I think you're right, Rob. The two things I noticed that came up again and again in underwater robot design were, of course, seals and water-tight protection of electronics etc., but also movement through water and how differently it must be engineered than movement through air. That said, most of these robots' purpose is neither speed nor maneuverability but to carry out certain research or military functions, usually some kind of surveillance or data gathering. Speed and maneuverability are generally secondary or even tertiary goals, with one or two exceptions, for instance, the robots that have to squeeze into tight spaces, such as this robotic tuna: http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=251209
Ann, if shape matters underwater, I would imagine we'll see more and more robots that take a lead from nature. How that will play out will probably depend on the purpose of the robot -- whether it's intended for speed or maneuverability.
Of course it could be t6hat the material is just descriped as "styrofoam" even though it is one of those inorganic silicon based materials, or even a whote ceramic foam. And possibly purchasing substituted something"just as good".
Thanks, William, glad you enjoyed the slideshow. I had the same reaction to the Styrofoam material on hydrocarbon lakes on Titan's moon. But this *IS* a prototype, and that material will no doubt be changed out along the way, after some of the basic ME design is under control.
Images 1 through 12 each have a link as well. I'm suggesting having that link point to the next page. Now, on the page with image 10 on it for example, the image has a link to the current page with image 10 on it and "next" has a link to the next page with image 11 on it. Can't the image point to the next page also?
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.