Well-known film director and deep-sea explorer James Cameron is no stranger to setting records, but this time, instead of box office gross, he's setting his sights on something more akin to a single-handed lunar landing - a solo trip to the ocean's deepest point, the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench off Guam. Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson
is hard on Cameron's heels but it appears almost certain the genius behind the blockbusters Titanic
will be the first to get there alone - he just snagged the record for deepest solo dive off Papua New Guinea on March 6th with a depth of 26,791′ (8.2km).
If the amount of personal submarine stories crossing our desks in recent years is any indication, recreational submarines are a burgeoning market. While most personal submarines, such as U-boat Worx’s offerings
, employ electric motors powered by a rechargeable battery pack, US-based company AquaVenture has taken a different approach to create what it says is the fastest personal submersible available. This is because the SeaBird doesn’t pack a propulsion system of its own, but is instead towed through the water by a surface vessel.
Several years ago, a joint team from Canada’s York, McGill and Dalhousie universities created AQUA, an underwater swimming robot. AQUA has six flippers, three on each side, and uses them to paddle through the water – it’s somewhat reminiscent of a platypus, albeit a six-legged one. Using a different set of appendages, it can even swim underwater, then proceed to sort of slap its way onto and across dry land. All of this is very cool in and of itself, but the little robot now has a new ability: it can receive commands visually underwater, thus freeing it from cumbersome umbilical cords.
Using the same technology proven in its existing C-Quester
models, which can dive to depths of up to 100m (328 feet), Dutch luxury submarine manufacturer U-Boat Worx has announced a new line of exploration submersibles certified for diving to depths from 100 to 1,000m (328 to 3,280-feet). Named C-Explorers, the new line of diving machines are available in configurations for one to six passengers and are being marketed to scientists, research organizations, luxury superyacht owners, aquatic tourism ventures
and private explorers.
If you saw this thing on your neighbor's trailer, you'd laugh at him. "What sort of pretentious man-child buys a boat shaped like a shark," you'd scoff into your mugaccino, secure in the knowledge that you'd never shell out for something so ridiculous. But you might change your tune if you caught him down at the lake and watched him pulling 50mph (80km/h) barrel rolls, then diving under the surface and launching the thing 12-feet (3.6m) into the air like some sort of evil mechanical dolphin. The Seabreacher X is preposterous in theory, but in practice it's an adrenaline machine that can do things pretty much no other watercraft can – take a look at the video after the jump.
We’ve got cars, motorcycles and bicycles that are electric, so why not hookah air pumps for diving? They make much less noise than their gas and diesel-powered counterparts, they don’t stink up their surroundings with toxic fumes, and they don’t emit carbon. Of course, as is the case with many other e-things, the electricity that powers them has to come from somewhere, and chances are that somewhere
isn’t a wind turbine or a solar panel. A new diving system from Brownie’s Marine Group, however, has another ace up its sleeve - a variable-speed compressor that automatically adjusts in accordance to the diver’s demand for air, thus saving power and allowing for longer and/or deeper dives when running off a battery.
Gizmag covered this amazing dolphin-like watercraft
almost three years ago. At that stage, the Seabreacher - a unique submersible vessel - was just a prototype. Now, you can own your own, make like Flipper, and dive, roll and jump while staying warm and dry in the comfort of the sealed cockpit. Oh, that is, if you have a cool USD$50,000 burning a hole in your wallet.
Liquid Image has seriously upgraded its range of camera scuba masks
with the introduction of its HD Scuba Series. The mask gives divers a simple to operate, hands-free tool for taking 720P (1280 x 720) video at 30 frames per second (with audio) as well as 5 MP (2560 x 1920) stills.
No matter how far personal weaponry advances, the last line of defence has remained the same. If a threat gets really up close and personal, divers, soldiers, campers and hunters all have to rely on their trusty knife when all else has failed. The trouble is, if your shark, elephant or enemy combatant is close enough for you to stab them, they're well within range to lay some serious hurt on you if your knife aim isn't true - and there's plenty of angry animals out there capable of disposing of you even with a blade hanging out of them. That's why WASP have created the Injector Knife, which forces a massive charge of freezing compressed air into the stab wound. WASP claims the shock and tissue freezing can stop the largest of land predators in its tracks, and it's even more effective on underwater predators.
February 3, 2006 Air and water are two of life's staples - interestingly, two of the best ideas we've ever written up involve both. Airwater machines extract water from the air
and now there's a machine which can extract air from water, on-the-fly. Isreali company LikeAFish
has developed a new technology which will enable a new paradigm in underwater exploration and living. Likeafish’s tankless diving technology is able to extract air from water and could revolutionise scuba diving, offering unlimited dive time and no need for expensive and inconvenient refills. The appropriately-named company uses a method similar to a fish’s gills to extract the dissolved air present in all seawater to offer an indefinitely sustainable supply of oxygen to scuba divers, submarines and underwater habitats. The device uses a battery-powered centrifuge to lower the pressure of seawater in a sealed chamber, enabling the air to escape, in a similar manner to opening a bottle of lemonade. After separation in the centrifuge, the air is transferred to an air bag for use by the diver. The first unit will be installed in Lloyd Godson’s BioSUB
this year – the BioSUB is the world’s first self-sufficient, self-sustaining underwater habitat.