Sharks making headlines lately – shark tech news roundup

8 Aug 2013

Anyone perusing the news lately may have noticed that sharks have been a hot topic of late – in film (Sharknado), design (shark-averting wet suits) and research (shark-tracking robots), for instance. We dive further into the subject and surface with a roundup of recent shark tech news.

Scientists build robot to track sharks

A research team in the US has been developing an autonomous robot that tracks sharks in ways humans can’t to learn more about shark behaviour.

The team is using Ocean Server’s Iver2 autonomous underwater vehicle, but they’ve tweaked it by adding two hydrophones on either side of the vehicle. The hydrophones receive a signal from the radio tag on the shark the team wants to track.

By using two of them, the computer on the robot is able to ascertain the bearing of the shark they’re looking for, and steer the robot accordingly, Forbes reported.

The robot can track tagged sharks at a smart distance and measure data using sensors.

Wetsuit designed to be invisible to sharks

Surfers, snorkellers and divers may be able to take to the waves with a little more security now that wetsuits have been designed to help evade shark attacks.

Scientists from the University of Western Australia and designers from Shark Attack Mitigation Systems have designed the wetsuits based on the discovery that sharks are colour blind.

One wetsuit, labelled ‘Elude’, is designed to camouflage the wearer. The other wetsuit, titled ‘Diverter’, bears white and dark blue stripes, and mimics nature’s warning signs to ward off any sharks getting too close, reported.

The suits sell for AUS$429 and are available online via distributor Radiator.

Shark repellent wetsuits

The ‘Elude’ wetsuit (left), and the ‘Diverter’ wetsuit. Images via Radiator

Photo of fisherman inside dead shark goes viral – after two years

A photo of a fisherman who crawled into a gutted tiger shark, put his arms through the gills and pretended to stab it between the eyes has become an internet hit after a radio station got wind of the shot.

The photo of the fisherman in Australia inside the shark had been snapped aboard a trawler two years ago and hung on the wall of a pub outside of Melbourne.

Recently, however, the photo was sent to Australian radio station 3AW, where hosts John Burns and Ross Stevenson named it “photo of the year”, Mother Nature Network reported.

Shark photo

Sharknado makes waves on Twitter

Sharknado, the TV movie about man-eating sharks getting blown ashore by a huge storm and attacking Los Angeles residents, trended on Twitter after its release last month. And the title is still popping up as a trending topic on the microblogging site.

Sharknado aired on the US Syfy channel and Twitter users then took to the social network with jokes and comments about the (cheesy) TV movie.

Cat chasing duck on a Roomba

The internet has been made to house odd things, and one of the most recent – and laughable – is a video of a cat wearing a shark costume.  That’s not all, though – the cat is also perched on a Roomba vacuum cleaner, chasing a duckling. 

The video, which has amassed some 3,260,000 views on YouTube so far, has been followed up with a new video of the cat in the shark costume in honour of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel – stay tuned to our Viral videos of the week on Sunday for a look at that video. But for now, here’s the first video – Cat chasing duck on a Roomba:


Sharks image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic