Bionic Dolphins And Whale Waldoes
The Bionic Dolphin is a remarkable submersible hydrofoil that can cruise across open water at speeds of up to 80 miles per hour. Underwater? No problem for the NoLand Bionic Dolphin, which can travel underwater at speeds of 40 miles per hour. It's starting to look like science fiction writer David Brin's whale waldoes might be possible.
(Bionic Dolphin at NextFest 2006)
I saw the Bionic Dolphin at NextFest 2006, a technology exposition hosted by Wired magazine in NYC's Javits Center. Surprisingly compact, the device is powered by a 425-horsepower Corvette engine (pictured below).
(This "dolphin" has a 425-hp engine under the hood)
The Bionic Dolphin is built to withstand rough seas; it's skin and structure are built of a composite of materials including Kevlar, used in bulletproof vests. The custom-built vehicle cost about $350,000 to build, but two-seater versions would probably sell for about $120,000 in production. Its inventor, Thomas "Doc" Rowe, hopes to place the vehicle in resorts by 2007.
If you are looking for even more extreme concepts for water gear, look no further than David Brin's whale waldo, from his 1979 novel Sundiver:
With a half muttered prayer to the Dreamer, he touched a switch releasing the amplifiers on both Makakai's waldo and his own, then cautiously turned his arms to set the fins into motion. He flexed his legs, the massive flukes thrust back jerkily in response, and his machine immediately rolled over and sank.
Jacob tried to correct but overcompensated, making the waldo tumble even worse. The beating of his fins momentarily made the area around him a churning mass of bubbles, until patiently, by trial and error, he got himself righted.
He pushed off again, carefully, to get some headway, then arched his back and kicked out. The waldo responded with a great tail-slashing leap into the air.
(Read more about Brin's whale waldoes)
Be sure to read the article about Robert Heinlein's waldo, the science-fictional origin of this real-world device.
If you are interested in unusual underwater vehicles, take a look at these:
Read more about the Bionic Dolphin. Thanks to reader Erik Nodacker for the story connection.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/29/2006)
Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.
| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |
you like to contribute a story tip?
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add
Comment/Join discussion ( 2 )
Related News Stories -
Auto Emotion Detector Lets Your Car Know Your Mood
'Why don't you take a stress pill and get some rest?'- Arthur C. Clarke, 1968.
RYNO To Heinlein - Your Tumblebug Is Ready!
'It is about the size and shape of a kitchen stool, gyro-stabilized on a single wheel...'- Robert Heinlein, 1940.
RF Safe-Stop Shuts Cars Off
'...a police control-override.'- Keith Laumer, 1965.
Honda's Tumblebug - The UNI-CUB beta
'A tumblebug does not give a man dignity…'- Robert Heinlein, 1940.
Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!)
is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for
the Invention Category that interests
you, the Glossary, the Invention
Timeline, or see what's New.
Augmented Reality Ship's Bridge From Rolls Royce
'... the immense, three-dimensional, minutely cubed model...'
Artificial Blood From Factories
This blood's for you.
Wrigley's Anti-Impotence Chewing Gum
'Chew one of these, Mr. Chip.'
Arcology Now Universal Constructor
'... the hotel direly wanted to exist.'
MisTable Fog Display Like SeaQuest DSV
Captain Bridger, a message is coming in.
Full-Size Invisibility Cloak Now Possible
'I donned it and drew its hood, and threw on its current.'
Bioengineered Muscle Grows In Mice
'Joeboys... shoulders bulging with grafted muscle.'
Self-Assembling Nanoparticles Move Like Tiny Gears
'Microscopic machinery, smaller than ants, smaller than pins, working energetically...'
PredPol Predicting Crime As It Happens
'All day long the idiots babbled...'
UK Internet Filters Default To 'Family-Friendly'
'People bought personalized filter programs...'
NASA Gives Away Rocket Code - For Dads
'The rocket thundered and leaped. The children danced in their hammocks, screaming.'
Automated Planet Finder Telescope Starts The Hunt
'I was near enough it now to set my automatic astronomical instruments to searching it for a habitable planet.'
Crabster CR200 Robot Prowls The Deep
'The handling-machine did not impress me as a machine, but as a crablike creature...'
Neither Dead Nor Alive - But Not In Suspended Animation
'...Can he be brought out of the cold-pack?'
Dolphin Whistle Translator
'Louis could hear the other translator discs whistling softly in Puppeteer, snarling quietly in the Hero's Tongue.'
Military Tech Inside Your Roomba?
What else can Roomba do?
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories