Background

Anyone who has kite surfed, or even flown a large training kite, knows first-hand the awe inspiring forces they extract from the wind.  Since my first personal experience with kite surfing in 2002, I've been iterating on KiteBot; a kite-based wind energy harnessing system, with the constraint of making it as simple and inexpensive as possible, or at least simple and inexpensive enough that I could build it myself.

I've also kept track of other efforts towards the realization of similar systems.  Some of these seem likely to have also been inspired by the inventors' forays into kite surfing.   Others, found via patent filings, seem to predate the advent of kite surfing.  To get a sense of how wide-spread a notion it is, EnergyKiteSystems.net is a high-recall compilation of links to many dozen, perhaps hundreds of efforts to harness wind energy using kites (along with a variety of somewhat random things). 

For KiteBot, we adopt the following principles, differentiating it from many of the other

Many of these systems are complex, often because they are striving for full automation, and hence well out of the reach of a DIY effort.  Others seem to be works in progressare These efforts seem to be:  of There is a  number of efforts alone can be overwhelming.  In  various efforts, I've found the available information to be:
  1. A description of an elaborate system well out of the reach of a DIY effort.
  2. Irrelevant to the realization of an actual solution, either because
    1. It is deliberately secretive, or
    2. It consists largely of soapboxing about the enormous potential of wind power
What this project aims to do, first and foremost, is to provide simple, step-by-step instructions to build a viable kite energy system, free for anybody to use or modify.

Purpose

  • Foster a community of open collaboration 
  • Refine the design specifications to accomodate implementation with limited resource availability
  • Protect the efforts of the community from Intellectual Property Law prosecution

Goals

  • Build first working KiteBot.
  • Patent the novel components and provide free commons licensing.
  • Prove that KiteBot can scale to supplement energy generation in developed markets.
  • Establish low cost component supply chains for KiteBots in developing markets.

Principles

  • DIY
    KiteBot can be built by anyone with modest access to resources.
  • Open source
    The goal of this is to enable individuals and small groups to build their own KiteBots, not to create a centralized KiteBot corporation.
  • Manual
    We deliberately avoid efforts to automate operation of KiteBot.
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