The BP oil spill brought much attention to the fact that the technology to rectify industries' mishaps is often lacking, but the Oil Cleaning Guard suggests a way for these sorts of debacles to be controlled.
Presenting what appears to be petroleum vacuums passing over the water's surface, designers Zhu Yi, Li Ran, Zhao Xiaoyang and Hu Tingting have devised a way for a fleet of such seafaring custodians to collect, condense and filter oil from large bodies of water. With several of these 11-meter-long machines operating side-by-side, large sections of sea can be targeted at once.
The Oil Cleaning Guard concept won a Lotus Prize for its ingenious suggestion, which works based on green technologies and a system of signals that wards off birds and fish to prevent their injury.
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