Wednesday, August 10, 2011


For the past few weeks I've been struggling to think of some way for hamsub to dock with hampture and safely deliver hamsters to and from it. A docking collar was out of the question because it would require some kind of motorized system to pull the two docking rings tight against each other, motorized doors that would open, but also shut tightly enough to keep water out, and all of that would need to be radio controlled. It just wasn't feasible for me. Neither was an airlock system using doors, since hamsub requires an air tube. That's when this design occurred to me:

Fig. 1: Docking chamber with a moon pool in the bottom starts out full of water. This way hamsub can navigate up inside of it and come to rest on the part of the floor that wasn't cut away to make the moon pool.

Fig. 2: A separate air pump just for this one purpose is turned on, forcing air into the docking chamber, pushing the water out until the waterline has dropped down to the moon pool and the chamber is empty of water. The hamster is now free to climb out of the sub and up the tunnel into Hampture.

This is drastically simpler, doesn't risk catching the hamsters in the closing doors, and requires little in the way of modifications to hamsub. I am planning to make the docking station its own separate habitat, connected to the others by a long, flexible tube.

And no, the hamsub is in no danger of tipping over for the same reason a hot air balloon doesn't tip over; The very buoyant part is on top and the very heavy part is hung underneath it. This keeps it stably upright in water despite any attempt to tip it.


  1. Once the hamster leaves the sub, won't it be in threat of tipping over once headed back into water? Extra weight could be added, if needed, to solve that issue.
    And on an unrelated sidenote, this has to be the best scientific project I've ever seen.

  2. MR. HAMSTER SCIENTIST! Is "I chose Hampture" up on facebook anywhere? If not, I'm fixin' to make a fan page real soon! I have a blog on blogspot that is linked to a fan page on facebook, but I operate them separately. You could set it up so though so that everything you post to blogspot automatically posts to your facebook fan page feed. Of course, you may already know all this if Hampture is already on FB. If not, please do that shit. Inquiring minds want to know! I've already been telling 500 people about this for 3 days.

  3. This is not a good idea- It's essentially a moon pool, which means pressure will equalize with the water and humidity will be high as well.

    All in all not a comfortable environment for the hamsters.
    These are lessons learned from early undersea stations like Sealab.