Some of today's most innovative thinking goes into entertainment gadgetry.
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For exploring wrecks at the bottom of the pool
The Spyfish Submarine Telepresence Vehicle (STV) is a miniature remote-controlled submarine equipped with two video cameras and lights. A 150-m cable attaches to a cable winder, processing box, and display screen. A wireless remote control lets users navigate the STV. If the cable becomes caught, it can be detached remotely and the Spyfish will automatically surface.
Developed by IDEO, Palo Alto, Calif. (www.ideo.com), and H2EYE International Ltd., London (www.H2EYE.com), the skin of the Spyfish is a dual-density, glass-reinforced microcellular polyurethane finished with a high-gloss
15-stage painting process. Lithium-ion batteries power the STV for over 2 hr. A camera mounts on front with a pan-and-tilt mechanism for a 180* view. Two 10-W HID high-efficiency floodlights ensure clear visibility underwater, even at depths where sunlight doesn't reach. The top camera works as a periscope, giving above-water views to help guide the Spyfish back to the boat. Also, video footage can be recorded.
The system has USB connectivity for downloading files, updating software, and running diagnostics. The Spyfish evolved from foam and CAD models into technical prototypes to win a 2002 IDE Silver award. Price: $14,900.