Friday December 5, 2003
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This sleek remote controlled submersible is designed to give you first hand experience of the unexplored world beneath the waves without so much as dipping a toe in the briny. Spyfish STV (short for submarine telepresence vehicle) is equipped with two cameras, floodlights and rechargeable lithium ion power pack that enable it to dive to depths of 150 meters and transmit video images back to the surface in real-time.
Three separate thrusters and its hydrodynamic form make the Spyfish agile and easy to manoeuvre using the one-handed wireless handset controller. The handset also operates the on-board cameras and lights and in case of accident - it's waterproof and will float on the surface.
The robust and portable (500mm long x 630 mm wide) submersible is connected to the display screen on the surface by a slender, 150m cable that can be remotely detached in case of a 'snag', after which the Spyfish STV returns to the surface automatically.
On screen graphics can be overlaid on the real-time video to indicate depth, bearing and battery status, and an MP3 soundtrack can be added via a USB connection.
The aim is to create a new kind of underwater experience that mimics the feeling of being there without the costs and risks associated with scuba diving. Created by H2Eye and IDEO, the Spyfish STV will cost around US$14900 and production is scheduled for the end of 2003. According to the website at www.spyfish.com, there will be a limited run of 1550 systems and orders will be on a "first come first served" basis with names taken and put on the reservations list.