Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Underwater

Students at the Universities of Warwick and Bath have shared knowledge of submarine design...

Students at the University of Warwick have announced their intention to build a human-powered submarine to compete at that highlight of the human-powered submarine events calendar, the European International Submarine Races in 2014. The team of engineering students hopes that their vessel, already named HPS Shakespeare, will beat the current speed record for a single-seat human-powered sub.  Read More

The Blue Planet aquarium designed by Danish architectural studio 3XN is now open for visit...

Over the weekend, Northern Europe’s largest aquarium opened to the public eight kilometers (five miles) outside of Copenhagen in Oresund, Denmark. The Blue Planet aquarium features over 20,000 fish and other aquatic animals all housed within 53 aquariums containing a total of approximately seven million liters (1.85 million gallons) of water.  Read More

The 'Big O' adds a large LCD viewfinder window to the Outex weather and waterproof housing...

While DSLRs give photographers great creative freedom and image quality, the cameras themselves don't cope too well with being exposed to excessive amounts of sand, mud, water or snow – which can be a pain if you get your kicks from shooting things like extreme sports. Outex is a weather and modular waterproof housing system for DSLRs that works much like a drysuit for your camera, and can protect your gear underwater to a depth of 10 meters (33 feet). The new "Big O" adds a big Outex LCD viewfinder window to the system.  Read More

Tallinn University's Prof. Maarja Kruusmaa inspects one of the FILOSE robotic fish

We’ve already seen several underwater robots that mimic the swimming abilities of fish. The European FILOSE research project, however, is also interested in copying another feature of our finned friends – their lateral line. The result could be swimming robots that use differences in water pressure to navigate and save energy.  Read More

Grace may look more like a '50s space ship than a fish, but that's by design (Photo: Xiaob...

A new species of robot fish has been spotted in the Kalamazoo River in the state of Michigan, where more than a million gallons of oil spilled in July 2010. Developed primarily by Xiaobo Tan, an associate professor at Michigan State University (MSU), the robot's sensors detected crude oil at various sites along the river.  Read More

The DARPA project envisions deploying assets such as this earlier DARPA concept, the Corma...

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has seen the future of naval warfare and it’s falling upward. As part of an effort to reduce the logistics of sending equipment into trouble areas, the agency’s Upward Falling Payloads project is aimed at developing storage capsules capable of remaining on the deep seabed for years. These would contain non-lethal military assets that could be deployed on the spot years in advance and rise to the surface as needed.  Read More

Chief scientist Mark Baumgartner secures a glider (with its wings removed) after it was re...

Every year between November and January, endangered North Atlantic right whales are thought to use an area off the coast of Maine known as the Outer Fall as a breeding ground. They are “thought to” because the ocean conditions at that time of year can make it difficult to locate them. Two autonomous marine robots called gliders have now been used as a real time whale-detection system for researchers and to warn boats in the area to slow down to avoid striking the marine mammals.  Read More

A blind cave fish, that gets around underwater just fine (Photo: Frank Vassen)

Ever wonder how fish can find their way around so easily in murky water? Well, most of them use something called their lateral line – a row of hair cells down either side of their body that detect changes in water pressure caused by movement, or by water flowing around objects. Now, scientists from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University and MIT have copied the lateral lines of the blind cave fish, in a man-made system designed to allow autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to navigate more accurately and efficiently.  Read More

The walls will be made of transparent acrylic to guarantee visibility to underwater vistas

The buzz around Poseidon Undersea Resorts has been around for a few years now (c.f. our 2007 report on the conceptually-similar Hydropolis in Dubai). Poseidon Resorts has announced that it has completed the design and engineering of structural works, indicating that the sci fi-esque undersea project is closer to getting off the ground, or better, into a lagoon on a private island in Fiji. The company is now working to secure capital for construction, which should take two years to complete, it says.  Read More

A robot sea turtle built to explore fin-based propulsion takes its first dip in the pool

In early October we took a look at the naro - tartaruga, a biomimetic robot based on sea turtles being built by researchers at ETH Zurich (the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology). It's a research platform that tests the concept of fin propulsion, and now we have a video of its first swim, which is surprisingly life-like.  Read More

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