Underwater Vehicle Photo Wins Cambridge University Photography Contest

Cambridge University Photo Contest Winner - Project Pebble

It’s not often that an underwater vehicle draws the interest of an artist or photographer, but such is the case with this photo. This pic — snapped by Robert Howshall and Ben Sheppard, undergrads in the Department of Engineering at the University of Cambridge — took top honors in a Nokia Photography Competition recently held at the University.

The center of attention here is “Pebble”, a deep-sea underwater vessel designed and built by a team of students to take pictures of the briny deep. Pebble was assembled for an economical £1800 (about $3000 USD), and was deployed earlier in 2009 off the NW coast of the Isle of Lewis. According to the Project Pebble website, the vehicle was unfortunately swept up by a passing fishing vessel and lost at sea.

Here’s an excerpt from the Project Pebble website that describes the project in more detail:

In 2009 a small team at Cambridge University Engineering Department designed, built and deployed a deep-sea photographic vessel. The vessel, called “Pebble”, cost £1800 to build, making it tens of tens less expensive than commercially available systems. It is hoped that subsequent years to engineering undergraduates will develop and improve the design, to make deep-sea photography more affordable than ever before.

Sure, it’s not technically a robotic vehicle, but we can’t let such an engaging combination of art and engineering go unnoticed. You can check out more stunning photos from the competition by visiting the Nokia Photography Competition photo gallery.

(Photo: Robert Howshall / Ben Sheppard, Cambridge University, Nokia)

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