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Marine

Energy

Giant wave-riding platform design puts solar power out to sea

Sea-based wind farms are becoming a common sight in many parts of the world, but why not floating solar power stations? Engineers at the Vienna University of Technology foresee a future where platforms 100 m long and covered with solar panels float on even heavy seas thanks to a new floatation system called Heliofloat. Still under development, Heliofloat uses flexible, open-bottom floats that are capable of standing up to rough seas that would destroy such a platform sitting on conventional tanks.Read More

Marine

Cruise ship spells "Joy" with onboard race track and bumper hovercraft

The world of luxury cruise ships strikes us as one of unfettered oneupmanship. Do you really need (even want) to shoot down a zip line in the middle of the ocean or sip drinks served up by a robo bartender? No, but such features sure seem compelling when you're browsing cruise line websites. Norwegian Cruise Line has raised the bar for outlandish cruise offerings yet again. Its recently announced China-bound "Joy" cruise ship will entertain with a two-level race track, multi-story water park, high-tech arcade, and bumper hovercraft arena.
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Outdoors

Latest self-inflating paddle board swaps power for perspiration

Last year around this time, we looked at the SipaBoard, a stand-up paddleboard with an onboard motor used to both inflate itself and power its way across the water. While it is certainly a cool, award-winning water toy, not everyone wants motor power or the added expense of a jet drive. It is a paddleboard, after all. SipaBoards' latest design keeps the integrated self-inflation system but loses the jet drive, offering a lighter, simpler more affordable way to hit the water.Read More

Marine

SeaSki high-speed boat design leaves little in its wake

Boats are as old as human civilization, but that doesn't mean there's no room for improving the design. Case in point is the SkiSea, a new hull concept out of Australia that uses special skis to provide hydrofoil-like lift. SkiSea creator Trevor Payne says this approach allows for greater fuel economy, stability in rough waters, a shallow draught, and higher speeds while generating minimal wash or bow waves. Gizmag spoke with Payne about his design.Read More

Architecture

Self-sufficient floating home to create its own water and energy

Living on a houseboat may seem very romantic, but the day-to-day misery of hauling water from shore and listening to the thump of the generator can soon take the icing off the cupcake. As a glimpse into what could be the future of aquatic living, two Fraunhofer Institutes and their partners are working on a self-sufficient floating home that creates its own water, electricity, and heat without looking like a works barge.Read More

Marine

Retrofittable unmanned system for navy boats takes to the water

In the waters near Portsmouth Naval Base, a small black boat recently roared about with no one at the controls. It hadn't run amok after the pilot fell overboard, but was instead a demonstration of a new robotic system developed by ASV and BAE Systems. The technology package can be retrofitted to the Rigid Inflatable Boats (RIB) used by the Royal Navy (RN) to turn them into high-speed, autonomous, unmanned reconnaissance and surveillance platforms.Read More

Military

TALONS effectively gives ships of all sizes skyscraper-tall masts

Warships are only as effective as far as they can see, so DARPA's Towed Airborne Lift Of Naval Systems (TALONS) research effort is aiming to extend their horizons by giving them a crow's nest 1,500 ft (457 m) tall by way of a towed parafoil. A TALONS prototype recently completed sea trials off the US East Coast as part of a project to provide ships of every size with better long-distance communications and situational awareness.

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Environment

Dose of household vinegar found to kill off reef-eating starfish

The crown-of-thorns starfish poses a major threat to the wellbeing of Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Wild, uncontrollable outbreaks over the past few decades have seen the pests multiply to devour vast amounts of coral, and as it stands there's little that can be done. One method conservationists have used to some effect is injecting them with ox bile, but researchers have now discovered that a simple dose of vinegar can do much the same job, promising to significantly cut the cost of an expensive battle to rid a World Heritage Site of this damaging pest.Read More

Robotics

Aquatic robot seeks and destroys reef-killing starfish

On Australia's Great Barrier Reef, the Crown-of-thorns starfish is the scourge of the deep as it eats and destroys large swathes of coral and threatens the overall health of the reef. This starfish is proving difficult to find and eradicate with conventional methods, so Queensland University of Technology researchers have created a hunter-killer robot – dubbed the COTSbot – that's designed to automatically search out and destroy these aquatic pests.Read More

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