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SeaSTAR: Selective Thalassic Ambulatory Retriever (STAR)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: ARPA-E
Contract: DE-AR0001241
Agency Tracking Number: 1954-1586
Amount: $249,308.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: G
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001954
Solicitation Year: 2019
Award Year: 2020
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2020-04-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2020-12-31
Small Business Information
3101 20th St
San Francisco, CA 94110
United States
DUNS: 830681800
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Guilherme Cavalcanti
 (857) 756-3643
Business Contact
 Guilherme Cavalcanti
Phone: (857) 756-3643
Research Institution

Growth, electrification, and increased installation of renewable energy is driving significant increases in worldwide demand for metals like manganese, nickel, copper, and cobalt. This increase in commodity prices and projected demand has driven interest in exploring new sources of minerals such as deep sea mining. The abyssal plain contains locations of concentrated deposits of polymetallic nodules, 3-20cm diameter metallic secretions which are a yet-untapped resource of relevant minerals. Current prototype polymetallic nodule collectors propose to function as indiscriminate vacuums, strip mining a significant volume of the sea floor and transporting every- thing to the surface to be filtered, with significant ecological costs in addition to the costs of transporting so much waste material to the surface. Otherlab proposes to develop a nodule collector called the SeaSTAR, a large platform attached to a vacuum funnel that’s ringed by robot arms. The platform would use its arms to walk across the abyssal plain while selectively picking up nodules and depositing them into a vacuum for trans- port to the surface. This selectivity will reduce the cost of mining operations by reducing the mass transported to the surface, and significantly reduce the environmental impact by minimizing disruption of the ocean floor.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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