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Underwater

The FishEyes rod and reel features a submersible video camera, that providers anglers with...

When you cast a fishing lure out into the water and it goes beneath the surface, it enters a dark, mysterious world that you can only imagine. Perhaps that’s overstating things a bit, but the fact is, you can’t see where it is or what’s around it. A fish finder can provide you with some basic information (if you’re in a boat) but it doesn’t actually show you what it looks like down there. That’s where the FishEyes Rod and Reel with Underwater Video Camera comes in. Its built-in color LCD screen provides you with a live image of your lure, and any fish that happen to be near it.  Read More

The Golf Ball Wrangler is a device that lets entrepreneurs harvest golf balls from the bot...

When most golfers hit a ball into the middle of a water trap, they probably just assume that the ball is destined to remain underwater for all eternity. Various enterprising individuals, however, regularly ply the depths of such ponds and lakes to retrieve those lost balls, for resale to golfers. While some of these entrepreneurs reach out into the water as far as they can with rake-like contraptions, most of them don scuba gear and go treasure-hunting. A new invention, the Golf Ball Wrangler, can now be added to their arsenal – and it has advantages over both rakes and diving.  Read More

Scientists are working on an underwater device that could facilitate two-way human-dolphin...

Despite his annoyingly cutesy synthetic voice, Darwin the Dolphin on the TV series SeaQuest DSV did present an intriguing possibility – what if we could create a dolphin language translator? Such a device may no longer be limited to the realm of science fiction, as two scientists are currently developing an underwater computer that they hope to someday use for two-way communications with wild dolphins.  Read More

Platypus

The French-designed Platypus is a new and immensely practical two-person electric underwater exploration concept designed to travel for eight hours above the water at 10-12 knots (18.5-22.2 km/h), or below the water at 3-4 knots (5.5-7.5 km/h). Most importantly, it offers a safe and stable below-water platform that requires no operating equipment to be worn by the pilot or passenger other than masks because the pontoons contain an integrated compressor which supplies air via hoses. The Platypus requires no license, produces no local emissions, is completely silent and offers plenty of storage space and a stable platform for many applications including diving, photography, bird watching and eco tourism.  Read More

Tristan Lawry's ultrasonic system is theoretically able to transmit data and power through...

Given the deepwater working conditions endured by submarines, one of the last things most people would want to do is drill holes through their hulls. That’s exactly what is necessary, however, to allow power and data to flow to and from audio and other sensors mounted on the exterior of the vessels. Not only do these holes present a leakage risk, but they also diminish the hull’s structural integrity, and the submarine must be hoisted into drydock in order for any new sensors to be added. Now, a doctoral student at New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has come up with a method of using ultrasound to transmit power and data wirelessly through a sub’s thick metal hull – no holes required.  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

The EGO semi-submarine boat

Most of the vehicles designed for intimate trips beneath the ocean waves, such as Uboatworx’s line of personal submarines, are pretty complicated affairs, meaning you’ll have to put in some study time to get a grip on the controls or rely on the services of a trained captain to get you around – which can kind of defeat the whole intimate aspect of the trip. In an effort to give anyone the opportunity to swim with the fishes without getting their feet wet, Korean-based company Raonhaje has developed an electric-powered craft that is a little bit submarine and a little bit regular boat.  Read More

A mussel, with fibers of the synthetic adhesive gel attached to it (Photo: Tara Fadenrecht...

Mussels are remarkable creatures, not only in how good they taste steamed and buttered, but also in their ability to cling to rocks that are pounded by ocean waves. Their tenacious grip comes courtesy of byssal holdfast fibers that are secreted by the mussels themselves. Last year, scientists from Germany’s Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces analyzed these fibers in an effort to determine how they were able to maintain their brute strength, while also giving slightly to avoid snapping. This week, scientists from the University of Chicago announced that they have been able to replicate the fibers, producing an adhesive that could be used on underwater machinery, as a surgical adhesive, or as a bonding agent for implants.  Read More

Researchers have created an underwater robot that swims in any direction using just one fi...

Ask anyone who keeps freshwater tropical fish to name the top five most exotic, bizarre fish available to hobbyists, and chances are the black ghost knife fish will be in there. Besides looking incredibly cool, these Amazon basin creatures have two rather unusual characteristics: they can sense all around themselves by generating a weak electrical field, and they can move in any direction, thanks to an undulating ribbon-like fin that runs along the length of their underside. In an effort to replicate that form of maneuverability for use in man-made submersibles, a team led by Northwestern University mechanical and biomedical engineer Dr. Malcolm MacIver has created the GhostBot – an underwater robot that moves via a knife fish-like fin.  Read More

Phil Pauley's line of Cruiser watercraft would include the aptly-named Fly Cruiser

The more things change, the more they stay the same... Just as readers of science magazines in the 40s and 50s liked to read about how jetpacks and passenger-carrying deep space rockets were right around the corner, so do today’s readers like to believe that car/boat/plane/helicopter hybrids and extensive underwater resorts are something they’ll soon be seeing. Those last two are examples of the “wouldn’t it be cool” ideas put forth by British conceptual designer Phil Pauley. While such fantastic visions might or might not ever see the light of day, they’re definitely inspiring to consider, and as the saying goes – more or less – “shoot for the moon and land in the stars.” With that in mind, here’s his latest idea: a family of boats that can fly, submerge, or sprout an extra deck.  Read More

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