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Solar-Powered, Oil-Cleaning Robots: Solution for Oil Spills?
A team of researchers at MIT's SENSEable City Laboratory have developed Seaswarm, a robot that autonomously navigates the water?s surface and uses nanofibers to absorb 20 times its weight in oil, which could be made into a viable solution for cleaning up oil spills. Seaswarm uses a photovoltaic powered conveyor belt made of a thin nanowire mesh - patented at MIT - to propel itself and collect oil. The flexible conveyor belt rolls over the ocean?s surface, absorbing oil while deflecting water because of its hydrophobic properties.
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