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The Olympus PEN E-PL1 features a pop-up flash a new Live Guide mode

Olympus is starting 2010 with a herd of first-quarter camera releases including a new PEN DSLR, the E-PL1, and two new Stylus Tough models, the 8010 and the 6020. All three models feature one-button HD video capability and image stabilization, plus additional tweaks and features. In addition, Olympus has also announced optional underwater cases for each of the cameras.  Read More

Scanning electron micrograph of an artificial neuromast

When you think about it, fish can do some pretty remarkable things. They can find prey in murky water, travel in tightly-packed schools without colliding, they always know what depth they’re at, and they manage to avoid being swept away by invisible underwater currents. They’re able to do all of these things and more thanks to their lateral lines - rows of tiny hair cell clusters that run down each side of their bodies. These clusters, known as neuromasts, pick up on changes in water pressure and transmit that information to the brain. Now, researchers in Illinois have created an artificial lateral line, that could someday be used to keep man-made submersibles out of harm’s way.  Read More

The Necker Nymph submersible

It seems that Sir Richard Branson's quest to conquer unexplored frontiers isn't limited to space tourism.The Virgin boss's latest acquisition is a DeepFlight three-person aero submarine that "flies" through the briny deep using the positive buoyancy system developed by Graham Hawkes. Christened Necker Nymph, the flying sub will find a home on Branson's 74 acre private island in the British Virgin Islands where it will launch from shore as well as operating from the luxury 105 foot catamaran Necker Belle - just add a quiet US$25,000 to the weekly hire price tag.  Read More

NEPTUNE Canada: A rock fish at Folger Pinnacle

Deep-sea research is great and everything, but man, those submersibles can get pretty cramped. The other, bigger problem is that it requires going off and traveling on a ship, which is costly and can therefore only be done a few times a year. Fortunately, however, there’s now a way of obtaining real-time undersea data without leaving your office. NEPTUNE Canada, the world’s largest and most advanced cabled seafloor observatory, officially started going live to the Internet last December, giving anyone with an Internet connection free access to what will become an absolute mountain of data from the bottom of the sea.  Read More

The Neptune SB-1 radio-controlled submarine

How would you like to be one of those people who remotely-operate those little unmanned submarines, watching their live video feeds as they explore shipwrecks or engage giant squids? Well, good luck with that. In the meantime, you can make do with buying a Thunder Tiger Neptune SB-1 radio-controlled submarine. By installing the optional mini video camera inside its clear nose cone, you can proceed to explore the briny depths of your local lake, pond or swimming pool.  Read More

The RoboClam (right) and the razor clam which provided the inspiration for its design

Researchers at MIT have taken inspiration from the simple razor clam to design a “smart” anchor that burrows through the ocean floor. The so-called RoboClam could prove useful as tethers for small robotic submarines that are routinely repositioned to monitor variables such as currents and temperatures. The device can burrow into the seabed, be directed to a specific location and can also operate in reverse, making them easier to recover.  Read More

A robotic fish prototype developed in the MSU laboratory

Although fish numbers are in decline in oceans all around the globe, the same can’t be said for their robotic brethren. Like the “Robotuna” from MIT and the robots developed by a team at the University of Essex, the latest robotic fish from Michigan State University also take inspiration from nature. The aim is to give researchers more precise data on aquatic conditions and provide a deeper understanding of critical water supplies and habitats... and hopefully help improve the outlook for fish of the biological variety.  Read More

The Seabreacher not only looks like a dolphin, it can dive and jump like one, too

Gizmag covered this amazing dolphin-like watercraft almost three years ago. At that stage, the Seabreacher - a unique submersible vessel - was just a prototype. Now, you can own your own, make like Flipper, and dive, roll and jump while staying warm and dry in the comfort of the sealed cockpit. Oh, that is, if you have a cool USD$50,000 burning a hole in your wallet.  Read More

The OceanCam is an affordable solution to record high definition videos of the ocean depth...

It's often said that we know more about the depths of the Universe than the ocean floors of our own planet, but this might soon change with OceanoCam, a newly-developed cheap underwater camera for capturing high-definition video at great depths, aimed at both research community and the entertainment industry.  Read More

Some Playmobil people enjoy the underwater flexible OLED display

Flexible Organic Light Emitting Diode (FOLED) technology has opened the door to a range of new lighting and display applications, such as roll-up displays and displays embedded in fabrics or clothing. Unfortunately OLED displays are notoriously moisture sensitive, so underwater applications haven’t really been an option – until now. Kodak has dunked their latest FOLED displays under water to provide a virtual aquarium for a group of assembled Playmobil people.  Read More

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