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Underwater

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 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
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
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 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
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
Dutch submarine manufacturer U-Boat Worx has been developing it over the past two years, but this September at the 22nd Monaco Yacht Show, it was finally launched – the C-Explorer 5, which the company describes as “the world’s first subsea limousine.” Read More
Clearing explosives is a major operation and removing the deadly residue of over a century of warfare is a never ending task. The problem is that before you can remove explosives you have to find them. That isn’t always easy – especially underwater, so Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) has developed a new sensor that uses high-temperature planar gradiometers to seek out explosives in the sea. Read More
Ordinarily, if scuba divers want to talk to one another underwater, they have to wear special full-face masks that leave their mouths unobstructed by the regulator. Such masks are pricey and a bit cumbersome, however, so they’re usually only used by professional divers. Today, however, Casio announced the development of a new type of underwater voice communications device that works with plain old “eyes-and-nose-only” dive masks. Read More
Relaxation and vigorous exercise rarely coexist, but the FitWet Jet Bike brings them together – sort of. The contraption is a unique piece of exercise equipment that combines a stationary (underwater) bike with a personal jetted tub. Exercise just got a little more attractive. Read More
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