Ocean Odyssey Research Project IS 93

Monday, January 30, 2006


First step...

and then...

Last week we were working in our robot and we are already able to carry out with success the simplest missions (reef, shark, pipeline and to cover the bombs of petroleum.)
Everything was quite easy because the programs carry out them with turns of motors and times. We lacked to incorporate some pincers to the robot so that it could grab (the archaeological artifacts and the small submarine)
Thinking at home discovers a very simple and effective mechanism. Some pincers with a lot of force that they also incorporate to the robot or they take off with great easiness (to win time)
We send you some picture of our advances.
It is a pity that we have not begun with more advance to serve you as more help in your competition.
A greeting and forgive me for my bad expression in English.
and our result!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Last Minute Preparations

This is the Lego Lab at IS 93 where Danny and Gary took time out from practicing running missions to help Eugene build the ozone and bacteria trailer.

Here Robert and Robert are re-assembling the research project vehicle- it's purpose is still top-secret!

Can you tell which student is Robert?

Sunday, January 22, 2006

In-Situ Suggestion

It appears, based on the general outline, that this group intends on building a system that is capable of cleaning up, or remediating, petroleum that has washed up on the shore after an oil spill at sea. As I understand it, this system is not for cleaning up oil that is still floating on the water nor is it for cleaning up contamination at the sea floor. Instead this system is intended to clean up petroleum contaminated sand, gravel and mud, on beaches and in wetlands.

When oil is spilled onto the ground, it will immediately begin to flow down into the ground material. If the petroleum comes into contact with groundwater (water contained in the soil or bedrock), it will also contaminate this water. Since groundwater can be a significant source of drinking water, it is important that contamination of this valuable resource be reduced or eliminated.

Lets' divide on-shore petroleum contamination into two general phases: above ground and below ground. The contamination that is above ground will generally be pooled and can easily be clean up using a vacuuming device. I would suggest that your system might contain a vaccum that is capable of removing pooled petroleum. Above ground petroleum contamination can also be adhered to rocks. In general, this is the least dangerous phase of the contamination and will eventually be cleaned up by natural forces including sunlight (photo-remediation), oxidation and biodegradation (bacteria will actually digest the oil). Allowing natural forces to remediate an oil spill is called "natural attenuation" and is currently the most popular way to treat an oil spill. Mother nature is very good at cleaning herself up and she doesn't charge any money for her services.

The below-ground contamination is the most difficult to clean-up. Although natural attenuation does work underground, it typically takes much longer because there is no sunlight underground and oxygen is limited. Oxygen is critical for natural attenuation because the bacteria that digest oil are aerobic becteria, meaning that they require both a food source AND oxygen (O2) to live. Since natural attenuation of subsurface petroleum contamination is so slow, the toxic chemicals found in petroleum have a much lonegr time to do damage to the environment. This damage will include contamination of groundwater and long term harm to organisms, such as clams and mussels, that live below ground. Simply digging up the contamination is not genrally the best solution. Once the contaminated soil has been excavated, it must then be transported and disposed of. This is simply moving the problem from one place to another. The problem still exists. In addition, digging up the soil will destroy the below-ground ecosystms.

A popular way of treating subsurface petroleum contamination is (contamination of soil, mud, rock and groundwater) is by treating the materials in-place. This is commonly refered to as "in-situ" remediation. In-situ remediation can be accomplished in many ways. One way to do it is by enhancing the natural degradation of the petroleum contamination by bacteria which digest the petroleum compounds. This is called "in-situ, bio-remediation".

Most soils already contain bacteria that can digest the various toxic compunds contained in petroleum products. One way to accomplich in-situ bio-remediation is to enhance the activity of these naturally occuring bacteria by addition of nutrients and oxygen. Water is also necessary, so, if the soils are dry, addition of water to the contaminated material will also be necessary. Another way to do this is by adding special bacetria that has been developed specifically to digest petroleum compounds. There are many companies that sell these special types of bacteria. In addition, instead of adding oxygen (O2) to the contaminated soil, ozone (O3) can be added instead. Ozone is much more reactive than is oxygen and, therefore, enhances the activity of the aerobic bacteria much more quickly.

I would suggest that, instead of building a vehichle that can remove petroleum contaminated soil and rock, the vehichle should be a delivery system for specialized petroleum digesting bacteria and ozone. The vehichle might also contain a vaccum for removing petroleum that has pooled at the surface, but these types of vehichles already exist and are nothing special.

This vehicle would contain a tank to hold the bacteria/water/nutrient solution. The tank should probably have a capacity of 500 liters. The vehichle could also have an air compressor and an ozone generator. The compressor forces air into the ozone generator, which converts O2 to O3. The ozone is then forced, by the compressor, through several injectors located at the bottom of the vehichle. These injectors could be 1 to 2 meters long and would be like giant, stainless steel syringes that would be forced into the ground by a hydraulic device, taking power from the on-board power plant. Some of these injectors would be used to inject the bacteria/nutrient/water solution into the ground. The other injectors would be used to force the ozone into the ground. The vehichle would traverse the contaminated area, in a grid-like pattern, to ensure uniform and adequate coverage. The vehichle would stop, at pre-determined intervals along the grid, to inject the bacteria mixture and ozone. Applications could be repeated, accordingly, until the contamination has been reduced to acceptable concentrations.

It is imporatant to note that pure ozone is a deadly gas. Inhalation of pure ozone by humans will result in serious injury and/or death. This system must be equipped with on-board ozone sensors that will automatically shut down the system if ozone is detected on the outside of the vehichle. Also, to be doubly safe, the vehichle should probably be remote controlled, so that there is not chance of operator exposure to pure ozone.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Robot

We plan to make a robot that comes in and efficiently cleans up an oil spill so that minimal damage is done to the environment. It will have double wheels covered with a tank track to traverse through sand dunes easily. The robot will have a rake that will push black Lego pieces (they will represent oil) into a cage. The robot will have a Lego Camera attached to its front that will be connected to a motor that will make it constantly pivot. The Lego Camera will be connected to a computer. The computer will be connected to a digital projector that shows what is happening in the sand box that the robot is in.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

More Things to Add

Peter Murray, as you know, is our mentor specically for the Research Project. His company's website is
HERE. I am not sure how much material there is here for your research but the site may enlighten you as to what he sells and what kinds of industrial equipment in this industry is being used.

I think it is time to ask him what he thinks of your plan to create a quick response robot to rake oil out of an affected beach as you stated in your rearch proposal.

Also, I would like to see all of the questions asked in Spanish. You have some duplicates that need to be deleted or changed.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Our twenty-sixth question

How did that effect your village(province) economically?

Como efecto el accidente petroleo a tu provincia economicamente?

Question Number Twenty-Seven

Did you have any support in the funds necessary to recuperate?

Recibistes respaldo financiero suficiente para recuperar?

Our twenty-fourth question

What changes occurred in your way of life?

Que cambios occurio en tu manera de vida?

Question Number Twenty-Five

How did you recuperate after the oil spill occurred?

Como recuperastes despues que occurio el derramamiento de petroleo?

Our twenty-second question

What equipment did you use to clean up the oil spill?

Que equipamiento estaba necessario para limpiar il accidente petroleo?

Question Number Twenty-Three

How did you feel when you found out that your main source of food was destroyed?

Como te sentistes cuando descubristes que tu fuente principal de comida fue destruido?

Our twentieth questioin

Do you know anyone who cleaned up the oil spill?

Tu conoceria alguien que limpio il accidente petroleo?

Question Number Twenty-One

When did you find out about the oil spill?

Cuando te distes cuenta del derramamiento de petroleo?

Question Number Nineteen

Who cleaned up the oil spill?

Quien limpio el derramamiento de petroleo?

Our eighteenth question

What changes had to be made in your daily life after the Prestige oil spill?

Que cambios estaban necessario en tu vida diaro despues de el acciedente petroleo?

Question Number Seventeen

What did you have to substitute the seafood you ate with?

Que tenias para substituir los mariscos?

Our sixteenth question

What memories are most prominent in your mind from the oil spill?

Que memorias eststabas prominente en tu mente desde il accidente di petroleo?

Question Number Fifteen

How did the beach look after the oil spill?

Cual era el aspecto de la playa despues del derramamiento de petroleo?

Our fourteenth question

How long did it take to clean up the oil spill?

Quanto tiempo estaba necesario para limpia il desastre di petroleo?

Question Number Thirteen

What was used to clean up the oil spill?

Que fue usado para recoger el derramamiento de petroleo?

Question number twelve

What do think about how the oil spill occurred?

Que tu opinar como el accidente di petroleo?

Question Number Eleven

What changes occurred after the first week after the oil spill occurred?

Cuales cambios occurieron despues de la primera semana a del derramamiento?

Question number ten

What changed on the first day after the oil spill occurred?

Que camobio en el primer dia de el accidente de petroleo?

Question Number Nine

How did you feel when you found out about the oil spill?

Como te sentistes cuando supistes del derramamiento?

Question number eight

Where were you when you found out about the oil spill?

Adonde tu eastaba quando el accidente di petroleo occurio?

Question Number Seven

When did you find out about the oil spill?

Como descubristes la noticia del derramamiento?

Question number six

How did the cleanup of the oil spill look?

Como vio la limpieza de il aciete accidente?

Question Number Five

Our fifth question is:
What changes occurred within your village after the oil spill?

Cuales cambios occurieron en tu pueblo despues del derramamiento de petroleo?

Question Number Three

How did the Prestige oil spill affect you and your family?

Como te afecto tu y tu familia cuando occurio el derramamiento del petroleo Prestige?

Question number four

How did the beach look after the oil spill?

Como vio la playa despues de el aceite accidente?

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Our second Question

What types of fish and marine animals are located in the ocean that you live near?

Que classe di animals y pescados estaba adentro di el oceano que estaban cerca de tu area?

Our First Question

How does having the ocean so close to your home and school affect you and your family?

Como le afectaria a tu y tu familia teniendo el mar tan cerca a tu escuela y casa?

Our Ideas For The Research Project

Our topic for the research project is the affects of oil spills. We have team mates in Spain. Mr. Wright is setting up a partnership with a school in Carnota, Spain. In 2001, an oil tanker called the Prestige began to leak oil and eventually sank off the coast of Spain near the town of Carnota. This caused a huge environmental disaster. Our Ocean Odyssey Project is focused on two things. One part of our project will be an investigation of the physical affects of oil spills on the environment. The second part of the Project will be investigating the affects on people- our team mates in Spain will become our source of data on how the Prestige oil spill affected them and their families. We have researched the environmental affects of oil spills. We have more to learn but we know that oil spills are very bad for any environment. Our solution to help make a quick cleanup will be a remote-control robot that will be deployed quickly during an oil spill to minimize damage to the ocean environment. We have a design that uses an arm with a rake to clean sand and soil. We are not sure yet of what our research will produce for the human affects because we do not know what the people who experienced the oil spill will say.