In 2011 a prototype of Protei was developed at V2_lab. Protei aims to be a fleet of sailing drones, developed primarily to collect oil spills. The vessels semi-autonomously sail upwind. The prototype uses an innovative hull design and is currently being developed further.
Piem Wirtz presented Protei together with naval architect Alvaro Takiuti at the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands in Wageningen on a day about natural propulsion. The day was concluded with a guided tour to the MARIN facilities and the student sailing contest which was held the same day as the seminar.
MARIN has for eighty years been involved in optimizing hull forms
to reduce resistance and fuel consumption. There is an emphasis on reducing emissions
and the impact on the environment. According to MARIN a radical change in propulsion
sources could (well, should) be considered as alternative to engine driven ships. This is natural propulsion, and Protei is an interesting example of that – as it can sail semi-autonomously upwind.
More at: www.marin.nl/web/Events/Natural-Propulsion-Seminar.htm