Algae Biofuel Robot Project (Nov. Social)

November Social Eventbrite

The return of Charlie Deist! Charlie and his partner Rudy Behrens will present their algae-harvesting robot for our Nov. Seasteading Social.

Blue-green has amazing properties from its nutritional value to its rapid growth rate, but in an increasing number of places around the country it has entered into a problematic symbiosis with other aquatic plants to create harmful algae blooms. On the bright side, these HABs create an ideal opportunity for new seasteading technology – algae-harvesting robots that produce biofuel while bringing the ecology back into balance. Charlie is working on the west coast prototype – the “manatee” – set to be deployed in the San Francisco Bay Area early next year.

The concept, invented and patented by aerospace engineer Rudy Behrens, has already been prototyped and successfully operated on a farm pond in Pennsylvania for the past 5 years. Now is the time for the next big leap, out of the pond and into larger bodies of water.

As he builds, Charlie and his team are also producing a set of instructions for DIYers who wish to license the technology and build their own fleet of algae biofuel robots.

The presenters are

Charlie Deist

Charlie Deist Picture
Charlie Deist and his daughter on his boat.

Charlie Deist, professional mariner and DIY robotics enthusiast. Charlie worked at The Seasteading Institute from 2011 – 2014. He is a US Sailing-certified instructor and licensed coast guard captain. Charlie lives in Berkeley with his wife and daughter and hopes to sail to Mexico, Panama, and beyond in the years to come!

Rudolph Behrens

Rudolph Behrens Headshot
Rudolph Behrens, presenter for Seasteading November Social via Eventbrite. Topic is Algae biofuel robot project.

Rudolph Behrens, Founder & CEO of Solaris Cybernetics. Rudy has a B.S. Mechanical Aerospace Engineering from Rutgers. He is currently working with University of Florida robotics team, as well as Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection to deploy biofuel-producing robots to alleviate the algal blooms and red tide conditions that have plagued the state.

Some of his accomplishments:

  • Began career at Worthington Corporation, a large turbo-machinery manufacturer, and rose to the position of District Engineer–Philadelphia
  • Designed 3D modeling software for flows in nuclear pumps systems
  • Chief Mechanical Engineer of pump technology at Sun Corporation (now Sunoco)
  • Operated a small commercial hydroponic farm
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