The Aquarix is a personal electric submarine propelled by a water turbine. With its built-in driverless technology, it’s designed to keep novice divers at a safe distance from coral reefs and the ocean’s seabed in order to protect these beautiful marine habitats.
While I was in college, I took my diver’s certificate class during the winter. My exam took place in Lac Des Piles, near Shawinigan, only four days after the ice sheet melted away! Needless to say, I knew next to nothing about diving in warm ocean waters or the fragile ecosystem of coral reefs.
The Aquarix could help new divers discover these reefs from a safe distance while still letting them be part of an exciting adventure. It would become a stepping stone before letting divers approach reefs up close on their own.
How It Works
The Aquarix uses ion-lithium batteries to power a liquid-cooled electric motor. This motor drives a water turbine located inside the hull, similar to a Sea-Doo personal watercraft (PWC). When the vehicle leaves the beach, it rides like a PWC, only its goes slower to conserve energy. The pilot can steer the Aquarix to approach the diving site.
When the pilot is ready to dive, he simply presses the diving switch on the Aquarix. The vehicle will automatically dive under water using controllable ballasts tanks located fore and aft of the craft. The Aquarix is programmed to dive slowly, keep itself levelled, and remain at a safe distance from the sea floor.
The pilot will then be able to ride next to the reefs, follow guided paths underwater, and explore the surrounding area at his own pace. The diving information is displayed on the center console, and the onboard computer makes sure the vehicle does not come in contact with rocks, other subs, or the coral reefs.
To free up the pilot and passenger, diving tanks could also be located onboard the Aquarix so that riders would only need to use air regulators and diving vests.
What It’s Used For
Presently, a lot of inexperienced divers are allowed near fragile coral reefs. One way to protect the reefs would be to use an automated submarine like the Aquarix. Riding such a vehicle to and from the reef is its own interesting adventure, so the Aquarix could also be used in and near resorts to ride around these protected habitats. This vehicle could also be used by other divers to ride further and explore new places.
The Aquarix concept was created in collaboration with Matthew Betteker, an award-winning industrial designer living in South Jutland, Denmark. Matthew graduated from the College for Creative Studies and works as a senior designer for the LEGO group. Matthew has also produced the concept images for the Kwaba and the Daburu.