As I mentioned in a previous post, I really wanted to have a working mechanical iris as an exit for the divers. This was not as hard to design as the tentacles but it wasn't a picnic. There are lots of irises on the web, but not too much covering the mathematics to design one from scratch. I built everything myself but I have to send out props to emmett on Thingiverse.com for inspiration. His design helped me figure out some of the mechanics and layout. Thingiverse is run by MakerBot industries and is a community forum for uploading and sharing 3D printing design. You like something, just download it and print.
This was also exciting because I was actually able to prototype it on my MakerBot. The final version will be printed on the fancy Objet printer at the NYU AMS lab.
I also need to submit a public apology to my wife Kate. In the video I failed to mention the hours she spent helping me figure out the geometry to make this thing work. She's much better at math than I am and I couldn't have done it with out her. Thank you Kate! Please let me come home now.