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— Military

DARPA wants to hide naval assets on the sea bottom

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
— Robotics

Autonomous marine robots used to detect and identify endangered whales

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
— Science

Blind cave fish inspires sensing system for autonomous underwater vehicles

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
— Holiday Destinations

Poseidon Resorts completes underwater hotel design

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
— Marine

CSIRO sensor detects explosives at sea

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
— Wearable Electronics

Casio device lets scuba divers converse underwater

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
— Robotics

Autonomous swimming robot inspired by the sea turtle

Well, we shouldn’t be surprised. Scientists have created swimming robotic versions of the cow-nosed ray, the jellyfish, the sunfish, the tuna, and just the generic “fish,” so why not the sea turtle? That’s what a group of scientists from the ETH Zurich research group are in the process of doing, and they’ve named it naro - tartaruga (the original naro was another robotic tuna). As it turns out, a couple of the sea turtle’s natural features make for a pretty good robot. Read More