Gabriella Levine

ongoing and past work
Archive for February, 2013

Unreasonable at Sea day 47, 48, 49

Day 47

was an “off day” as in, we had no workshop or any plans. I did a lot of work in the morning, I worked out (deck of cards) with Daniel, I tried to do some coding and other work in the afternoon & through the evening.

Day 48

was full of meetings and work: During the workshop, we finalized our list of “people we would like to contact” because we believe here at Unreasonable at Sea we are 2-degrees of separation away from pretty much everyone in the world. protei possible connections IMG_8117smfx

Cesar presented the first version of Tom Chi’s book. Workshop Yangon IMG_8118smfx

Design Thinking Class

observe for empathy
For example, redesign the diner experience – watch, see, look – usually interpretation is wrong, so we want to give you a layered way to think about what you see
1. what
2. how
3. why

DONT jump to why before what.

Meeting with Daniel

We had a meeting with Daniel in the evening because he wanted to touch base with each group of founders, because Myanmar is the halfway point in the trip, where founders decide if they want to stay or leave Unreasonable at Sea.

Day 49

Today we met in the morning to discuss the plan for Myanmar. We are unclear of when we can disembark the ship but we will find out more info later. I spent some time talking with Tom Chi about the electronics layout of Protei and he had some super helpful stuff to say about designing for a modular system: Mechanical stacks; hardware stacks (low level- robustness; high level – flexibility); Application stack: Software…)

PROTEI deep dive Workshop Yangon IMG_8119smfx

We pulled into port finally after going North along the river
arrival in Yangon IMG_8122smfx arrival in Yangon IMG_8123smfx


I stayed on ship that afternoon and evening doing work. Cesar and I talked with Etienne in Norway about Protei / Open H2O and his work for DNV that is related & inspired by Protei. We had a few more skype calls and chatted with Cynthia later that evening.

Unreasonable at Sea day 46

Workshop 19

The beginning of April there will be an event in Washington DC – It will be called Unreasonable at State. This is epic. So we will fly from Barcelona to US. Soon we will go into : how to GENERATE buzz – there is a NEW way; social media. That’s good. I’m curious to brainstorm on this.

Then what we did was brainstorm companies that we should make contacts to.Screen Shot 2013-02-24 at 2.43.02 PM

Prototyping book of Tom Chi

Prototyping Tom Chi's book together Camera Roll-127
1. what he desired
2. what the user desires
3. how those overlap
4. main media, 1 is a book, 1 is a website; first version of the book which will feed into the website, share with each other, the output tells us how to improve the book; machine learning mechanism: web 4.0 -against singularity to counter human intelligence
-smartclass – html5 objects get pumped into what looks like a graphic novel


Later in the evening, we had a brainstorm session with Cynthia, diving into how we could develop our business plan.

IMG_8099smfx IMG_8111_smfx

Unreasonable at Sea day 45

View Larger Map

This is the route we took for the day. First we went to the Real Food Cafe to have a meeting with Vivian Liu, founder of Philanthropy Works. Then we head to IIX, Impact Investment Exchange & Shujog, the founder of whom is Cesar’s friend.


From there we head to the WWF offices IMG_8061smfx to pick up a package from David Lim, that Cesar had delivered to his house.
And then we rushed over to the mall at dhoby ghaut MRT (Although quickly stopped at the SingPost to mail packages we’d been to meet Sim Kai, from Control WOrks, a Singapore based startup developing telepresence platform. Sim Kai is a friend of Tom Clayton (CEO of Singapore based Bubble Motion, a super awesome mentor on the ship).



We ate dinner and had a “townhall”. Then I worked out and went to sleep.

Unreasonable at Sea day 44

On the way out to the pitch, after we had gotten through customs with equipment for testing, the r/c sailboat, etc, Laura told us that we had to return to the ship to work with the Press who wanted to film Protei.

So we put Protei in the pool. With Opflex



Finally we got outside and head to the INSEAD .

IMG_8025smfx IMG_8028smfx

Cesar and I pitched:



The questions we god from the 4 judges: What are your competitors? How much is your boat selling for?
–>Protei offers : affordability, replicability, and scalability compared to other ocean drones, such as Liquid Robotics. It is open-source, it is 200 times cheaper, and can carry more payload.

The “winner” of the pitch event (competition) as deemed by the judges was Aquaphytex. We got the award for being the best “social” platform. or something like that…

Then we head to the after party






<h1>La Pau Sat</h1>

And got some late night snacks
IMG_8046smfx IMG_8047smfx


<h1>the next day</h1>



Unreasonable at Sea day 43

WORKSHOP 18; Tom Clayton (and Megan Smith) advice on Fund Raisng

This was a really cool session. Firstly, it was technical and from experience. So I learned a lot of new terms and details. He also went around the room and briefly found out where each company was in the scheme of things (fund-raising-wise). It was very good to hear some technical details about fundraising, along with some advice on what works / what doesn’t, as well as hear where each company was. The engagement heightens when we all go around the room briefly and address the real issues of each company individually.


Some notes:
99% of investors in the early stage want to invest within driving distance where they are located
You are competing against old established brands. When going to private institional investors and you mention social entrepreneurship, it usually means they will tone out. all they care about is returns, not doing good.
Laura’s question –>how do you talk credibly if your company doesn’t yet have numbers; so that you can tell a story and aren’t measured by the numbers

Grants: tax efficient grants are available in china and elsewhere, those are the types of startups attracted to singapore – clean bio / clean water

-become a darling in singapore: get unlimited visas, import your talent; 19 companies from all over the world; best developers – from china philipines, cost of living is high but tax is SUPER low; 2% taxes; housing, schools and alcohol and cars;
-make less in terms of net income; But he said that prototyping costs are the same anywhere… huh? prototyping the same as anywhere?
Singapore is se asia hub for financing; sub 1 mil dollar; great for early stage companies
–>you are never raising financing: i.e. play hard to get
–DONT say I NEED money – don’t say that you are in a strapped position
-being domicile in the us is important for us investors; early stage; ton of angel investors there
-dont do a joint venture – getting a sales and marketing partner, good
you have to do one in china to operate

DONT take any loans, which will be like a big anchor you are carrying – cause you have to service this debt
EQUITY means believeing in your vision
loan says: you are all alone
grant says: you’ve convinced me that i’m humanitarian and i should give you this money rather than school because you will affect more people that someone else

–how you capitalize becomes strategic – we need help because we are still figuring out our product – put money into THAT phase
–Even if you don’t get funding from the people you meet, definitely continue to send them a NEWSLETTER or something to keep up potential investors

How much you ask for: how much money do i actually need: what is the absolute, scrappiest; then ask for .3 more
Google made a mistake : They didn’t hire or build fast enough; They didn’t build data set fast enough; There was very well used money but it didn’t grow enough
–if you are deeply undercapitalized and starving, you don’t have margin. if you really think about scaling and impact you cannot be starving

meeting with Andrea from SAP on developing a business model



how are you going to go to market, how are you going to sell it / pitch it
—who is the money giver and who is the end user
-what is the unmet need; where does the big money come from
KEY METRICS – how will you evaluate success? What is your goal
–>unique value proposition; new technology and open source; cheap; THAT is our unfair advantage
CHANNELS – how are you going to get the message out, take to market? Much harder at the consumer level
–sell units; sell kits / accessories; sell data; consulting; contracts
call it something instead of hobbyists – design challenge – inventors; software / hardware innovators

meeting with Tom Clayton

Unreasonable at Sea day 42


Our room was very messy (classroom 1). If our ship got an inspection, we would fail because of our room. It is interesting what happens if people have 1 place to work but the function of the work space expands into more of a living space so Shira iterated the rule: NO food in this room ever

in 2 days we arrive to singapore, and at 11 AM we take the bus to the event, which begins roughly at 2 PM; It is a pitch event; practice your slides. get the timing right. This should be the biggest, coolest event with good people. PRACTICE :) Pecha Kucha style
Then VIP dinner 7-9 PM; exact location TBD; bus after dinner arranged to take you back to ship; The 2nd day is free. day 1 fancy

Today Cesar is working mostly with BBC.


ANDREA from SAP: she was a rock and roll tour manager, working with credit management, calling people for money. Now she works on the Deisgn services team to teach the team design thinking
BIG QUESTION: can we provide people with case studies and to show them this “design thinking” actually works?


used to work in the automotive restoration business, buying and selling classic cars. He met his wife on SAS, and so did his brother.
He grew up in oakland, started an online dvd business. Now he works with Bubble Motion, an online social media engine, and now there are offices in tokyo, vietnam, thailand, seoul, manilla.

–>In the classroom, for the students in George’s design entrepreneurship class –
PROTEI:design an online catalog experience for scientist / hackers to participate in the open source movement – three rounds = go to one, rotate and interact with three groups of students

-help hackers understand the potential of protein
-help discvoer kits hackers want to build their own
-help them understand how the sailing robots work
-help build a user scenario for engaging communities and inventors to build their own boats

–what are the components; who are the scientist / hackers? ex of websites -seeed, arduino; diy drones; adafruit; sparkfun; github; littleBits

these are insights we might get:
-who and how would use them
-how do you talk about what you do?
-components / sensitivities for pricing
-what do people want
-help discover kits for people who want to build their own
-how to kitify a product like ours?



Andrea from SAS:
we all like to solve problems, whether you’re coding / designing – but you must hone in on your user
–>Actually have the audience engaged; having a good focus is a good starting point – don’t build everything for everyone
->who it is for?
->what they will use it for?

1 . engineer who likes to hack things together outside of work,; he has built little artsy projects on the side and played with remote control helicopters likes flying UAV’s and has built his own helicopter like the DIY drones helicopter using tutorials from; he has played with remote control boats only a little bit but the idea of having one that has modular electronics so that he could update them and upgrade them to sail autonomously, that is exciting; He is also excited by the fact that this boat is developed into a larger concept that takes into account that it might be able to actually clean up the oceans eventually; He would be most excited about putting a camera on the boat and making it operable from his computer so he can see a real time camera feed and direct / drive the boat using the camera feed
-he has slight interest in ocean preservation but not really all that much;
-more excited in video games, and he does happen to be a vegetarian; He has a wife who works in education / government; he lives in california, bay area;

-Defer judgement; Encourage wild ideas (perhaps post its); if you have an active group and everyone starts yelling – BUILD on the ideas of others
-be a moderator “collect” all of the post its ? Stay focused on the topic – one voice at a time; Be Visual; go for quantity
-doodling, misinterpretation is good
-build consensus beforehand so people don’t just build their own little prototype
-story boarding is helpful

Tom Chi prototyping session

known knowns, knowns unknowns, unknown unknowns
how you process internally, how you communicate it to others; find a logical way to organize it but the right way? How you arrange projects based on passion and energy
–Project management allowing : pick something you’re excited about, exponential build up (1 day, 4 day, 16 day)



Protei’s challenge to the class:
Protei can do things like clean up the oceans; can use the power of proliferation to grow the product from the bottom up; Protei is outreaching to an open source communities of hackers; What are the ways to engage collective action?
–>design an online catalog experience so the open source community of inventors can understand what the kitified version is, what is Protei, develop some user scenarios, and think about the interaction of a good website that sells an interesting product; Open source call to action to hackers, kids, sailing enthusiasts, gov’t agencies, scientists: for example: NIKEID customizable Nike shoes
Screen Shot 2013-02-23 at 4.03.38 PM

Fireside Chat with Megan Smith from GoogleX

networks – ideas become adjacent , through the internet things become adjacent
FARC; alliance of youth movements; only 30% of the world is mapped; soon, all world knowledge will be available for free
Then she mentioned some other stuff:
KHAN; FIRST ROBOTICS; mobile payment markets; Talent inclusion; women,, a new series – women represent 17 percent of leadership; Ada lovelace – 1940’s mechanical computer
And finished with: what are you really good at what can you bring, what are you passionate about?

Unreasonable at Sea day 39-41


Today we woke up and we went to grab a bunch of stuff that we needed. We first went to the electronics store which is a whole “warehouse” area with a bunch of electronics and other stuff mixed in, like hardware stores and stuff. Although it is perhaps really cheap, it is somewhat difficult to find specific items. Bargaining is important.

As we returned and approached the ship, I realized how much dirt had drifted down with the current! And it grew over the course of the day, so much.




And then we built / redid the boat in preparation for tomorrow, testing Protei in the water in Vietnam. I fixed the battery packs that have corroded IMG_7809smfx IMG_7802smfx

and finally, we were able to integrate the arduino microcontroller motor shield with the electronics and the winches. IMG_5767

IMG_7815smfx IMG_7820smfx IMG_7827smfx

Then we realized the sun was coming up:





We head out with boat and bike and equipment and media team. And yay to the year of the dragon.

IMG_7848smfx IMG_7847smfx

First we walked to a “lake” as per the “offline maps”. But we saw no lake, only this: IMG_7852smfx

We met lymai, a very kind generous woman from this small village who had moved to Australia. Now she was home for the holidays, but she was so kind to help us find some water body.


Her daughter was here also, as was her sister.


Then we found the water: IMG_7858smfx IMG_7859smfx

and we met some kids IMG_7862smfx We took a water sample, then head off the lake ho tri anh.

We drove two hours north to the lake. The roads got emptier, but the biking was a bit faster.

View Larger Map


Screen Shot 2013-02-18 at 10.00.15 PM

IMG_7896smfx IMG_7914smfx

So we arrived and got the boat ready for testing.

IMG_7920smfx IMG_7923smfx IMG_7924smfx

IMG_7917smfx Protei lake ho tri anh IMG_7930smfx Protei lake ho tri anh IMG_7933smfx Cesar Protei lake ho tri anh IMG_7934smfx

And here we took some water samples with the opflex IMG_7929smfx

And then we started sailing:

Protei lake ho tri anh IMG_7945smfx

Protei lake ho tri anh IMG_7938smfx

Protei in Vietnam
Then we head back, and grabbed some pho after we returned the bikes. Then we went back to the ship, went to sleep, and overslept a little bit until the next day.


We each gave our pitches and Tom Chi gave a workshop. The workshop was somewhat interesting, People seemed to have a bit of trouble adhering to the time boundaries during the 26 minute prototyping session, and were asking lots of questions rather than beginning to prototype. But we got some information that was helpful : it is difficult to start a company, takes a long time in Vietnam, lots of legal overhead, and you have to find a Vietnamese partner; Penetrating the government in order to get permission to market and implement our technology is also slow and not so easy; There are a lot of companies including NGO’s that are trying to implement preventative techniques around spaces where industries are causing water pollution due to runoff;

tom chi slideshow IMG_7987smfx

Then we went out to lunch at Phong Tra Khong Ten with Milton Hagler & Anh-Tuan Le from Living Simple, Nicolas Griffon from Godet Antarctica Icy Cognac…

anhtuan & milton &

Finally we returned to the ship, bought some weird crackers before doing so, had a “bbq” on the ship, and then in the morning, worked a little bit to wrap up Vietnam, then took off in the morning for Singapore.

ALSO just some reminiscent stuff from Japan:

Unreasonable at Sea day 37

We stayed up most of the night after having a few meetings.

That evening, we went out to dinner with … at Xu

We stopped into the boat store: IMG_7736smfx boats in saigon

People love boats and people love remote control cars. Good place for protei…

Then we went back to the boat


Unreasonable at Sea day 38

558133_10151466955395272_84889985_n (1)

Today was fun. It is nice to stay on ship, super empty and quiet. I caught up on a little bit of work, uploaded all the safecast data, took care of some other stuff, dealt with some of the legal / admin meetings for Protei Inc with NY .

Work with f palette: IMG_7790smfxalt=”IMG_7789smfx”> IMG_7792smfx IMG_7793smfx IMG_7796_smfx
The most exciting: We rented a motorbike for us to travel with. WOO.

IMG_7741smfx the bike

We rode around just to get used to it first. It is super fun to drive. THen we went to the gallery where Truc-anh exhibits and we saw so many of his paintings.

We god some yummy pho then ended up getting lots of teas and we ate some expensive street squid (dried and grilled and dipped in sauce)
IMG_7752smfx tea in saigon IMG_7746smfx matt & truc-anh IMG_7744smfx ho chi minh

We parked our bikes in True-anh’s garage for the night




Unreasonable at Sea day 36

I woke up, worked out, did some work, and then it started to feel as if we were approaching Vietnam. Here’s why:



Minh gave a small presentation on Vietnam and Cambodia IMG_7688_smfx citing Angelina Jolie as the new Cambodian citizen because of her generous gifts to the country and citizens there.

Then Cesar and I walked around the city in attempt to find:
1. cheap electronics
2. tee shirts (I’m running super low on clothing)
3. The shared workspace, called The Start Network

There are tons of motor bikes, packed with 3,4 and 5 people. Generally, the entire family.

IMG_7705smfx IMG_7694smfx

We went into a temple where there were many people who seemed to be praying and we lit some incense. IMG_7702smfx IMG_7700smfx

We took out 2 million Dong from the ATM, and felt rich. That’s about 100 USD? IMG_7712smfx

Cute items at the stores: IMG_7716smfx

And Cesar made a mistake of calling the MV Explorer SAS SHIP a BOAT which earns you 5 pushups. IMG_7718smfx
Cesar vs. Gabriella IMG_7720smfx

In the evening we went out into the insanely crowded center of city, and met some friends for dinner. Friends included Cesar’s friend from Paris, Trucanh, who is an artist, and coincidentally, Michel from V2_ , who we know from V2_ in Rotterdam summer 2011.

It is insanely crowded in the streets, and there are an insane amount of motor bikes. Basically, hold your breath and cross the street, and walk at a steady pace.
ANd, The entire city is super colorful

Unreasonable at Sea day 35



Most of this workshop was dedicated to working on a set of questions to ask students that they will engage with as part of their design thinking course, with George Kembal. Each entrepreneur will design a project challenge to put in front of the class. So we discussed how we think about and identify project challenges that we put in front of others. So a challenge for us is: how do we think about and identify project challenges that we can put in front of others?

Basically, we are commissioning the project from the students, as if we were the client, and the students are working on it for a grade. There will be a project critique and final presentation which we will have to present at, but the rest is the work of the students. So for us, this will be practice for what it is like to frame projects: usually you’ll get insight, and we will see the benefits of having others work on your projects.

THE PARAMETERS for the creative design challenge:
1. it should be human centric and broad
2. the scope should not be too big
3. leave room for “need finding
4. Give some significance for the challenge (ie make it real)



Prototyping Tom Chi's book


The rest of the day we spent prepping our slides for Singapore (pecha kucha style) and Vietnam (10 slides, 20 seconds each). We had the typical pre-port reception in the Glazer lounge with “vietnamese” food, and I did the deck of cards workout with Evan and Daniel.


Unreasonable at Sea day 33

Today we had workshop 15.  We were introduced to the new mentors on board, including Z Holly, an engineer and Tech Entrepreneur, Abi from Nike Foundation UK, Ken Banks from Frontline SMS, and Bernard, from Microsoft XBox Kinect.

Then we moved into our “huddle” teams, and discussed: how did you take advantage of our time in china, how was it beneficial? how will you iterate for Vietnam? What are the things that worked? What are the things that didn’t work? What are the new questions? What are the insights that were raised?

Our team huddle is composed of Daniel, Gurugi, EvoTech, and AquaPhytex.

Protei’s main goals for Vietnam include: stay near port in Ho Chi Minh, catch up on work. Here is our near future work expectations:

Due to the holidays in Vietnam, most everything will be closed, but if we could connect with manufacturers to learn the manufacturing landscape / price, scientists / environmentalists involved / knowledgeable about water related issues in Vietnam that would be helpful

Then we had the first book co-writing / brainstorming session with Tom Chi to produce a book all about him and his work, with the ultimate goal of helping others to the maximum potential.

Later that evening, a student from SAS who is good at making shapes out of balloons came by to Classroom one and started a balloon session.


DP – Wi-Fi from gabriella levine on Vimeo.

From there a dance party started. Many students joined in.


From there, a kinect / xbox dance revolution dance-off began.


kinect – Wi-Fi from gabriella levine on Vimeo.

Unreasonable at Sea day 34

Today was Lucille’s (tom chi’s wife) birthday and we gave her a Protei Sweatshirt. Tom yesterday had made a nice card for her with a drawing of her face.



We formed a quick Huddle about “what are your goals in port of Ho Chi Minh”?
For Protei: catch up on work: china / japan report, license, website, logistics / admin / accountancy
-find out about activism around water related issues, coastal issues about chemicals in the water; people who know about chemical runoff etc (academics? )
-find out about manufacturing landscape in vietnam, including cost and accessibility

Abi from Nike Foundation led a session about Branding. IMG_7626smfx IMG_7625smfx

Some of her messages:
you are keepers of your own brand; use your intuition; have a bit of a brief;

1. what is your brand’s genetic code: it’s DNA – think Values?
2. Who is your core audience, how do you resonate with them?
3. Who are you – what are your human attributes: good, bad AND the ugly, ie what is your “personality”
4. What do you stand for: be clear, stay true
5. Do you have a mantra? or a mission?
–>starting with your audience helps
-how will your brand affect the values of your company?
6. hat are you good at? not everything – promise and deliver one thing only
7. Who are your friends, that define you or connect you;
8. Be your own guardian, truest your intuition

Then we had the 2nd Tom Chi Brainstorming session for the book. Here Cesar has started the documentation.



kidsboat – Wi-Fi from gabriella levine on Vimeo.



Later in the evening was a reception upstairs to welcome new folks on the ship, with some “vietnamese” food and drink.


Unreasonable at Sea days 27-31

DAY 27



In the morning we arrived: IMG_7098smfx

And we got off the ship and had about an hour to walk around Shanghai IMG_7110smfx

Funny street brooms: IMG_7104smfx

And I am continuing to measure radioactivity in Shanghai: IMG_7115smfx






Finally we arrived at Innovation Works:  IMG_7122smfx IMG_7123smfx

Once we got settled we got some food at a Sichuan restaurant: Totally greasy.

IMG_7130smfx IMG_7129smfxfunny toilets IMG_7205smfx

Then the event started: IMG_7133smfx. We each gave our 3 minute pitch:

Slides Protei Shanghai Innovation Center 3Feb2013 from Gabriella Levine

… then moved into the workshop. IMG_7143smfx with the media crew as active as ever  IMG_7145smfx  IMG_7150smfx IMG_7151smfx

We met David Li from the Shanghai Hackerspace.  I wish I would have been able to visit Xin Che Jian but we felt compelled to fly immediately to Shenzhen, as there was the New Year’s celebration starting pretty soon, which would prevent us from meeting with seeed Studios and other companies due to their closing early.


Then eventually we left, and head over to the afterparty. Shanghai is super bright: IMG_7165smfx and some stray cats IMG_7167_smfx I met up with Timmy and Lexie IMG_7171_sfx IMG_7172_smfx

Then Cesar and I head to the airport. We decided that we should take off the “safecast” names from our geiger counter, in case I got searched while in transport, and instead we should put on the name of a university. So that’s what we did.

IMG_7181smfx IMG_7183smfx

DAY 28


IMG_7191_smfx In the airplane, the radioactivity levels were pretty high: IMG_7195smfx

Funny airplane food: IMG_7194smfx

It was interesting to me to see a map with America all tiny on the right side, and Asia-centric visually. IMG_7196_smfx

Then we got to the airport and asked for directions to the part of Shenzhen where there are electronics. IMG_7202smfx

And we got directions to a hotel: IMG_7204smfx

Funny subway tokens: IMG_7206smfx And still measuring radioactivity on the subway

IMG_7210smfx IMG_7211_smfx IMG_7243smfx IMG_7216smfx



We went to the hotel then we head over to the Chaihuo hacker space and met Hao and his girlfriend.


He showed us his Mind controlled helicopter: IMG_7261smfx IMG_7262smfx

and a bunch of makerbot stuff IMG_7279smfx

We head back to the hotel:
IMG_7214smfx IMG_7287smfx IMG_7288smfx

DAY 29



First thing we head to SEEED Studios IMG_7296smfx

We met Leslie, Hao, and Violet. And had a big tour of the place. Here are all the parts: IMG_7309smfx

and some of the manufacturing of PCB’s IMG_7312smfx

And they are trying to make arduino more accessible to artists so made this funky arduino:

IMG_7319smfx IMG_7323smfx

and they’re developing some more robot-like stuff:

IMG_7344smfx IMG_7326smfx IMG_7331smfx

What we realized is that they can help us with the manufacturing and distribution of electronics (PCB’s, motor controllers, motors, sensors, communication), but the more mechanical parts of the robotics we will have to source elsewhere (mast – carbon fiber, hull – polycarbonate). Seeed Studios is one of my favorite open source hardware distributors and manufacturers. It is an honor to work with them.

We also see that if they are selling the car robot for about 160 USD, the electronics are quite similar to that of the boat’s (two dc motors with encoders). So, we have therefore lowered the price of Protei’s estimated retail value.

We went out to a really awesome Cantonese traditional restaurant for lunch. IMG_7333smfx

with lots of live fish: IMG_7334smfx

and a really big menu IMG_7337smfx IMG_7340smfx

We left and got some weird snacks that were a piece of wood or something IMG_7359smfx

All over china we saw tons of motorbikes IMG_7358smfx

We head to try to get to the water of Shenzhen, on the sea side. At first we got lost and instead found a crazy hotel

IMG_7361smfx IMG_7363smfx IMG_7367smfx





When we finally found the way to the beach, we grabbed some funny fruits. IMG_7382smfx

Then walked around on the beach IMG_7392smfx IMG_7393smfx
and we ate some beautiful and delicious fruit IMG_7395smfx IMG_7399smfx

And some DISGUSTING fruit although I’m not sure what it was. It was definitely pungent. IMG_7396smfx

As we left, it was evident that the entire city was decked out for New Year’s. IMG_7407smfx

We shared some street noodles IMG_7408smfx IMG_7411smfx

The city of Shenzhen is brightly lit and I love it. IMG_7420smfx


Back at the hotel, we did work and went for a funny midnight snack: IMG_7421smfx IMG_7423smfx IMG_7424smfx


DAY 30


The next morning we went to HAXLR8R to visit Cyril. It is a really cool hardware incubator program. They are helping companies develop their product in order to reach the market, manufacture, and distribute (and succeed). The super cool thing about them is how hands on they seem to be, with feedback directly related to the product design and production choices.

IMG_7434smfx IMG_7430smfx IMG_7431smfx



Then we went to the electronics market but unfortunately by then there were many shops that were closed for the new year’s.

So many funny copies of stuff: IMG_7443smfx

That day we spent some time in the electronics market, we bought a PC for Protei to use. We bought it in a 3 story giant shop that has probably 3000 computers for sale, every vendor competing for the customer. Bargaining is hugely useful. Anyway, then we head to Hong Kong, for a late dinner with Dawa Ma and Maquin & the family. It was an amazing house and really cool to be there. Then we all got makeovers.




IMG_7449smfx IMG_7453smfx IMG_7452smfx



DAY 31

HONG KONG mingling event & workshop

In the morning we took the train from Maquin’s into the downtown Hong Kong near the Harbor where our boat was parked, to the Hong Kong Marco Polo Hotel. We had a few minutes to grab some breakfast… at McDonald’s. I had heard that McD’s in China was a cool experience but is was mostly fancy and western and sort of gross.
IMG_7459smfx IMG_7458smfx

We had a 30 second pitch each, then spent about an hour mingling with local folks at the private room in the 6th floor restaurant in the Marco Polo Hotel, then we walked back to the ship for a on-ship workshop with Tom Chi on rapid prototyping. There were mostly students from Hong Kong high schools attending. IMG_7465smfx Amruth had the genius idea that we should all “switch” teams that we present. In other words, instead of presenting our own projects, we each pitched another company. Protei pitched Damascus Fortune. Solar Ear pitched Protei.

MovieProteiTendy – Wi-Fi from gabriella levine on Vimeo.

Then Tom Chi got going: IMG_7473smfx. Eventually, we ended up breaking into groups of students and going through a rapid prototyping session.

What we came up with was a giant amusement park composed of a GIANT robot on the water of which people control individual segments to propel it forwards. IMG_7477smfx IMG_7476smfx



Finally we went out to dinner, led by Catlin and Scott from One Earth Designs. For the new years, Hong Kong was all lit up. IMG_7479smfx IMG_7481smfx We finally got to the building, and I was astonished at high UP the traffic of people spreads. In New York, things are spread horizontal. But here, they are spread vertically. People ride the elevators in each building to every floor, and the crowds continue. In New York, I’m used to office cubicles being stacked on top of the masses. Here it’s masses atop masses. IMG_7485smfx Riding up the elevators, we finally arrived. IMG_7486smfx

Afterwards, we head to the 47th (?) floor of a building to drink some drinks and overlook hong kong. IMG_7488smfx

Unreasonable at Sea day 32

We awoke early in the morning for a Press Call in Tom Jelke’s office. It was Daniel, George, Protei, Gurugi, Tom from SAP, Bernard from Microsoft XBox and a few others facilitating it in the room, speaking to a bunch of press on the other side.


We head out in the morning to go to the Ladies Market which is a massive street of stalls and shops, selling many fake designer items and electronics.

In the subway station on the way were funny scultpures: IMG_7495smfx And when we got off, we got some giant citrus. IMG_7500smfx IMG_7501smfx After trying to eat it I realized it must be for cooking.

The fish markets are crazy – tons of fish that are writhing as they die. But the amazing thing is that the markets are full of live fish and shellfish. SO fresh. IMG_7505smfx For breakfast, We got some super super greasy food IMG_7508smfx

But since you can’t legally eat on the streets, and most people really don’t, we snuck up 8 stories to the roof of a building. IMG_7509smfx We struggled to get our giant citrus opened: IMG_7516smfx

We finally got to Ladies’ Market but it was too early for the stalls to open. IMG_7519smfx So we decided to kill an hour by getting funny massages IMG_7525smfx DSCN0512 IMG_7526smfx with cups.

After the funny massage, we got some Bubble Tea and Mango Juice. IMG_7531smfx IMG_7506smfx Finally the stalls opened: IMG_7499smfx

I bought a cheap but larger backpack at the “ladies market” where there are tons of fake stuff (clothing and other). Look at this “authentic” tag. the bag isn’t leather…

IMG_7532smfx  It’s such a bright city: IMG_7535smfx  I love that about hong Kong.

And Crazy markets: IMG_7536smfx

and alleys: IMG_7537smfx IMG_7538smfx



We visited SOW Asia which was really awesome. It is exciting that we would be able to pursue a partnership or a collaboration with them especially if we were interested in establishing Protei in southeast Asia. There were many good things that we have concluded about Hong Kong / Shenzhen area regarding potential to manufacture and work.



Then we took the ferry back to the ship …

IMG_7541smfx IMG_7547smfx IMG_7549smfx   IMG_7553_smfx IMG_7557_smfx

…but before we got on, we had a few spare moments so we visited the museum of art. There was a warhol show going on but we saw instead we saw an exhibit on the animals in china.

IMG_7552smfx IMG_7559smfx IMG_7558smfx

It seems they are obsessed with Snakes … super relevant – for Protei being a sea snake, and bringing in the year of the sea snake!!

IMG_7563smfx IMG_7564smfx IMG_7567_smfx IMG_7568smfx greetings, protei 2013 IMG_7571smfx



Here is one building disappearing into the clouds. I think this was the tallest building

IMG_7577_smfxIt’s a busy porIMG_7578_smfx


When we got back on port I put the geiger counter sensing data outside IMG_7575smfx IMG_7573smfx in the corner.



Tonight is the Chinese New Year’s eve. As we head out at 20:00, the lights from the city light up and there is a laser light show lighting up the entire city. Each building has a fully lit facade and many buildings have lasers blasting from the roofs. It reminded me of Ars Electronica when the entire city turned into a laser light show. Except way cooler. And less tacky. The city lights of Hong Kong are amazing.

IMG_7587_smfx IMG_7590_smfx IMG_7588_smfx

IMG_7587_smfx IMG_7579_smfx

And there are many buildings with totally lit up facades that are like big screens of tons of LED’s. It’s pretty awesome.

towerHK – Wi-Fi from gabriella levine on Vimeo



Unreasonable at Sea day 26

So – instead of deciding to take a motor bike from Shanghai down to Hong Kong, we realized that we need to get there ASAP – reason is:
it is the Chinese new Years starting on the 9th. Therefore, companies are starting to take vacation on the 7th. We REALLY want to meet Seeed studios and other companies that can give us leads and insight into manufacturing and sourcing electronics in China.

workshop 13:

Goals: for company, port, connections


Objectives: connections:

For company:

1. see manufacturing capabilities

2. see the market – what is it like in China for parts we might be looking for? for industry, like robotics

3. What are creative tech teams like in China and how would Protei fit in

who: provider for vacuum forming; embassy : chamber of commerce; hong kong or shanghai

3 minute pitches in Shanghai: 3 minute element – keep human element, insight about your tech; what makes it different so that it’s going to work

slides due tomorrow at 8 am



greetings, protei 2013

google x; pentacle of pentacle of the pentacle, but one billion people that don’t have access to the basics, so going back to the bottom of a greater mountain

–>front raw to statistics meaning. 9 millions access to clean water.

class A activity–>Ways of thinking: rate based goals: 15 hardware prototypes per week: we are going to learn on behalf of humanity how these things will happen; i know exactly what this will look like

Failure: a little dark spot on your mind:


Planning for china:

–>shanghai: hacker space; Ideo; port; 

–>hong Kong: hobby king ; maquin; cynthia. school; 

–>schenzhen:  seeed;  

–> fly, motorbike, or boat to vietnam?

–>photos of japan and pitch : any footage?


IMG_7061_smfx IMG_7062_smfx IMG_7082_smfx IMG_7080_smfx IMG_7078_smfx

We stayed up late working on slides:
IMG_7085smfx IMG_7089smfx Then we pulled down the river and saw the shanghai lights at around 4:30 am IMG_7095smfx

Unreasonable at Sea days 20-24



And in case we get lost: IMG_6421_fx We finally were ready and took a short nap IMG_6423smfx Then, we got off the boat, went through customs, and

met three guys who helped organize us and escort us to the pitch event: IMG_6428smfx And carried our stuff in a heavy sac (ie protei was protected in a sleeping bag):

IMG_6439smfx     We got onto the subway: IMG_6431smfx IMG_6436_ IMG_6434_

people have nice charms    IMG_6433_fx

All the toilets are very nice and they have massage areas:

IMG_6447smfx With optimizable settings: IMG_6448smfx




Finally we arrived at the event IMG_6440_ and were super hungry and hung out in a room and ate many treats before the event, but we also went for ramen:

IMG_6442_  IMG_6444_ IMG_6445_

here was the menu:  IMG_6446_ and the shops are full of crazy colors: IMG_6443_



Then the event started. Daniel introduced us: IMG_6464smfx Keynote speaker: IMG_6456smfx

The guy from Greenz: IMG_6461smfx George and his (surprise!) twin brother: IMG_6465smfx

Catlin went first: IMG_6467smfx And ended up winning the BIG PRIzE ( a stuffed penguin :) )




Here’s all our stuff that we were travelling with: IMG_6473smfx     Here’s dinner: IMG_6471__


We waited at the trainstation to meet Cesar’s cousins:IMG_6472_ IMG_6474smfx

IMG_6476smfx IMG_6477smfx

We went to his cousin’s house for gyoza party. I loved making gyozas by hand. so fun.



Then we stayed at a hotel: IMG_6478smfx Tokyo at night: IMG_6482smfx

Day 21:

safecast, Tokyo University, Akihabara, Flying Tokyo



In the morning at 7 we met Joe Moross at Safecast. MORE ABOUT PROTEI+SAFECAST and our trip to FUKUSHIMA, COMING __

IMG_6493smfx IMG_6494smfx IMG_6497smfx

Planning our trip to Fukushima: IMG_6501_  IMG_6498smfx

From their bike project:

MVI 6488 – Wi-Fi from gabriella levine on Vimeo.


IMG_6486smfx IMG_6487smfx IMG_6485smfx


Two days later, we ended up following this journey trip from Fukushima to Kyoto, on unmapped terrain: Screen Shot 2013-01-30 at 11.03.43 PM__

And tried to figure out how we could make an underwaterenclosure:

IMG_6491smfx IMG_6510smfx IMG_6509smfx

IMG_6511smfx IMG_6512smfx IMG_6514smfx


Joe gave us his wifi hub and it saved us: IMG_6515smfx

Biggest lesson: get one of these for travelling, & in each country get a sim card.


On the way to tokyo university we stopped at a small cafe to get some coffee and use the internet in order to prep some slides:

Look at how small the milk is: IMG_6519smfx

Some photos from Tokyo University and hanging out with Alvaro Cassinelli:

IMG_6521smfx IMG_6522_

on the way to Akihabara: !!!!

IMG_6527smfx IMG_6530smfx IMG_6552smfx

And you have to wait in a queue to get on the train it is so crazy neat and efficient IMG_6554smfx

But ladies have their own queue: IMG_6569smfx   it is also super clean IMG_6571smfx 

SO MANY ITEMS and electronics: IMG_6532smfx IMG_6533smfxIMG_6534smfx IMG_6535smfx IMG_6536smfx    

and awesome motor shafts and couplers~~~~!!!! I was amazed.

! IMG_6537smfx IMG_6538smfx   IMG_6539smfx


Checking out our goodies: IMG_6542smfx IMG_6544smfx

So many BOXES and containers!!  IMG_6547smfx weird: IMG_6548smfx


Then we went to FLYING TOKYO and presented PROTEI, with Zach Liebermann who presented his new projects.

Day 22:




IMG_6577smfx many many f palette boards, And robots~!! IMG_6578smfx

robot – Wi-Fi from gabriella levine on Vimeo.


IMG_6585_ IMG_6584smfx

IMG_6589_  IMG_6592smfx

And so cool to use playstation r/c: IMG_6598smfx IMG_6600smfx

Super stackable: IMG_6602smfx IMG_6604smfx


IMG_6609smfx IMG_6610smfx IMG_6618_ IMG_6619smfx IMG_6620smfx IMG_6625_ IMG_6631smfx IMG_6637smfx IMG_6640smfx IMG_6647smfx

IMG_6641_ IMG_6642_

TOWER – Wi-Fi from gabriella levine on Vimeo.

IMG_6654smfx IMG_6671smfx IMG_6673smfx


Then we went to hackerspace, grabbed some food in the grocery store, (fish on rice, funny fish snacks, and funny chips made of squid…), and went back to safeCast to get our sensors ready for the next day. Here’s a radioactive piece:

IMG_6675smfx       Here is the geiger counter we bought at akihabara: IMG_6677smfx

high voltage medcom geiger board IMG_6680smfx     We adapted some connectors: IMG_6684smfx

IMG_6686smfx     the kit: IMG_6687smfx IMG_6688smfx

the spool of wire: IMG_6689smfx     finding our way for the morning: IMG_6693smfx

Day 23:

Cesar prepped some radioactive cake IMG_6702smfx     And then we head off : IMG_6710smfx with the bgeigie kits on our cars. We almost crashed into the gate because the toll (EMT) card didnt work.   On the way north to fukushima: IMG_6713smfx     Instructions on everything even toilet paper: IMG_6716smfx     bathroom break: IMG_6718smfx    weird food: IMG_6719smfx

funny milk: IMG_6720smfx

two geiger counters on the window: IMG_6721smfx     yummy and crunchy: IMG_6722smfx     huh?   OK, so we finally pulled into fukushima: IMG_6727smfx     Then we stopped at the port side to do some testing:

IMG_6812smfx IMG_6800smfx IMG_6734smfx IMG_6735smfx IMG_6738smfx

Here’s our stuff: IMG_6740smfx IMG_6742smfx

Desolate: IMG_6739smfx   Some gross stuff floating in the dirty water: IMG_6744smfx IMG_6795smfx   And here is where we are testing the water: IMG_6815smfx

IMG_6796smfx   IMG_6751smfx IMG_6750smfx IMG_6755smfx IMG_6758smfx   thermal plant IMG_6762smfx   Setting up the stuff for testing: IMG_6763smfx IMG_6765smfx IMG_6766smfx   IMG_6770smfx   putting the geiger counter in the water: IMG_6772smfx IMG_6773smfx   IMG_6775smfx IMG_6776smfx     So after a successful test of the box then testing the geiger counter , and getting some exciting readings… IMG_6779smfx

Testing the boat: IMG_6780smfx IMG_6787smfx IMG_6797smfx

Here’s where we are:IMG_6798smfx     The authorities came: IMG_6790smfx

IMG_6806smfx IMG_6808smfx IMG_6715smfx     dont trip on the toilet: IMG_6717smfx IMG_6817smfx IMG_6814smfx

the power plant in the background: IMG_6818smfx IMG_6819smfx IMG_6821smfx IMG_6824smfx

Driving around Fukushima: IMG_6838smfx IMG_6854smfx IMG_6860smfx IMG_6859smfx IMG_6861smfx IMG_6863smfx IMG_6876smfx IMG_6878smfx IMG_6880smfx IMG_6881smfx IMG_6883smfx IMG_6889smfx IMG_6891smfx  IMG_6897smfx IMG_6900smfx IMG_6912smfx IMG_6907smfx

base camp: IMG_6918smfx IMG_6949smfx

fire truck IMG_6938smfx IMG_6923smfx IMG_6924smfx IMG_6933smfx IMG_6937smfx forbidden: IMG_6939smfx vending machines: IMG_6944smfx crazy coffee machine: IMG_6954smfx IMG_6956smfx IMG_6959smfx And oden: weird soup: IMG_6967smfx dirty mags IMG_6970smfx IMG_6971smfx


DAY 24




After driving all night, we arrived in Kyoto. I drove the last 80 KM and also in the city It was a bit jarring driving on the left side of the road for the first time :)

We pulled into the parking garage, and Joe showed us how to use the SafeCast interface: IMG_6983smfx. We unpacked the car: IMG_6984smfx IMG_6986smfx IMG_6987smfx

I love the markets here, so many colors: IMG_6991smfx After grabbing some food and treats, we hustled into Kyoto Institute of Technology. The professor who greeted us pointed out how dirty the car was. Radioactive dust from Fukushima heh.

We met with three professors. One works with hydrodynamics trying to optimize surfaces. He collaborated with a google manufacturer to optimize the surface. IMG_6996smfx IMG_7019smfx And the tank for particle imaging.

And a dolphin: IMG_7021smfx IMG_7016smfx

Here’s a dragonfly robot that flies. IMG_6996smfx IMG_7008smfx

And another engineer is modeling systems used for controlling lunar robots: a control system for a gentle and robust “arm”. IMG_7013smfx

Here is the famous tower in Kyoto: IMG_7027smfx And a famous temple: IMG_7029smfx And then we finally head back to Kobe, and left from the port.
Some cute stuff I love: IMG_6517smfx IMG_6555smfx funny fish: IMG_6567smfxHow to use the toilet: IMG_6977smfx Remember don’t stand on the toilet (see bottom center).

I tried to try every item: IMG_6573smfx even corn soup drink.


Unreasonable at Sea day 25

Today was a bit of logistics and catch up, as well as reflections

shanghai workshop: 3 min pitch; Event / dinner in shanghai afterwards

hong kong : on ship event 2-5 PM, hosted by tom
Introduction to new folks:

Cathy Rogers – global opportunities for IBM corporation
Role of women leaders; sustainability: patterns of abundant consumption, resource limitation, felt acutely by those in the developing market
-Founder of “rooted in hope” non profit -research, technology, innovation

-SAP, carly’s boss; SF bay area – palo alto; developer since ’99 working on web solutions; -start up focus program accelerator

Deanna: from xbox: first job: encarta : hired as an editor to summarize information about each country, microsoft, was a philosopher –
Passion was games; recently: kinect adventures – incubation project around the technology; meets our goals for the customers
incubating new technologies to bring together new tech and people
See who she can connect us with others from Microsoft

Tom Chi – now: rapid prototyping philosophy, rapid prototyping ; used to be: head of products UX yahoo search
EE with a focus in signal processing and robotics–design thinking / prototyping
National laptop battle champion; creating constraints in order to generate creativity

–>1. reflect and share your own personal experience
–>2. company experience
–>3. program experience

1. my own personal experience : personally, it was somewhat tiring. No, actually I expected it to be more tiring than that. just brainstorming: meeting with Alvarro was amazing, presenting at flying tokyo was really amazing because to me i like to be in settings with other designers and hackers who have done crazy technical stuff that have actually been contextualized ito really amazing outcomes that help people and do cool stuff that is super conceptually interesting using new technologies and appropriating old ones. So being with Zach Liebermann and alvarro and all the other super hard working guys doing super cool media arts is awesome; I’m also SUPER excited to have some new tech work to be doing – we got some F-Palette boards from FURO (doing amammamazing stuff that is both technically and visually amazing). Also: it was cool to eat lots of tiny japanese treats from lots of petrol station. For me also I am super excited to have done some stuff with SafeCast that might be useful – but moreover being able to successfully use the geiger counters in spaces that haven’t yet been tested is pretty cool. I guess the one thing I missed was like super crazy culture because all we were seeing was nerdy tech dudes. which is ok but I have to go back. I like tokyo – fast paced, efficient, clean, up all night. I liked making gyozas with Cesar’s cousin’s. hands on work with alvarro and with safe cast was awesome.

2. Company / 3. Program:
-company – i sort of already said: let’s think program – I think catlin brought up a great point that maybe it would be super cool if companies got together and had an opportunity to like, get together and hang out. I think that would allow people to get to know each other. The thing is organized events are sometimes annoying so I think it would have to be casual, but also for a point that would encourage us to go to for the reasons that we are here (i.e. a business event or something where other folks would be at that will be good for us / our companies). I think that the event was good but I actually felt that it wasn’t a spot where VC’s were hanging out and waiting for us to pitch so they could invest. Unless I missed that. Instead I thought it was more conceptual and therefore some more direct feedback on our talks and presentation I would have liked.
-I think that it was good to have one hour prior to talking to just grab food and walk around for 1 hour. i think?
-I think for us it was good to define the people that we’d like to meet in each city – media arts , included. And open source people doing applications; and academia / robotics; And people addressing some of the issues

–reflections together – only see expats: is that ok?
-language barriers – posters perhaps to help
-where could people find us and mingle after – stations ? stickers ?
-what to say afterwards, prioritize thank yous or we will receive a lot of mail
-knowing people before you get there would be helpful
-state before the logistics and planning for the port
-be specific about what you want and who you want to meet

-workshops / pitchs – help with different things – i think that workshops would help out a lot for cesar and i to see how our product could fit in with the global community

I set up the geiger counter on deck


And I slept with Proteis:



Unreasonable at Sea day 19

Worked out with 3 other girls, thought the water was gone on the ship but it ended up being ok for some reason. I wonder what happens that there is no water/brown water for a while, then things are fine.

Today we had a small workshop just to discuss the port event, then we worked on our 6-min pitch. It was super rocky today.


And there was a leak right outside my door and water had to get pumped out: IMG_6419smfx

rockybaot from gabriella levine on Vimeo.