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When i use a microscope to look at aquatic stuff, i often confront the problem that the amazing things i've just fished out of the puddle, pond or whatever are about to die, which seems nasty and unnecessary. So, why not take a leaf out of 'Fantastic Voyage'? Make a small, steerable camera which communicates
with the computer either via some wireless network or tethered with a cable.
The user interface resembles a FPS game engine, with mouseable navigation allowing one to get the submarine to swim about in the liquid. It has two cameras, one for ordinary movement, the other akin to a microscope objective lens, plus a white LED. It's as small as it can feasibly be made, so maybe five millimetres in each direction, and can be used to observe small organisms in their own environments, inspecting plumbing and maybe doing a little microplumbing, and sifting through silt. It also has a couple of claws for manipulation. After use, drop it into some cleaning solution before you need it again.
It's powered by a small rechargeable electric motor.
Give this fish a microscope
[swimswim, Jun 20 2010]
||If you don't object to tethering via a cable, then make it a
steerable fiberoptic microendoscope. That way, most of
your equipment is at the proximal end, where design
constraints (size, waterproofing) are less difficult. All you
put at the other end is lenses. "Steerable" endoscopes are
an existing technology: the major drawback would be 1) I
think they require a good deal of skill to steer and 2) I'm
pretty sure they're less maneuverable than the device you
describe. And definitely less cool, I acknowledge that.
||Well in that case, [bigsleep], I want one of those!