe that we were the lucky 10 companies chosen out of about 1000… it is now history. Allow me to list theses 10 companies:

  1. Agua: Providing clean water to 300,000 people w/out chemicals or energy (just plants).
  2. Damascus Fortune: Nanotechnology that transforms carbon emissions into material for spaceships.
  3. Innoz: Most used mobile-app in India. Designed to leapfrog internet. +120,000,000 users.
  4. GuruG: Educates and empowers teachers through a “gamified” platform.
  5. Solar Ear: World’s 1st digitally programmable and rechargeable hearing aids.
  6. Protei: Wind powered, shape shifting, open source sailing drones that explore and clean oceans.
  7. Evolving Technologies: Radically affordable medical devices for maternal care in emerging markets.
  8. One Earth Design: Harnesses the sun for cooking & energy. Ranked best solar cooker on earth.
  9. Prakti: Feeding 250,000 people daily with ultra-affordable and fuel efficient stoves.
  10. Artificial Vision for the Blind : Artificial intelligence leveraged as a non-invasive cure for blindness.

Keep an eye on these guys. What will happen to them in the next months and years? Will they realise the idea that “entrepreneurship can change the world”? Will they become icons of social entrepreneurship? Or will theses companies fall apart? Time will tell.


Testing Protei 10.5

Protei 10.5 Testing in Parque del Ciutadella, Barcelona, Spain. Thanks to the Prieto’s (Muriel, Jesus, Rosa), Bianca Cheng Costanzo & Nils Mattisson.

Protei 10.5 Testing in Parque del Ciutadella, Barcelona, Spain

Photos by Improbables productions, Fanny Pernoud & Olivier Bonnet.


What we learnt

The world is a big place, but I want to keep my summary as short and synthetic as possible.

A journey of learning

  1. 20130109 SAN DIEGO, CA, UNITED STATES. Departure
  2. 20130110 ENSENADA, MEXICO. Red tides affect the region. Delicious food, good people
  3. 20130115 HILO, HAWAII, UNITED STATES. Meeting with Henk Carson, Marcus Eriksen & Anna Cummins, Spectacular plastic pollution, Kamilo Beach. Unreasonable short about Protei and plastic
  4. 20130127 YOKOHAMA, JAPAN. Presentation at Tokyo University. Midori, Japanese translator. FuRo Robotics Laboratory. Unreasonable documents Protei visit at FuRo. Akihabara “Electric Town”, Flying Tokyo presentation. Protei and Safecast in Fuksuhima measuring radioactivity. Japan, 2 years after. Kyoto University, departure.   
  5. 20130208 HONG KONG, CHINA. Make it in China! Deciding to set up our headquarters in Hong Kong / Shenzhen.  
  6. 20130218 HO CHI MINH CITY, VIETNAM. Vietnam : “Croire our douter”, believe or doubt
  7. 20130221 SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE. Singapore, Startup Country.
  8. 20130301 RANGOON, BURMA. Myanmar.
  9. 20130311 COCHIN, INDIA. Kochi. 
  10. 20130318 PORT LOUIS, MAURITIUS. Maurice. 
  11. 20130330 CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA.  Cape Town, Koeberg, South Africa. The Gangster incubator, great sailors. 
  12. 20130407 TAKORADI, GHANA. Oil + Fish Industry = complicated
  13. 20130421 CASABLANCA, MOROCCO. HACKATHON !!! Redefining success. 
  14. 20130425 BARCELONA, SPAIN. This very post. 

Technology

During the voyage we built 3 Protei prototypes that we transported and tested in a variety of waters. Although not having access to our working space, tools and materials often felt limiting, we learnt how to do more with less, simplifying how we prototype Protei.
In a nutshell Protei needs to be:

  • More rugged, to take around.
  • Smaller needs to fit in a standard suitcase and be easy to strap to a backpack. Lighter in particular would allow the use of rechargeable D cells as ballast.
  • Simpler to set, wire at the beginning and while the machine is already in operations with spring loaded clamps at the end of wires.
  • Transparent is convenient for maintenance and acknowledging if there is a water leak inside the dry case.
  • Equiped with a modular removable dry case inside the hull for the electronics makes maintenance much easier.
  • The ease to recycle the hull is critical to most people since they do not want to see Protei polluting the oceans.
  • The mast length should not exceed the total length of the boat, for safer packing and transportation.
  • Sensors: travelling to all these places, talking to local scientists we learnt a lot about the sensors they would want to transport within Protei.
  • Cost: we have a much better idea of who can buy Protei, for what and at what price.
  • Managing Performance expectations: We now know what people want this technology to do. We must make clear that we are delivering a beta product at this point.

Business

Protei Ethical values

  • Define our identity and culture as a corporation. Some have described Protei Inc. as a technology coompany, other as social entrepreneurs, some as a clean-tech startup. Being surrounded by other companies helped us understand how similar and different we are. This may sound obvious for those who know us but this is our corporate culture:
    • Ethical order of priorities: 1. Environment, 2. Social, 3. Technology, 4. Profit.
    • Open: The problems we are trying to address are huge, as huge as the ocean, there is enough work for everybody. Let’s work together.
    • Hands-on: think and develop by prototyping, by testing the field, in the hands of our user. “Fast, cheap and out of control“.
    • Community-driven development, Product and timing to release open source documentation: To make sure we cover our overhead and stay open, we release the documentation when we ship the product, not before. Internally, we work on extremely fast prototyping cycles.
    • Fast paced. Being an Open Hardware business means that we invite others to copy and improve on what we do. In other words, we are constantly trying to put ourselve out of business, helping as much as we can competition. We have to innovate constantly in order to stay ahead of the game.
    • Radical innovation on 3 main topics (for now): 1. Technology (Shape Shifting Sailing Robot), 2. Open Hardware, 3. Global innovation community (Social R&D).
    • Collaborative, competitive: Collaboration and competition can be one same playful activity as long as it is fair and harmless. Again, the ocean is big enough for all of us, let’s address its issues together.
    • Measured risk: like any corporation, we need to survive to thrive and contribute to our maximum capacity to the world.
    • Organic growth: Protei brings about a new technology, but it is really a new industry potentially. We want to grow with our community.
    • Ambitious but not speculative: too many engineering firms or labs guarantee their technology would scale before testing. Let’s not do that. Because this is a new industry, we do not want to have opportunistic investment speculating and deviating us from our core value.
    • This is about learning: Developing Open Hardware Shape-Shifting Sailing Robots is not that common and there will be bumps on the road. Let’s learn about them.
    • Non-military applications: we will not provide technical support for life threatening applications.

We learnt about what kind of people we want to be, who we want to work with:

  • About the people:
    • Integrity, loyalty: we can all agree that we we are all different, and we need to be able to trust each other.
    • Creativity & Persistance: doing whatever it takes to make it work, even it is not in the job description. Be resourceful, own it.
    • Humour: being capable of laughing especially in the difficult or painful situation. That tells
    • Curious & Fearless: In a given experience, the expected outcomes may be A, B or C. Choose D. Ask the hard and the painful dumb questions over again.

We decided to move to Hong Kong !

  • Decided to move the manufacturing to Hong Kong. We could not have make that strategic decision without this trip.

We had amazing mentors from whom we learnt so much :

    • Tom Chi: about rapid prototyping, ways of thinking, metaphysics…
    • George Kembel: Empathy, Design Thinking
    • Daniel Epstein: Story telling
    • Ken Banks: Being lean, scaling up and making choices…
    • Kamran Elahian: about being kind, the dimension of future progress…
    • Jeff Hoffman: defining your target customer, team building, leadership and employee qualities, pricing…
    • Megan Both: about being business minded, strategy…
    • Megan Smith: the emergence and access to information…
    • Pascal Finette: about pitching and cultivating the spirit of innovation in your company…
    • Chris Shipley: launching a product…
    • Matt Mullenweg: about leadership and control of Open Source project…
    • Coleman Chamberlain: building a company vision and identity…
    • Caroline Whaley: about team building….
    • Prince Fahad al Saud: imagination and the self…
    • Jane Finette: About community building…
    • Hunter Lovins: Green economy…
    • Carly Cooper: about design thinking and running a startup within a large corporation…
    • Scot Frank & Catlin Powers: performance and humanitarian business structure…
    • Amruth: Determinism
    • Rehan Hassan: Start-up legal issues 101…
    • Safecast, Joe Morros: Radioactivity and activism in Japan
    • Truc-anh: about poetry, rage and beauty…
    • Archibishop Desmond Tutu: about god, love and justice…
    • El Alaoui: doing with what you have…

And the list goes on and on…

Community

In every single port we stopped we met people that could benefit from Protei. From the mexican scientists in Mexico studying red tides, to those in Hawaii combatting plastic pollution, the Japanese network of radioactivity sensing activists around Fukushima, to the chinese, vietnamese and indian residents, environmental activists and scientists, South African sailors and roboticists, the Ghanian fishermen suffering oil pollution, the fast growing maker movement and engineers in Morocco. We have learnt so much about our community on this journey as much on the technical, financial, psychological and personal level.

Personal

I also learnt a lot on a personal level. Many of which are hard to explain with words.

  • Gabriella Levine: getting to know my business partner. Yes, she’s absolutely awesome across the board. Exceptional, I’m the luckiest man in the world to work with Gabriella. For me developing good people is the condition to developing good technologies.
  • defining my personal identity as global citizen. I have been traveling so much these last years… The ocean is my home. Forever.
  • Achieve a dream, Sailing around the world: since I am a child I have been dreaming of sailing around the world. Check. Next time I want to do it wind powered though!
  • Develop strategies of “How to use capitalism for the Environment”, “Open Hardware for the Environment”. I feel I made a lot of progress thanks to all the discussions we had on board and on land.
  • Built a new family: and that’s not a detail. A trusted network, that’s priceless. 

Learning to “dream with my eyes open”

I think these 2 images below sum up what has changed for me.
Retrospectively I feel I was almost almost gambling, about the different options. I feel I know more what I am doing now.

Protei in Cape Town, South Africa

A lot of what seemed mystery is really common sense. It all makes sense.

Protei in Cape Town, South Africa

Many of my intuitions have been verified. This mask has the third eye. I’m not trying to evoke anything esoteric here, I am only suggesting that a lot of what I felt instinctively about the business was made tangible. I feel more confident now. Also impatient to get on the “battlefield” after so much preparation.


What’s next

  • logistics of moving
  • visas
  • set up a company in HK in order to manufacture
  • find an office, a workshop and a place to love
  • anticipate transportation, food, insurances
  • Find a sponsor / partner / client to contribute towards our manufacturing cost and be at the forefront of sailing technology and re-inventing ocean big data capture and clean up

1 ship. 100 days at sea. 14 countries. 10 companies. 2o mentors. 600 students. A life changing experience.

Unreasonably yours.

20130410 Protei wants to work in Ghana

Protei had a great time in Ghana, many productive meetings.
We want to come back to Ghana and work with many locals initiatives.


http://issuu.com/cesarharada/docs/protei_ghana?mode=window&viewMode=singlePage

 

20130320 Fish Pi & Wave Glider

Today my good old friend Ollie Palmer sent me this BBC article about Fish Pi : http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-21848104 A few minutes apart, my other friend Cynthia Yeung sent me this about the wave glider : http://www.forbes.com/sites/toddwoody/2011/09/07/on-the-gulf-with-bps-wave-and-solar-powered-robots/

Fish Pi in BBC 20130320

Fish Pi by Greg Holloway. 

“The Fish Pi that will be venturing across the Atlantic will be much bigger than the concept vehicle. Early plans suggest it will be about 5ft 6in (1.7m) long, a foot (90cm) wide and its hull will be made of carbon fibre. Development costs will be about £15,000, estimates Mr Holloway.”

wave-glider-1

Wave Glider by Liquid Robotics.

“The Wave Glider’s capacity to operate autonomously at sea for months on end gathering data from uncharted reaches of the ocean has attracted $40 million in funding, including $22 million from VantagePoint Capital Partners, a leading Silicon Valley green tech investor, and oil industry services behemoth Schlumberger. VantagePoint’s chief executive, Alan Salzman, sees a huge potential market among companies and scientific organizations that now must spend anywhere between $30,000 and $150,000 a day to staff and outfit a carbon-spewing deep-ocean vessel. “Resupplying a ship in the middle of the ocean is staggeringly expensive,” he says. “The Wave Glider has enormous implications in terms of the ability to provide monitoring and information on things in the ocean we otherwise have no access to.”

Such different animals. I’m so in love with the space Protei is operating in. Autonomous sailing robots. An ocean of possibilites. The next frontier. We are a few players now, we may be thousands soon. It feels like it is the beginning of a great epoch. I think we all feel that. It probably has a lot in common with the the exaltation of the first manned flights years. Seeing your baby sailing on it’s own is a magical feeling. Imagining that one day it will become this little dot on the map collecting information, among many other points, such an adventure.

And the numbers are so impressive. The money. The size. The materials. So different. We have large corporations with multi-million investments on major media outlets  facing devices made of parts that costs a few hundred dollars. And we’re all progressing fast with so much conviction, underdogs, overlords, all humbled by the power of the elements, all willing to be brocken and try, try again. I am happy I read these 2 articles side by side today because it informs me with the situation of Protei. I feel we’re somewhere between these 2 extremes. A rather sweet spot. A good place and we must pursue that “middle” slice. Not only for hackers, not only for big corporation, for everyone. I’m excited. Let’s go.

20130320 Daniel Epstein on TechCrunch about Unreasonable at Sea, from the sea

http://techcrunch.com/2013/03/19/halfway-through-its-100-day-voyage-checking-in-with-the-unreasonable-at-sea-startup-ship/

20130320 Daniel Epstein on Tech Cruntch

By COLLEEN TAYLOR

When we first heard about Daniel Epstein‘s plan to bring his Unreasonable Institute startup accelerator to the high seas with a 100 day, around-the-world sailing expedition called ‘Unreasonable At Sea,’ it frankly seemed like a pretty crazy idea. Let alone the risk of pirates (thereal kind, not the entrepreneurial kind), there are so many possible things that could go wrong for the 11 startups aboard the ship — bad Internet connections, seasickness, homesickness, and the like.

Unreasonable At Sea's around the world voyage

Unreasonable At Sea’s around the world voyage

So now that Unreasonable At Sea is more than halfway through its voyage (it started January 9th in San Diego and ends April 25th in Barcelona) we decided to check back in with Epstein for a TechCrunch TV talk yesterday morning to see how everything is coming along. For starters, the Internet connection is actually pretty solid, as we were able to see in the quality of our Skype chat as he was aboard the Unreasonable At Sea ship in the Indian Ocean just off the coast of Mauritius. He told us that everything else is going just as swimmingly (sorry, I can never resist making some kind of water pun when writing about this endeavor.)

Watch the video embedded above to hear Epstein talk about the perks of the journey so far, how the startup folks are mingling with the Semester At Sea students aboard the ship (and getting some work out of them too), what the biggest lessons and surprises have been so far, and what’s in store for the rest of the journey ahead.

20130301 Yangon, Myanmar

Let’s go straight to the point. Shwedagon pagoda is exquisite. The entire country seems to conspire to be a heaven for photographers.
The video above was made by our video Unreasonable Media team.

Visiting Yangon, Burma / Myanmar

Visiting Yangon, Burma / Myanmar
Where in the world do you get to see more gold? More delicate and intricate craftsmanship?

Visiting Yangon, Burma / Myanmar
As many buddhas?

Visiting Yangon, Burma / Myanmar
The visitors, mostly families, create an atmosphere that is so casual. Religion is really daily life.

Visiting Yangon, Burma / Myanmar
A giant architectural complex that keeps growing, where prayers and the sound of hammers are in harmony.

Visiting Yangon, Burma / Myanmar

The streets of Yangon are busy. The country just opened. It is hard to find an ATM, there are only a few of them in the entire country at this point. More than half of the women and men are wearing traditional cloth and many wear the Thanaka (face paint).

What will the beauty of Myanmar become? Will it protect its traditions or will walk in the steps of Vietnam or China, a race towards “progress”. It is hard to say. But the fever for modernity is not yet felt in the streets of Yangon.


One cannot ignore how much Myanmar has been suffering until very recently. Watching this film will certainly not give you the full picture, but I was touched by it. I recommend you watch it. I wonder what Myanmar will become in the years to come. It will change a  lot. You must remember at least one name: Aung San Suu Kyi.

Visiting Yangon, Burma / Myanmar

You do need to get off the ship to see that Burma is exporting wood. A lot of wood. Maybe loggers are in a rush before policy changes announced for 2014. In the mean time it is a very good business, They are loading wood in large ship night and day for export. The image underneath is a panoramic view from the ship.

Protei in Burma / Myanmar

We were happy not to find pressant aquatic struggles in Myanmar, which is a good thing. Deforestation data suggests that the removal of trees is slowly starting to impact water quality yet industrialisation seems not to affect significantly the country. Let’s stay vigilant and hopeful for graceful Myanmar :)

20130227 Unreasonable at Sea: An Update From Cesar Harada of Protei on Young Entrepreneur .com

20130228 Unreasonable at Sea on Young Entrepreneur.com

Great article thanks to Kristin Luna.

Editor’s Note: This post marks the second in a short series we’re featuring on the Unreasonable at Sea program. Check out the first installment “Entrepreneurs Take on the World — By Cruise Ship“ 

Call it an aquatic update.

It’s been six weeks since the mobile-accelerator program Unreasonable at Sea set sail on the MV Explorer for a four-month trip around the world, and as we promised, we’re checking in with our intrepid entrepreneurs. First up is Cesar Harada of Protei, who dropped us a line as he was departing Singapore.

Through Protei, Harada hopes to make an open-source sailing robot, or drone, that cleans up environmental waste. But he still has major challenges, which he hopes to tackle throughout the voyage. Not only is he aiming to crack the engineering puzzle that is building a shape-shifting hull, he wants to create a global community that develops the technology. He’ll also need to fine tune his technology, which has multiple applications — from cleaning up oil spills to plastic pollution and more.

“It is hard to think of a better place as the middle of the ocean with some of the world’s most notable entrepreneurs to reinvent how technology can connect us back with the environment in a meaningful and sustainable way,” he says.

Related: The 3D Printing Craze Hits Young Entrepreneurs

Thus far, the CEO and his colleague Gabriella Levine have visited Hawaii, Japan, China, Hong Kong, Singapore and they’re currently are in Burma. Given Harada’s Japanese heritage — and the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami that spurred a level seven nuclear crisis, the worst since Chernobyl — he was most eager to revisit his roots and start to apply his technology, which can also be used to clean up radioactivity.

“Half of my family lives in Niigata, and I was horrified [when the tsunami hit]. Hundreds of thousands of people were evacuated,” he recalls.

When the Unreasonable ship docked in Japan, Harada and his team built underwater radioactivity sensors in Tokyo. They then drove to Fukushima and immersed the instrument at the border of the exclusion zone to measure significant amounts of radioactivity on the seabed.

Related: Limor Fried on Making DIY Look Easy

They also were able to meet with FuRo (Future Robotics Laboratory of Chiba University) that provides TEPCO, Japan’s national energy company, with “Quince,” the remotely-operated robot that was sent inside the damaged reactor for remote sensing and operations. “We are now integrating FuRo Electronics in Protei design and hope to come back as soon as we possibly can to deploy a fleet of Protei in Fukushima surrounding waters,” Harada says.

The community environment that the academic host company Semester at Sea fosters has been beneficial to Protei’s development, notes Harada. The term “We’re in the same boat” has taken on a whole new meaning, he adds. “We share meals. We work together. We celebrate our small victories together. We cheer each other up in hard moments.”

He’s also learning more about himself. “I like people, but it’s actually hard for me to really like people — until this trip,” says Harada. I usually focus on work. Yet, I’ve connected quite intensely with the mentors and the organizers.” The program also boasts 50 faculty members and 600 Semester at Sea students, with whom the traveling treps interact.

Related: Crisscrossing the Globe In the Name of Entrepreneurship

While prior to the voyage, Harada was focusing on Japan, it’s China that may have proven most impactful to Protei’s future so far. “We found amazing manufacturing partners in Shenzhen. We have seen that our technology is relevant for environmental measurement there, and we have found a place where we can scale Protei production.”

Following the voyage’s completion in May, Harada now plans to relocate Protei from his native Paris to Shenzhen, one of the world’s centers for electronic manufacturing.

Kristin Luna is a Nashville-based journalist who has written travel and news features for Newsweek, Forbes, Redbook, Self and countless others, as well as several guidebooks for Frommer’s. Kristin previously sailed with Semester at Sea in 2011 as the assistant field office coordinator. You can follow her global exploits via her award-winning blog Camels & Chocolate.

 

20130115 Unreasonable at Sea by Unreasonable Media Episode 1 !

Unreasonable at Sea: Embarkation from Unreasonable Media on Vimeo.

We have a great Media Team on board of the MV Explorer. They are following us pretty much everywhere.
We are living a very privileged experience and we have to share it with the entire world, because the core belief of Unreasonable at Sea is that Entrepreneurship is changing the world ! Thanks for travelling with us!

20130107 Day 1. Departure

There are some moments that are too beautifully strange to be described with words.

20130108getting onb board of MV explorer
Snapshot. It is 3 AM and I am playing basketball alone on top of one of the world fastest and most hygienic boat in the world, cruising speed between San Diego California and Ensenada in Baja California, Mexico.

20130108getting onb board of MV explorer
Screenshot. My name is Cesar Harada, 29, I am an Unreasonable at Sea Entrepreneur. With my colleague Gabriella Levine, we got on board of the MV Explorer, for a 106 days sailing journey around the world with 10 other entrepreneurs that want to change the world, 20 world class mentors, 50 scholars, 600 american students to sail across 14 countries.

Thanks for joining the voyage! I will do my best to document the journey and share with you this privileged experience. This trip will be translated in several languages, thanks to a magnificent crew of volunteers translators : Thank you! We have just boarded, and we haven’t started to work yet. I will explain discussions, people, places, work as it develops over the next few days. The last days have been intense, and “now” feels more surreal than ever before. To understand bit more what’s happening, let’s rewind the last 72 hours :

20130108getting onb board of MV explorer
Vancouver – Los Angeles – San Diego. A few hour ago, I was in the sky, in the narrow cabin of a 4 seat wide plane, flying above mega cities, distracted inspecting my wound.

Ooops butchered myself. 8 stitches please :)

A few hours earlier, I injured myself quite badly. As I brought a large wooden box for FedEx, I was asked – very last minute – to reduce the size of the wood crate I had just made. Working with a new and sharp wood saw just outside of FedEx in the dark and cold  streets of Vancouver Canada, I simply butchered myself. In my bad luck, I am always the luckiest : the husband of my girlfriend’s best friend is a doctor, he decorated me with 8 pretty stitches above my left hand thumb tendons.

Protei_010 shipping from Vancouver, Canada

This is the box, containing 3 – in progress- prototypes of Protei, the Open Hardware Shape Shifting Sailing Robot. Too big to travel with me, the box is being transported to Hilo Hawaii where we will pick it up in a few days as we cross the Pacific Ocean.
Protei_010 shipping from Vancouver, Canada

We will use these prototypes to demo our technology. At sea for the next few months we will be developing both the technology and the business strategy for Protei technology.

It is now 5 AM, everyone is asleep, everything is vibrating as our 1000 passengers boat gently rolls. I am sitting in the cantine of the ship, our vessel is moving fast, cutting steadily through the steamy waters. This is the beginning of an amazing journey. Sore eyes, and brutal expectations.

Let’s be Unreasonable in all languages around the world !!!

Call to translators !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AxHLN8kvMWs

Hello, my name is Cesar Harada, French-Japanese Ocean Roboticist and TED Senior Fellow. With my colleague Gabriella Levine of the Open-H2O community we are developing the Open Hardware Shape-Shifting Sailing Robot to explore and protect the Ocean called “Protei.org“. We have the extreme privilege to have been selected by the Unreasonable Institute to develop the next generation of business hoping to impact the life of millions, mentored by an astounding group of world-class entrepreneurs and leaders, from Matt Mullenweg (WordPress) to Nobel Peace Laureate and Archbishop Desmond Tutu,  the Vice President of Business Development at Google Megan Smith and many more. And like this wasn’t exciting enough, we will do all of this on a ship, sailing around the world for 4 months, stopping in the most significants ports, meeting potential sponsors, investors/partners, government representatives , academics, non-profits, environmental activists and discovering local cultures. Wow :)

This is one in a lifetime adventure, we want to take you with us.
We need your help, as translator.
Together, we can share this amazing journey and inspire more people. 

January 6th 2013, we will depart from San Diego, heading to Ensenada in Mexico, than to Hawaii, Japan, China, Vietnam, Singapore, Burma, India, Mauritius, South Africa, Ghana, Morocco, debarking in Spain April 28th 2013 … See the map  here. If you are in one of these places, we would love to meet you and -if you like- feature you in the blog! The languages of the journey : English (source), French, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Vietnamese, Burmese, Malayalam (Cochin India), Afrikaans, Akan (Ghana), Arab. And I dream of : Portuguese, Korean, Indonesian, German, Russian, Dutch, Urdu,  etc : all languages are welcome !

I would write  a few times a week, posting fotos, videos and texts from the mentors presentations on the topics of entrepreneurship, environmental observations, notes about the development of our business and technology (we’ll work on Open Hardware instruments for environmental measurements), travel anecdotes from the boat and the land, some short interviews. I will publish the original blog posts in english, I have set up the system to be multi-lingual so your articles will be easily accessible. Just send me an email with the post translated – and I will copy-paste it, with your credits and links of course – What about starting by translating this one :) ?

If you have more questions, please comment below | if you want to be part of this, email me : contact@cesarharada.com, easy.

The ocean is where all life comes from and is also the future of our societies may it come to food, energy, transport, information and security. We are developing an Open-Hardware technology that we hope will be a game changer to study and protect the oceans.
It is going to be quite a journey. Be part of it.

20120929 Kickstarter update : End of summer 2012 progress report

http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cesarminoru/protei-open-hardware-oil-spill-cleaning-sailing-ro/posts/318243

We’re coming back to you with a bag of big news about Protei and the progress of the Protei team.

Protei at Techshop San Francisco, Summer 2012. Mad scientist look ∑8D !

Most of this summer 2012, Gabriella Levine and myself -Cesar Harada- have been working hard on optimising Protei_010 for manufacturing from TechShop San Francisco, thanks to the support of Instructables.com and Etienne Gernez. We have a good design and a manufacturing process that provides quality consistency, that’s affordable and easily scalable. We need more testing, and we don’t have yet the material that we are fully satisfied with, but it will come. The next generation of prototype is to be ready for manufacturing, preparing to make the first public batch of beta Protei in the next few months! Of course you would be the first to receive it! Why we are not showing you (or anyone) the most recent designs? You may have heard about the controversy around the new Makerbot Replicator 2 not being Open Source ; because of the threat of a cheaper chinese copycat – well – we want to avoid that, so we are preparing our machine and we’ll release everything (design, CAD, specs, code…) open source “at the right time” : when we release the product. We have quite some overhead cost to set up manufacturing so we cannot afford the risk of someone manufacturing before we do :)

Protei wins Savannah Ocean Exchange.

Last week, Protei won the prestigious “Gulfstream Navigator Award” from Worldwide Sponsors Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. and Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics (WWL) – Gabriella Levine represented Protei at the Savannah Ocean Exchange in Georgia thanks to Shah Selbe. That means $100,000. And this explains why the paragraph above is so positive and why we are so compelled to bring Protei to production, to your home, to the ocean!

Finally setting up as a non-profit (Open-H2O) + Company (Protei)

With the prize, we are finally able to afford to register ourselves as a non-profit (Open-H2O – former Open_Sailing) and as a corporation (Protei Inc). In a few days, Oct 1, 2 and 3, most of the core team members are meeting in Oslo Norway to define how we are going to bring Protei to you.

The diagram above explains the relationship between the non-profit and the profit entity.

Unreasonable at Sea

And last huge news, Protei is getting ready to do a world tour !!!

From January to April 2013, Gabriella Levine and myself will embark on a great adventure “Unreasonable at seaaround the world. It is a 4 months elite business incubator at sea where we will perfect an innovative strategy for Protei and Open-H2O with world-class mentors while making environmental measurements of plastic, radioactivity and other environmental pollutions around the Pacific, China Sea, Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, South Atlantic, North Atlantic and Mediterranean. We will try to blog abundantly during that time and are hoping to set up demos in every single port we dock. What could be more exciting?

We have many Protei events, exhibitions and talks around the world for Protei nowadays : PICNIC Festival in Amsterdam (NL), Las Vegas (US) last week with Julia Cerrud ; Monterrey yesterday at the BLUE film Festival with Ru Mahoney ; Open Hardware Summit in New York we had a poster with Roberto Melendez, Logan P Williams, Toni Nottebohm ; currently at the Amsterdam Museum of Science NEMO with Transnatural Festival thanks to Sebastian Muellauer and Kasia Molga, Metamorph Festival in Trondheim Norway this week end with Etienne Gernez ; TEDxParis and ENSCI next week and much more coming… Please check our website front page.

So, in a nutshell, this summer :

  • we made great progress on the design, getting ready for manufacturing,
  • we won a big award that will help us manufacture,
  • we’re getting more administratively organised
  • we’re going around the world with Protei, study the ocean and test our product in different environments.

We’re moving fast, never as fast as we wish, but we are definitely making good progress. We’ll keep you posted, and thanks again for your support !