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Underwater

The Personal Submarine provides great underwater adventuring for two

If an octopus’s garden in the shade is where you like to be then this two-person submarine could be just the ticket. Capable of descending to a depth of 1,000 feet the Personal Submarine gives you and a friend a chance to check out coral reefs, shipwrecks and whatever other attractions can be found on the sea floor. Although, with its rather steep asking price you’ll either really want to be beneath the sea, or have a really large chuck of spare change laying around.  Read More

The stickleback Robofish (Photo:  Jolyon Faria, University of Leeds)

Scientists seem to like the idea of robotic fish, and why not? They have all sorts of potential applications including exploration, pollution-detection, communications, or just for quiet contemplation. A team from the University of Leeds, however, have created a robotic fish that can do something no previous effort has laid claim to – fool other fish into thinking it’s one of them.  Read More

A new system based on old technology may allow for chemical-free CO2-scrubbing onboard sub...

Submarine crews could be breathing much healthier air thanks to miniscule devices based on 62 year-old technology. Currently, carbon dioxide is removed from the air in submarines through a reaction with chemicals such as calcium hydroxide. Chemical engineers from England’s University of Bath are collaborating with mechanical engineers from Duke University in the US, to develop a chemical-free filtration system. It utilizes seawater and tiny folded wire mesh rings known as Dixon rings.  Read More

The Sanyo Xacti DMX-CA100

Sanyo has confirmed it will be expanding its range of gun-shaped Dual Camera Xacti devices this month with the launch of the DMX-CA100 - a full HD Dual camera suitable for underwater use. Able to withstand up to 3 meters of water, the Sanyo DMC-CA100 will have the capacity to record up to 60 minutes of full HD video MPEG-4 files (1920 x 1080 pixels). This device will also be able to capture 14-megapixel still images. Available in black, yellow or pink, sales for the Sony Xacti DMX-CA100 will start at the end of June 2010. Final prices have yet to be announced.  Read More

Autonomous underwater vehicle to study Deepwater Horizon oil spill

With the latest attempt to stem the oil flow from the Deepwater Horizon oil well by pumping heavy drilling liquids into the well having failed, there is still no end in sight to the disaster that began more than a month ago. To help shed some light on where oil is spilling beneath the ocean surface and to aid biologists and others understand the effects of this catastrophic event, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute’s (MBARI’s) Division of Marine Operations has sent a high-tech robotic submersible to the oily waters of the Gulf.  Read More

An early version of OSR's autonomous Hull BUG robot

Barnacles might seem to be a traditional, almost quaint accoutrement of sea-going vessels, but they’re actually a serious problem. The buildup of marine organisms on a ship’s hull, known as biofouling, can reduce its speed by up to 10 percent. To compensate for the drag, the ship may have to use as much as 40 percent more fuel. Ships have to be lifted into drydock for the removal of barnacles, and sometimes toxic hull coatings are used to prevent them from colonizing. Hopefully, a new innovation may make both of those approaches unnecessary - it’s an autonomous hull-cleaning robot.  Read More

The Hyper-Sub is at home both above and below the waves

If you’re still a little strapped for cash and can’t afford a powerboat and a submarine, then you might want to consider this cross between the two - the Hyper-Sub. On top of the water it boasts speeds of 40 knots with a range of 500 surface miles thanks to twin 440 horsepower inboard Yanmar diesel engines and a 525-gallon fuel tank, while underwater it can dive to depths of 250 feet using an electric over hydraulic self-recharging dive system.  Read More

The SOLO-TREC autonomous underwater vehicle is deployed off the coast of Hawaii on an ocea...

We’ve covered a few underwater autonomous robots designed to make exploring the murky depths easier here on Gizmag, such as Snookie and the Talisman, but none that can generate its own power – until now. NASA, US Navy and university researchers have successfully demonstrated the first underwater vehicle to be powered entirely by natural, renewable, ocean thermal energy. Scalable for use on most robotic oceanographic vehicles, this technological breakthrough could usher in a new generation of autonomous underwater vehicles capable of virtually indefinite ocean monitoring for climate and marine animal studies, exploration and surveillance.  Read More

WHOI's low-frequency broadband acoustic system being deployed

It will be like going from black-and-white television to high definition color TV - that’s how researchers at America’s Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have envisioned an upcoming leap forward in undersea acoustic imaging. Tim Stanton and Andone Lavery have developed and tested two broadband acoustic systems that leave conventional single-frequency systems eating their dust... or water droplets, or whatever. Developed over 20 years, the new technology could revolutionize oceanography, and also has huge commercial and military potential.  Read More

Snookie the under water robot features an artificial lateral line sensory organ to detect ...

Currently robots need to be precisely programmed for each step of a given task, but the move towards autonomous systems will see robots reacting intelligently to their surroundings and performing tasks largely independently. To do this they will need to rely on their own sensory perceptions. However, in harsh environments, laid low by fumes, dust, water, high temperatures or low visibility, new senses are called for – perhaps even sensory organs that humans lack. Researchers have fitted an underwater robot with an artificial sensory organ inspired by the so-called lateral line system found in fish and some amphibians that lets it orient itself in murky waters.  Read More

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