Highlights from Interbike 2014

Marine

Computer image of the SeaBird personal submarine that is designed to be towed by a surface...

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.  Read More

MT Tempera, one of the new class of double acting reversible ships, going backwards to act...

The Arctic North end of Russia is believed to hold as much as a quarter of all the world's oil deposits - an utterly monstrous economic prize, hidden in one of the toughest and least hospitable environments on the planet. Getting to this prize, and then transporting it back to refineries, is a monolithic task that requires one of the most awe-inspiring pieces of machinery man has ever built - the nuclear icebreaker. Purpose-built to the point of being almost unseaworthy on the open waves, these goliaths smash their way through 10-foot thick ice crusts to create viable pathways for other vessels - but fascinating new technologies could mean the days of the dedicated icebreaker are numbered.  Read More

Aquabotix has rolled out a new underwater viewing system in the form of the iOS- and Andro...

Smartphones can already be used to remotely control a variety of vehicles, including flying toy helicopters and airplanes, or even starting your car. Now remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) can be added to the list with New England-based company Aquabotix rolling out its Hydroview vehicle. Equipped with LED lights and a HD video camera, the vehicle transmits a live video feed to an iOS- or Android-based smartphone, tablet, or a laptop and can be remotely operated by tilting the phone or tablet or via the laptop's touchpad.  Read More

Its creators say the Oronero is the world's first limousine yacht tender with a convertibl...

Yacht tenders are generally open top boats that leave their passengers exposed to the elements, but Alex Pirard Yacht Design has created a more civilized option. Laying claim to the title of the the first yacht tender in the world to feature a convertible and completely automatized hard-top, Pirard's Oronero is designed to ferry its passengers in style regardless of weather conditions.  Read More

Researchers from King's College London have recently discovered a natural compound produce...

Researchers from King's College London have recently discovered a natural compound produced by coral that could be suitable for use in a new type of sunscreen for humans, and it may even come in a pill! As coral is generally found in shallow waters, it therefore naturally produces a type of "sunscreen" to protect itself from the sun's UV rays. It is this natural sunscreen that scientists hope to synthetically re-create for human use.  Read More

LEAP Autonomous PowerBuoy deployed off New Jersey (Image: Michael Smith, Rutgers Universit...

Maritime surveillance and monitoring systems that require remote power at sea often rely on diesel generators that need frequent maintenance and fuel replenishment. Now New Jersey-based wave energy company Ocean Power Technologies (OPT) has commenced sea trials of an autonomous wave energy device that provides clean energy for sea-based radar and communications systems in remote ocean locations and in all wave conditions.  Read More

The Desktop Jellyfish Tank is an aquarium designed specifically for the keeping of jellyfi...

Jellyfish are definitely fascinating creatures, that are almost hypnotizing to watch ... you could say, they’re the lava lamps of the animal kingdom. Unfortunately for aquarists, however, they also can’t be kept in a regular aquarium, as they’ll get sucked into the water filtration intakes. That’s why Duke University Biology and Environmental Science alumnus Alex Andon started experimenting with adapting regular aquaria to make them jellyfish-friendly. After having some success with selling these converted tanks online, he decided to start making them from scratch. His San Francisco company, Jellyfish Art, is now marketing them as the Desktop Jellyfish Tank.  Read More

Amphibious 1000, Qatar's Italian designed Floating Resort (Image by Giancarlo Zema Design ...

As envisioned by the Italian architectural firm Giancarlo Zema Design Group (GZDG), Amphibious 1000 is a US$500 million semi-submerged resort project planned for a protected marine area on the coast of Qatar. Reflecting its name, the resort is like a large aquatic creature stretching out into the sea. Divided into two sections of land and sea, the project includes residential buildings, offices, a central marine park, floating walkways and underwater marine galleries that all form a semi-circle around the central tower, which hosts a panoramic restaurant.  Read More

The wooden hull of HMS Surprise is given a high-power wash to remove barnacles and other m...

With marine biofouling on ship hulls increasing drag, which results in an increase in fuel consumption and therefore cost and pollution, the search has been on for a way to prevent fouling that is better than the environmentally damaging, toxic marine paints currently used. Taking inspiration from floating seeds, scientists from the Biomimetics-Innovation-Centre (B-I-C) in Germany have developed a promising new anti-fouling surface that is toxin-free.  Read More

Philip Pauley's proposed Pathfinder submarines would be able to crawl along the sea floor,...

The Transatlantic Seafloor Research Challenge is not a real competition, but that hasn't stopped British designer Philip Pauley from envisioning it, and the watercraft that would take part in it. If it were to exist, the challenge would require underwater vehicles to cross from the UK to the US using whatever route their team members thought was the quickest, but they would have to stay in physical contact with the sea floor for as much of the distance as possible. Pauley's Pathfinder submarines would be equipped with wheels or tracks for trundling along the bottom on most of the crossing, but would also theoretically be able to propel themselves up through the water when necessary.  Read More

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