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Underwater

'Blackfish' is a remote controlled US military jet-ski, that can see under water (Image: Q...

Currently being developed by defense contractor QinetiQ in collaboration with the U.S. Office of Naval Research (ONR), "Blackfish" is a robotic jet-ski designed specifically to patrol harbors and search for underwater intruders. The remote-controlled craft carries an array of sensors that allow it to "see" under water and can travel at speeds of 40 mph (64 km/h) as well as tracking at lower speeds than conventional jet-skis.  Read More

Amphibious 1000, Qatar's Italian designed Floating Resort (Image by Giancarlo Zema Design ...

As envisioned by the Italian architectural firm Giancarlo Zema Design Group (GZDG), Amphibious 1000 is a US$500 million semi-submerged resort project planned for a protected marine area on the coast of Qatar. Reflecting its name, the resort is like a large aquatic creature stretching out into the sea. Divided into two sections of land and sea, the project includes residential buildings, offices, a central marine park, floating walkways and underwater marine galleries that all form a semi-circle around the central tower, which hosts a panoramic restaurant.  Read More

The robotic tentacle, created as part of the Octopus Project (Photo: Massimo Brega)

Some living organisms feature an unusual muscle structure, which allows them to control the stiffness of their body, or various parts of it. Examples include elephants' trunks, our tongues, and octopus tentacles. Researchers working on the Octopus Project have so far successfully designed a robotic tentacle, with the ultimate aim of creating a full-bodied robotic octopus.  Read More

A new type of hydrophone, inspired by the ears of orcas, is reportedly much more sensitive...

Given how poorly light and radio signals are able to travel underwater, sound is still the best medium for wireless undersea communications. Conventional underwater microphones – or hydrophones – have their limitations, however. One of their main problems is that the deeper they go, the less sensitive they become. Scientists from California’s Stanford University have now found a solution to that problem, in the form of a hydrophone that is designed to perform like an orca’s ear.  Read More

The FishEyes rod and reel features a submersible video camera, that providers anglers with...

When you cast a fishing lure out into the water and it goes beneath the surface, it enters a dark, mysterious world that you can only imagine. Perhaps that’s overstating things a bit, but the fact is, you can’t see where it is or what’s around it. A fish finder can provide you with some basic information (if you’re in a boat) but it doesn’t actually show you what it looks like down there. That’s where the FishEyes Rod and Reel with Underwater Video Camera comes in. Its built-in color LCD screen provides you with a live image of your lure, and any fish that happen to be near it.  Read More

The Golf Ball Wrangler is a device that lets entrepreneurs harvest golf balls from the bot...

When most golfers hit a ball into the middle of a water trap, they probably just assume that the ball is destined to remain underwater for all eternity. Various enterprising individuals, however, regularly ply the depths of such ponds and lakes to retrieve those lost balls, for resale to golfers. While some of these entrepreneurs reach out into the water as far as they can with rake-like contraptions, most of them don scuba gear and go treasure-hunting. A new invention, the Golf Ball Wrangler, can now be added to their arsenal – and it has advantages over both rakes and diving.  Read More

Scientists are working on an underwater device that could facilitate two-way human-dolphin...

Despite his annoyingly cutesy synthetic voice, Darwin the Dolphin on the TV series SeaQuest DSV did present an intriguing possibility – what if we could create a dolphin language translator? Such a device may no longer be limited to the realm of science fiction, as two scientists are currently developing an underwater computer that they hope to someday use for two-way communications with wild dolphins.  Read More

Platypus

The French-designed Platypus is a new and immensely practical two-person electric underwater exploration concept designed to travel for eight hours above the water at 10-12 knots (18.5-22.2 km/h), or below the water at 3-4 knots (5.5-7.5 km/h). Most importantly, it offers a safe and stable below-water platform that requires no operating equipment to be worn by the pilot or passenger other than masks because the pontoons contain an integrated compressor which supplies air via hoses. The Platypus requires no license, produces no local emissions, is completely silent and offers plenty of storage space and a stable platform for many applications including diving, photography, bird watching and eco tourism.  Read More

Tristan Lawry's ultrasonic system is theoretically able to transmit data and power through...

Given the deepwater working conditions endured by submarines, one of the last things most people would want to do is drill holes through their hulls. That’s exactly what is necessary, however, to allow power and data to flow to and from audio and other sensors mounted on the exterior of the vessels. Not only do these holes present a leakage risk, but they also diminish the hull’s structural integrity, and the submarine must be hoisted into drydock in order for any new sensors to be added. Now, a doctoral student at New York’s Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) has come up with a method of using ultrasound to transmit power and data wirelessly through a sub’s thick metal hull – no holes required.  Read More

Philip Pauley's proposed Pathfinder submarines would be able to crawl along the sea floor,...

The Transatlantic Seafloor Research Challenge is not a real competition, but that hasn't stopped British designer Philip Pauley from envisioning it, and the watercraft that would take part in it. If it were to exist, the challenge would require underwater vehicles to cross from the UK to the US using whatever route their team members thought was the quickest, but they would have to stay in physical contact with the sea floor for as much of the distance as possible. Pauley's Pathfinder submarines would be equipped with wheels or tracks for trundling along the bottom on most of the crossing, but would also theoretically be able to propel themselves up through the water when necessary.  Read More

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