In 2010, Cesar worked as a Researcher and Project Leader at MIT Senseable City Lab. Focused on oil-spill robotic remediation research.
"By autonomously navigating the water’s surface, Seaswarm proposes a new system for ocean-skimming and oil removal. Seaswarm uses a photovoltaic powered conveyor belt made of a thin nanowire mesh to propel itself and collect oil. The nanomaterial, patented at MIT, can absorb up to 20 times its weight in oil. The flexible conveyor belt softly rolls over the ocean’s surface, absorbing oil while deflecting water because of its hydrophobic properties.
Seaswarm is intended to work as a fleet, or “swarm” of vehicles, which communicate their location through GPS and WiFi in order to create an organized system for collection that can work continuously without human support. Because they are smaller than commercial skimmers attached to large fishing vessels, they are able to navigate hard to reach places like estuaries and coast lines. Seaswarm works by detecting the edge of a spill and moving inward until it has removed the oil from a single site before joining other vehicles that are still cleaning. Oil is "digested" locally so that Seaswarm does not need to make repeated trips back to shore, which would dramatically slow collection time.
The fleet uses cutting edge nanotechnology to solve current environmental problems while envisioning long-term solutions for the future. With a new design strategy we can revive and preserve the quality of our oceans." From the Senseable City Lab Website (as of 2021/01/17)
Earlier version of the website, my name was along the other collaborators: Carlo Ratti, Assaf Biderman, Luigi Farrauto (who replaced me as Project Leader), Carnaven Chiu, Adam Pruden, David Anderson, Malima Wolf, Diego Maniloff, Sey Min, Rex Britter, Lindsey Hoshaw, Jennifer Dunnam, David Lee, Kristian Kloeckl, Dietmar Offenhuber, Jan Kokol, Phil Salesses, Matthew Kai Johnson Roberson, Walter Nicolino, Giovanni de Niederhausern, Samuel Colle Dominguez Maldonado, Andrea Cassi, Alberto Bottero, Filipa Carvalho, Eric Baczuk, Brendan Englot, Rob Hummel, Brooks Reed
All Seaswarm™ documentation, Property of Senseable City Lab, MIT©