from the but-can-it-weave-a-basket dept.
"The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is providing many interesting news items this week. The BBC reports that the Black Ghost Knifefish has inspired construction of a new robot. The robotic fish would be able to swim in underwater situation where it would be impossible or too dangerous for a human to swim."
Read more below.
"'Today, we don't really have underwater robots that work well in really cluttered conditions or in conditions where vision isn't useful,' said Prof Malcolm MacIver. 'Just consider the sunken cruise ship. It is very dangerous to send divers into such situations where the water can be very cloudy.'
It is the special propulsion technique employed by knifefish that the Northwestern researcher primarily wants to copy: the ripples sent through the long fin on the belly. Undulate one way, and the fish will move forward; undulate the other way, and the direction of travel is reversed. Using counter-propagating waves that meet in the middle, the fish will move vertically."
So, as I write this, day one has officially come to an end. I'm still somewhat in shock over it. Last night when I was editing the database to change over hostnames and such, I was thinking, man, it would be great if we got 100 regular users by tomorrow. Turns out I was wrong. By a factor of ten. Holy cow, people. I'm still in a state of disbelief, partially due to the epic turnout, but also because our very modest server hardware hasn't soiled itself from the influx (the numbers are, well, "impressive" is a way to put it). Anyway, I wanted to do a bit of a writeup of where we stand now, what works, and what doesn't. Check it out (and some raw numbers) after the break! Warning, it is a bit lengthy.