Although many people may think that cloud computing exists purely in cyberspace, it does in fact have a physical home – data centers located around the world, each one full of linked servers. These data centers use a lot of power, they create a lot of heat, and it helps if they're close to populated areas. While we've already seen some creative approaches to meeting these needs, Microsoft recently announced that it's tried something else yet … it anchored an unmanned data center to the bottom of the sea.
The Ford Model T wasn't the first car to ever be commercially available, but it was one of the very first to be mass-produced. This meant that its price could be kept relatively low, allowing for purchase by people who would otherwise have never been able to afford an automobile. Well, the DEDAVE could be to autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) what the Model T was to cars. Created by Germany's Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation, it's claimed to be "the world's first autonomous underwater vehicle to be developed from the outset with a view to series production."
While underwater robotics solutions are becoming more and more impressive as the years go by, machines used for delicate activities like collecting samples of marine life or conducting underwater archaeology still sport clunky robotic hands that lack the necessary soft touch. A research team from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences has been working to tackle the issue, designing, building and testing a soft gripper solution.
Lockheed Martin has announced who will build its latest autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) – the Marlin Mk3. The new vehicle boasts some impressive capabilities, including an operational depth of up to 4,000 m (13,000 ft).
The world of underwater hotels seems to be saturated with promises as much as it does promise. One firm hoping to make waves is Planet Ocean Underwater Hotel. It is waiting for a developer to splash out on one of its "world first fully self-contained affordable mini-luxury underwater hotels."
UC Santa Barbara scientists have replicated the uncanny underwater adhesive capacity of mussels – which has previously inspired a surgical glue – in a versatile and strong synthetic material. The ultra-thin material boasts up to 10 times the effectiveness of prior wet/underwater adhesives, and its low molecular weight and functional properties means that it can be used to boost the performance of existing bulk adhesives, as well as in such varied applications as dentistry, nanofabrication, and underwater repair.
If you like your nights out unusual, then look no farther. Visitors to the Clear Lounge bar in Cozumel, Mexico, are submerged in a 13,000-gal (59,100-l) tank of water while scented oxygen is pumped into their diving helmets. If that sounds mundane, then there's underwater Jenga to keep you occupied.
Aerial drones are great for providing a bird’s eye view of our world. That said, some people are more interested in seeing a fish’s eye view of their local seacoast or lake. Previously, such folks had to build their own underwater remote-operated vehicle (ROV). Three years ago, San Francisco startup OpenROV made things a little easier for them, by offering an ROV kit that users put together themselves. Now, the company is crowdfunding the fully-assembled Trident ROV, which can reportedly be "flown" through the water.
While we've previously seen a number of GoPro accessories
which can keep you shooting when the battery runs out, the PolarPro
PowerGrip H2O is the first we've come across capable of live-charging
the action camera while underwater. Currently looking for funding on
Kickstarter, the PowerGrip H2O is a waterproof selfie stick with an
integrated battery, which can charge a camera at depths of up to 30 m
Researchers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory have grown underwater chimney-like structures capable of generating enough electricity to power a light bulb. The team linked several of these chimneys to get the required electricity. Their findings indicate that the seafloor equivalents of these chemical gardens might just have contributed the electricity needed for the Earth's first organisms to develop.