Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Swimming

The LidoLine passing London Zoo's Snowdon Aviary

London's canals have "lost their original purpose," claims [Y/N] Studio. It's not wrong. Though London is often dismissed in the industrial history of Britain, it is dismissed wrongly. The capital was a haven for smaller-scale, artisan and skilled industries such as silk-weaving, cutlery and watchmaking; but also heftier trades like brewing and sugar-refining in the East. As with industrializing Britain as a whole, London's canals were the arteries that provided essential resources such as coal and timber to the city's factories and workshops. No more. [Y/N]'s novel idea is to revive the glory days of the Regent's Canal by joining modern-day "raw materials (workers) to the place of production (work)" by having Londoners swim to work using a dedicated swimming lane, dubbed the LidoLine, in the canal itself.  Read More

A conceptual rendering of the completed naro - tartaruga robot

Well, we shouldn’t be surprised. Scientists have created swimming robotic versions of the cow-nosed ray, the jellyfish, the sunfish, the tuna, and just the generic “fish,” so why not the sea turtle? That’s what a group of scientists from the ETH Zurich research group are in the process of doing, and they’ve named it naro - tartaruga (the original naro was another robotic tuna). As it turns out, a couple of the sea turtle’s natural features make for a pretty good robot.  Read More

Scientists have created a solar-powered swimming underwater robot, inspired by the ocean s...

Previously, we’ve seen swimming robots inspired by the cow-nosed ray, the black ghost knife fish, and the jellyfish – to name just a few. Now, the engineers at AeroVironment have taken it upon themselves to replicate the mola (also known as the ocean sunfish), and the result is an ocean-going robot that gathers its own solar power.  Read More

Swumanoid is designed to reproduce a human swimmer's movements (Image: Tokyo Institute of ...

With the swimming program of the London Olympics now completed and medals awarded, many will now be casting their attention to Rio in 2016 and how competitors can be helped to swim faster, how they can be made stronger, and what swimwear can be developed to improve their performance. Researchers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology are hoping to answer these questions by developing a humanoid robot able to reproduce realistic swimming strokes.  Read More

Researchers have created an artificial jellyfish (right) dubbed 'Medusoid' using rat heart...

Having roamed the seas for at least 500 million years and holding the title of the oldest multi-organ animal on the planet, jellyfish have certainly stood the test of time. So it’s probably not surprising to see various research groups looking to the gelatinous, umbrella-shaped animals for inspiration in a number of areas, including the development of ocean-going robots. Now researchers at Harvard University and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) looking to gain a better understanding of how biological pumps such as the heart work, have created an artificial jellyfish from rat heart muscle and silicon.  Read More

A free-surface simulation of the forces experienced when diving helped in the design of Sp...

A controversy during the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics was Speedo's introduction of its drag reducing LZR Racer swimming outfit. The suit worked so well that it was subsequently outlawed by the Fédération Internationale de Natation (FINA) as the technological equivalent of doping - it gave too large an advantage. Now, with the help of ANSYS simulation software, and just in time for the 2012 London Summer Olympics, Speedo has introduced the Fastskin3 racing system, which offers a new and apparently legal approach to drag reduction during competitive swimming.  Read More

Adapted from a 1960s ferry, the 120-meter long Badboot floating lido is set to open this A...

Floating swimming pools seem to be becoming a thing. Last year we looked at the +Pool concept to install just this sort of thing on one of New York's rivers - a concept that engineering consultancy Arup has since greenlit from a feasibility point of view, at least. And then there's realities:united's scheme for the world's longest swimming pool, called Flussbad, in the River Spree in Berlin. But now the 120-meter (394-feet) long Badboot Lido has seemingly leapfrogged the competition, opening for business this August in Antwerp, Belgium. Because the Badboot is adapted from a 1960s ferry, it can be moved around the city as needed.  Read More

A dual-valve system brings fresh air in and completely clears stale air out

The Powerbreather is an advanced breathing system for swimmers, designed to decrease apprehension in beginners and increase focus and performance among advanced swimmers. Essentially a sealed, watertight snorkel, the device gives swimmers a more natural way of breathing.  Read More

New paper strips detect Escherichia coli simply, cheaply and quickly

Nothing can put a dampener on a summer holiday like a coliform bacteria outbreak. But even worse than being told to keep out of the water in the event of an outbreak is not being told to keep out of the water in the event of an outbreak and ending up paying the price. Researchers at McMaster University have now developed a paper strip test that is cheap to produce, extremely portable, simple to use, and detects E. coli in water in 30 minutes.  Read More

The FINIS Hydro Tracker GPS device allows open water swimmers to map their swims and recor...

For those of us who just swim lengths in pools, keeping track of where we’ve swum is pretty easy. When it comes to triathletes and other people who swim in lakes or the open ocean, however, there aren’t any lane markers to look back on. Instead, they can now use the Hydro Tracker GPS, made by California water sports tech company FINIS. The waterproof device attaches to the user’s goggle straps, then uses GPS technology to create a map of where they’ve been, while also recording performance data.  Read More

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