10 cool ocean technologies (that actually exist!)

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Post on 22-Oct-2014




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10. Snippy title

10. Human powered submarines

Students at the International Submarine Race with their Omer 6 sub(Img Cred: Wikimedia Commons)

Not only do these exist, but people actually build and race them for sport. The first human-poweredInternational Submarine Race(ISR) was held in Florida in 1989, with 17 contestants.

Since then, ten more races have been held; the most recent was in July where 34 craft built by universitiesaround the worldcompeted at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Carderock in Bethesda, Maryland.

"The purpose of the sub races is to provide an educational opportunity for aspiring young engineers," said Foundation for Underwater Research and Education president Nancy Husseyin prepared remarks. "Their participation in the design, construction, and operation of a human-powered submarine offers real-time application of theoretical knowledge, hands-on creativity, problem solving and teamwork opportunities."

The fact that the students wear scuba equipment while operating their submarines takes some of the fun out of it we were picturing a watertight submarine run by a person pedaling frantically to make the propellers move- it still puts any science project weve ever done to shame.


10. Human powered submarines

9. Lifeguard robot

EMILY the lifeguard robot in action.(Img Cred: Hydronolix.com)

While youll never see it run slow motion down the beach duringBaywatch,a robotic lifeguard is already helping protect the sunny beaches of Malibu.

Labeled as one of TIME magazinesMost Important Inventions of 2010,EMILY EMergency Integrated Lifesaving lanYard was designed by maritime robotics makerHydronalixto reach distressed swimmers in rip-tide laden waters.

EMILY is essentially a remote-controlled, talking, padded surfboard with a jet-ski motor. At four feet long and using sonar to help guide itself to victims, EMILY is capable of speeds up to 28mph, allowing it to reach distressed swimmers more than four times faster than a regular lifeguard,reports Popular Science.

Not meant to replace lifeguards, merely supplement them EMILY can be launched in30 seconds and travel 81 milesin a single battery charge.

As cool as EMILY is, it does have some drawbacks. It obviously cant rescue an unconscious diver, or make sure a diver has enough strength to hold on in rough seas. Plus, at $3500 a unit, few state beaches are going to be able to afford such hi tech.


9. Lifeguard robot

8. Scuba scooter

Tourists exploring the Great Barrier Reef on the ScubaDoo.(Img Cred: Youtube.com)

As if theSegwaydidnt look ridiculous enough on land, theres actually a maritime version of it called the "Scuba-Doo."

Actually more of an underwater moped, the Scuba-Doo, designed by anAustralia-based companyof the same name, was released in 2004 for a whopping $17,000 per unit.

Eliminating the need for weight belts and regulators, the Scuba-Doo has a self-contained head-bubble, can carry enough air in its tanks for approximately one hour and has a battery life of 1.5 hours,reports Gizmag.

We look at it this way: at least underwater theres no traffic for the moped-using tourists to accidentally crash into.


8. Scuba scooter

7. Floating farms

Construction of a giant AquaPod off the coast of Hawaii(Img Cred: Oceanfarmtech.com)

Floating farms exist, but probably not in the form youre thinking of. These giant floating pods dont grow food crops - they hold fish.

Ocean Farm TechnologiesAquapodsare floating, spherical, brass mesh fish pens designed to float freely in the ocean and house massive quantities of fish for commercial uses.

Marine biologists fromKampachi Farms, a Hawaii-based open ocean aquaculture company, are currently studying the effectiveness of Aquapods off the coast of Kailua, Hawaiis big island.

The research is causing somecontroversyamong Hawaiian conservation groups that insist the Hawaiian government were too quick to give permits.


7. Floating farms

6. Undersea businesses

A postman hard at work at the Vanuatu underwater post office(Img Cred: Vanuatupost.vu )

Neither sharks nor rays nor electric eels stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds

More to weather than just snow and rain, some postmen in the south Pacific island nation of Vanuatu actually don a wetsuit to head to their post office branch.

TheVanuatu Underwater Postthe worlds only undersea post office is open located 50 meters under the surface of the water off a tropical Vanuatu atoll known as Hideaway Island.

Designed as a special tourist destination, the post office is manned daily for visitors to mail special waterproof postcards while scuba diving or snorkeling.

Since opening in 2003, the post office has received an estimated 100,000 visitors, according toits official website.


6. Undersea businesses

5. Robotic fish

The $31,000 robotic fish taking pollution readings off the coast of England(Img cred: BMT.org)

Who better to detect ocean pollution than the organisms that live there?

That is the basis on which U.K. scientists from the University of Essex and theBMT groupdeveloped their robotic fish.

Released off the coast of Gijon, Spain in 2009, these carp-shaped robots "mimic the undulating movement of real fish," according to BMT researchers, and are equipped with tiny chemical sensors to find pollutant sources in water.

"Unlike previous robotic fish that work with remote controls, these will have autonomous navigation capabilities, enabling them to swim independently around the port without any human interaction," according to areleaseissued by BMT.

The five fish, which cost almost $31,000 a piece to make, transmit their data using a WiFi uplink while connected to recharging stations in port.

The Brits arent the only ones using this technology,Scientific American reportssimilar pollution recording fishbeing developedat Michigan State University.


5. Robotic fish

4. Underwater car

Rinspeeds underwater concept car the sQuba in action (Img cred: Rinspeed.com)

First released at the 2008 Geneva auto show, thesQubawas built as a concept car by Swiss companyRinspeed. Its a two-door, zero emissions sports car that runs on land, sea,andunderwater.

Plus get this its a convertible.

"For safety reasons we have built the vehicle as an open car so that the occupants can get out quickly in an emergency. With an enclosed cabin opening the door might be impossible," sQuba designer Rinderknecht said inprepared remarks.

The 007- homage runs on rechargeable lithium batteries, has a land speed of roughly 77mph, a surface water speed of 3mph, and an underwater speed of about 2 mph, according to Rinspeed. While underwater, the occupants can breath through scuba-like regulators stored within the car.

While it might not be best source for a quick get away, or quite as versatile as Roger Moores tricked out Lotus inThe Spy Who Loved Me, but we cant help but think that even Q would be impressed.


4. Underwater car

3. Seafloor resorts

A concept design of a hotel room at the under-construction Poseidon resort (Img cred: Poseidonresorts.com)

While certainly not the world's most luxurious accommodation, the20,000 Leagues Under the Sea-inspiredJules Undersea Lodgeis the first true underwater hotel, according to its website.

The former research laboratory was hauled from its home in Puerto Rico to Key Largo, Florida then reconand opened to the public in 1986.

At 30 feet deep, guests have to scuba dive to get to their rooms. They enter through a portal in the floor of a pressurized wetroom. (For the adventurous couple, Jules Undersea Lodge offers wedding and honeymoon packages.)

For anyone picturing something a bit more extravagantPoseidon resortsare currently under construction by Bruce L. Jones, head of Submarines Inc. Here, guests would take an elevator from the surface rather than scuba dive.

The 3,000 square foot underwater pod was originally slated to open in 2008, but construction problems at the resorts Fiji location have caused delays. Theyaretaking reservations through their website, though at a mere $30,000 a week.


3. Seafloor resorts

2. Artificial gill

Like-A-Fishs tankless system that pulls breathable oxygen out of the seawater(Img Cred: likeafish.bz)

We know what youre thinking: Of course this exists, its called scuba divingduh!

But wait, theres more!

Israeli ocean-tech companyLike-A-Fishis working on a prototype for tankless diving dear.

Rather than chemically pulling oxygen out of the water, the companys artificialgillextracts breathable oxygen from the surrounding ocean water using a centrifuge designed around Henrys Law --the idea that at a constant temperature, the concentration of gas in a body of liquid is the same as the gas above that body of liquid.

In a June 2010 statement, the company said its prototype can provide breathable oxygen extracted from water while expelling carbon dioxide. The gear, unfortuntaely, is not yet small enough to be completely portable.

Too bad, we were all ready to swim around like the little mermaid.

2. Artificial gill

1. Marine mammal minions

A Navy