2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Marine

Would built-in flotation bags have allowed the Costa Concordia to remain upright?  (Photo:...

The European Union has invested in a project designed to keep damaged ships stable and afloat by means of airbag-like balloons. It is hoped that the new system, developed under the Su Sy project, will give emergency services extra time to evacuate stricken ships, minimizing the devastating losses of life synonymous with the sinking of cruise ships such as the Costa Concordia, and the South Korean ferry Sewol, which sank earlier this year.  Read More

Several DaSail paddlers catch some wind

Hitting the beach or lake on top of a paddleboard has been all the rage over the past few years. Some manufacturers and enthusiasts have set out to make it better, modifying the basic equipment with electric motors and multi-piece designs. The latest modification comes to the paddle, integrating a small sail into its handle to give boarders a little wind power on the water.  Read More

The Solo Shuttle Trailer lets you tow your kayak behind your bike, then mount your bike on...

Kayaking down rivers is definitely a fun experience, with new scenery constantly presenting itself at every turn. It does offer one logistical challenge, though – you have to leave one vehicle at your take-out point before you start, then take another vehicle (with your kayak on it) upriver to the put-in. That, or you have to arrange for someone to pick you up. Either way, it's not a one-person activity. Ohio-based inventor Jerry Allen, however, has created a possible solution. His Solo Shuttle Trailer lets you tow your kayak behind your bicycle to get to the put-in, then bring your bike along for the trip to the take-out.  Read More

French jet ski champion Franky Zapata has modified his Flyboard to create the Hoverboard b...

Back in 2011, French jet ski champion Franky Zapata launched the Flyboard, which sent swimmers skyward propelled by a jet of water. Three years on he's put a new spin on the idea, revealing the Hoverboard by ZR. This new extreme-sport lives up to its futuristic namesake and offers riders an experience that sits somewhere between surfing and flyboarding.  Read More

Eco Marine Power has unveiled plans for a solar-electric powered unmanned surface vessel

Eco Marine Power (EMP) has unveiled high level design plans for an unmanned surface vessel (USV) to be powered by a solar-electric hybrid system. The Aquarius USV project began in 2011 and a prototype is expected in 2015. It will mostly be used for data collection and monitoring purposes.  Read More

The Chalmers system uses satnav signals to measure sea level

Measuring sea level is not only an invaluable tool for pilotage, navigation, aeronautics, cartography, sea charting, and geology, it’s also a fundamentally important metric for measuring possible evidence of climate change, and for measuring the direction, extent and rate of such change. Johan Löfgren and Rüdiger Haas of Chalmers University in Sweden have developed a new way of measuring sea level that uses satnav signals for constant, real-time monitoring that promises new insights into many fields, including climate change.  Read More

The Sea-Eye features a design that enables it to keep work when tipped over (Photo: UniMAP...

Bad weather can play havoc with unmanned surface vehicles (USVs) patrolling the seas, which is why scientists at the Universiti Malaysia Perlis (UniMAP) have come up with a USV prototype that works even when it tips over. Called Sea-Eye, the battery-powered vehicle features a design that enables it to work just as well upside down as right way up.  Read More

The loss of the Nereus submersible represents a significant loss to the scientific communi...

One of the scientific community's flagship unmanned research submarines, used for deep-sea exploration, has been declared lost as of 2 pm (New Zealand Standard Time), May 10. It was in use by researchers aboard the scientific research vessel, the Thomas G.  Read More

The BeachRay is a boat for minimalists

You don't have to own a Mercedes S-Class to get out on the highway, and you don't need a six-figure speedboat to get out on the water. Lakin Boatworks thinks that all you really need is a flat deck, a couple of lounge chairs and a cooler chilling your drinks and food. That's pretty much the BeachRay in a nutshell, with an outboard motor and simple controls to keep you moving.  Read More

The marine chronometer heading for the auction block on July 9 has certainly witnessed its...

In an age where accurate time measurement is taken for granted, the upcoming auction of an 1825 marine chronometer highlights just how far science has advanced in the last 200 years. The marine chronometer was a critical technology enabling navigation at sea. This 190 year-old example, which is heading for the auction block on July 9, has certainly witnessed its fair share of history in fulfilling that critical scientific role, having accompanied Charles Darwin on his epic five-year second voyage (1831-1836) to South America and the Galapagos Islands, the North American Boundary Expedition (1843-1846) which established the border between the USA and Canada and the 1857 survey of the Australian coastline which saw the naming of Darwin and the Fitzroy River. Given its stellar provenance, the chronometer seems ridiculously cheap if it does fall within its expected price range of … £30,000-50,000.  Read More

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