With our design toolkit, we have so far fabricated one large foldable structure (2m by 2m by 1m) which we deployed in the Pacific ocean near south California, and retrieved back after it performed the desired transformation. With the online streaming channel from our collaborator, Nautilus.
Click here to see more photos of this experiment
Deployment flow in Pacific ocean, south California
Step 1: The crane carries the folded structure from the boat to the ocean surface and releases it.
Step 2: The extra weight attached to the structure drags the piece sinking (slowly) to the sea floor. If the sinking speed is too high, the structure might crash due to inertia.
Step 3: The water soluble tie starts to dissolve in the water. Extra foams were carefully placed in the structure, so the flat piece can be opened and transformed into designed 3D shape by water buoyancy.
Step 4: After transformation, an ROV cuts off the rope that tethers the weight and the structure. The buoyancy now can lift the structure up to the water surface for retrieval.
First transformation test in tank