• 10.10.11

Oil-Sucking Robots In Action [VIDEO]

This summer, the entrants in the Oil Removal X Challenge were put through their paces in an oil-filled pool. This is what it looked like.


This past summer, the 10 finalists in the the Wendy Schmidt Oil Cleanup X Challenge spent their days in a pool at The National Oil Spill Response Research & Renewable Energy Test Facility in New Jersey, trying to remove oil from water. The machine that did it the best–to the tune of removing 70% of oil from the sea-water
surface at a rate of more than 2,500 gallons per
minute–is going to win its company the $1.4 million-dollar prize.

The winners will be announced on Tuesday, but in the meantime, we have some exclusive video of what the testing process was like for two teams, Crucial and Voraxial. Watch them try to deal with an inch of floating oil in a wavy pool, below:

About the author

Morgan is a senior editor at Fast Company. He edits the Ideas section, formerly