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— Robotics

Hull-clinging robots could perform secret searches of smugglers' boats

Maritime smugglers will often hide contraband in false hulls or propeller shafts within their boats. While there are ways in which port authorities can search for such stashes, the smugglers often have time to ditch their illicit goods before those searches can be performed. However, what if there were stealthy, inexpensive, underwater hull-hugging robots that could check the boats out, without the crews even knowing they were there? That's just what a team at MIT is developing. Read More
— Marine

DeepFlight Dragon set to usher in the era of the personal submarine

No one with red blood in their veins buys a sports car and hands the keys to a chauffeur, so one of the barriers to truly personal submarining has long been the need for a trained pilot, not to mention the massive logistics involved in transporting, garaging and launching the underwater craft ... until now. Pioneering underwater aviation company DeepFlight is set to show an entirely new type of personal submarine at the 2014 Monaco Yacht Show next week, launching the personal submarine era with a submersible that's reportedly so easy to pilot that it's likely to create a new niche in the tourism and rental market. Read More
— Mobile Technology

Five of the best: Rugged smartphone cases

Over the years the smartphone has proved to be a fantastic and versatile tool, with uses ranging from music production to gaming. But one thing it’s rarely good at is looking after itself. If you’re regularly out and about, then you’ll likely want a case for your device that can offer it some serious protection. Read on as we highlight five great options for keeping your precious handset out of harm’s way. Read More
— Science

"Virtual periscope" could let submarines see up through the water's surface

It's a classic scene from many a war movie – a submarine's presence is given away by its periscope protruding through the surface of the water. If submariners want to see what's up there, however, they really have no choice ... although that may be about to change. Scientists at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have devised a system that allows an underwater camera to look up through the surface from below, with a minimum of distortion. Read More
— Outdoors

Easybreath snorkel mask promises more land-like breathing underwater

For those people unprepared to learn to scuba dive, snorkeling is a great way to explore the water while remaining close to the surface. The main problem with it is that it forces the swimmer to breathe through only their mouth, which can feel unnatural. Tribord's new Easybreath mask aims to solve that problem, by allowing natural breathing through the nose or mouth. Read More
— Digital Cameras

Ovision takes the iPhone on a voyage to the bottom of the sea

If you want to snap some pics with your iPhone while snorkeling or scuba diving, there are already a number of polycarbonate underwater housings that will let you take your phone to a depth of 30 meters (100 ft) or so. A few others can protect it down to around 57 m (187 ft). According to Montreal-based product designer Pierre-Yves Pépin, however, his Ovision housing is good to at least 91 m (300 ft). Read More