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:
Update 02-Jan-2017: Check out the
Search for the Silver Whale, or Under the Ocean in the Electric Dolphin (1902). End update.
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 -
Have I Seen The Tesla Roadster Story Before?
'Only it wasn't a vessel. It was an automobile...' - Theodore Sturgeon, 1941.
Self-Driving Car Ticketed
This just missed making my day.
Loomo Mini Transporter Robot Companion You Ride On
'Slowly the [robot] horse raised its head, wiggled its ears, blinked twice, gave a tentative whinny.' - Christopher Stasheff, 1969.
Tesla Semi Truck Now At Work
Why wait? Tesla Semi now hard at work.
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.
Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'
SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.
RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!
MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'
Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...
MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!
UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.
Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!
Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.
Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'
Mass Production Of In Vitro Meat From One Sample
They're Assimilating Our Culture, That's What They're Doing
Amazing 'Hybrid' Solar-Powered Sea Slug Does Photosynthesis
Thank goodness for Star Trek.
Retinal Prosthesis Uses Organic Printing Inks
We can rebuild you - well, your eyes, maybe.
Should You Submit Your DNA To A Database?
Consumer DNA services are often inaccurate.
Squid-Like Robots Soon To Be 3D Printable
'It was a chemotactic artificial jellyfish designed to slither...'
Humans Evolve Deep Diving Abilities
Sounds like '60s sci-fi to me.
More SF in the News Stories
More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories