Marine Science

Robotic jellyfish may never run out of energy

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: March 21, 2012   View Article

A robot built to look and swim like an inconspicuous jellyfish may keep going and going and going thanks to an infinite source of fuel — its surroundings.

The power comes from heat-producing chemical reactions between oxygen and hydrogen with platinum coated on the surface of the bio-inspired robot, known as Robojelly.

Real fish follow a robotic one

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: February 29, 2012   View Article

When we start to follow human-like robots wherever they choose to lead us, we’ll know the apocalypse has arrived. For fish, that moment is now.

Researchers have built a robot that sort of looks and swims like a fish and used it to lure real fish into schooling around it.

Earth Spun Faster in 2009 Due to Ocean Current?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: February 22, 2012   View Article

Did it feel like time flew in November 2009? It turns out the days were actually going a wee bit faster for part of that month, according to a team of NASA and European scientists.

Earth spun about 0.1 millisecond faster for a two-week stretch, said study co-author Steven Marcus, a researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.

The planet’s speedier spin appears to have been due to a slowdown in an ocean current that whips around Antarctica.

Ocean motion could produce 9 percent of U.S. electricity

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 31, 2012   View Article

Next-generation technologies that harvest electricity from ocean waves and tides sloshing along the U.S. coasts could provide about 9 percent of the nation’s demand by 2030, according to a pair of recent studies.

The findings, which include maps of these ocean energy resources, should help guide companies looking to develop them.

Blowing bubbles to make ships more fuel efficient

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 19, 2012   View Article

Blowing a lot of bubbles under cargo ships turns out to be a good way to cut down on fuel costs, according to ongoing research on so-called air lubrication technology.

“The basic idea is that if you could somehow have air close to the hull, it would help the hull slip through the water better by reducing the skin friction,” Steven Ceccio, a professor of naval architecture and mechanical engineering at the University of Michigan, explained to me Wednesday.

Australia’s hybrid shark reveals evolution in action

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: January 3, 2012   View Article

Hybrid sharks have been discovered swimming in the waters off Australia’s east coast. The finding may be driven by climate change, a research team says, suggesting such discoveries could be more common in the future.

The hybridization is between the Australian black tip shark which favors tropical waters and the larger, common black tip shark, which favors sub-tropical and temperate waters.

Robotic jellyfish gets more realistic

Publication: msnbc.com   Date: November 28, 2011   View Article

A robot designed to look and swim like a jellyfish has gotten even more realistic, according to a researcher working on the motion component of the machine.

The robot, known as Robojelly, was developed for the Office of Naval Research in 2009 to spy on ships and submarines, detect chemical spills, and monitor the whereabouts of migrating fish.

They did this by putting little wires, called bio-inspired shape memory alloy composites, that, when heated, contract just as a muscle does.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach