Rolls-Royce, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, and Aalto University are expanding on their ideas for a virtual bridge
that could soon lead to a future where the line between manned and robotic ships becomes completely blurred. Combining automated ship systems and constant high-data level communications, it's part of what Rolls-Royce see as the "next major transition for the shipping industry."
The world's largest capacity container ship has set off on its maiden voyage. Measuring 1,312 ft in length and 192 ft wide – or the size of four soccer fields for those more familiar with that alternative unit of measurement – the CSCL Globe can carry 19,000 twenty-foot equivalent unit (TEU) shipping containers.
Many foldable boat designs have passed through the pages of Gizmag over recent years – the Quickboat
, the Foldaboat
, the Adhoc
and others. The Oru origami-style kayak
seemed to be the one to make the biggest splash (yeah, bad pun), raising close to $450K (5x its goal) on Kickstarter and earning all kinds of media and industry attention, including a 2014 ISPO
Product of the Year award. Rather than resting on its accomplishments, Oru has been listening to feedback and tweaking its foldable design, resulting in the all-new Bay+.
Back in the early 90s, MIT's Prof. Mark Drela created a motor-less hydrofoil known as the Decavitator. Using nothing but his own leg power to turn the craft's 10-foot (3-m) air propeller, he got it up to a speed of 18.5 knots (21 mph/34 km/h), breaking the human-powered water speed record in the process. Inspired by the Decavitator, aerospace inventor Russell Randall created his own pedal-propelled airboat called the Seahorse – and you can now buy one of your own.
Next time you have a party to organize, there may be one more venue to add to the shortlist. The Nedship Xhibitionist Event Super Yacht design has been penned with the express purpose of hosting celebrations and soirées for up to 600 guests.
The Sea-Doo Spark
is by far the cheapest and least powerful jet ski you can buy. It's also much, much lighter than its competition, giving it a competitive power to weight ratio and some unique handling abilities. And it burns just over a tenth of the fuel the big boys do. Loz Blain and Noel McKeegan take it for a spin.
The PWC market has been in decline for a number of years, possibly because jet skis have become so gigantic, powerful, expensive and fuel hungry
that they've stopped appealing to younger folk. Sea-Doo is starting to turn that around, though, with the release of the Spark. Half the price, half the weight and half the power of a regular midrange jet ski, the Spark delivers 90 percent of the fun of a more expensive PWC in a way that's much more accessible and attractive to newcomers … and burns nearly ten times less fuel than the big boys. If it's newbies the Spark is hoping to attract, then we've got a total newbie on the team to test it. The completely inexperienced Loz Blain and the moderately experienced Noel McKeegan take to the water to see how she goes. Rejoice, dear readers, that Loz didn't fit into a wetsuit, and is thus not depicted in skin tight clothing.
In designing the new Flash Cat 67SC, Spain's Flash Catamarans has attempted to redefine the shape and packaging of the large, dual-hulled vessel. To do so, it's lifted the cabin space out from its stuffy confines below deck, offering an open, airy interior with big picture-window views out to sea. The wide, above-deck design also provides better accessibility for disabled passengers.
The use of "ocean gliders" for conducting research in oceanic conditions not ideal for regular methods has been catching on in the scientific community. Examples of this have been seen in the detection of endangered whales in the North Atlantic
and a study of the Atlantic sturgeon
. Researchers have now turned their robotic ocean helpers towards Antarctica, to study the rapidly-melting ice sheets on the coast of the western part of that polar land mass.
The observance in the United States this week of Veterans Day, a federal holiday honoring those who have served in the American military, holds special meaning for those who lost loved ones when Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in Hawaii during World War II. An underwater 3D imaging project is using modern technology to bring greater insights to this tragic historical event.