The Libelule is an amphibious exploration vehicle concept able to accommodate two passengers. It would be able to travel on roads and beaches, in fields, in water—and even under water.
I had the idea for the Libelule while I was working with Adolfo Esquivel on a small search and rescue drone. We thought it would be interesting to work on a machine that could travel on most surfaces as well as under water.
How It Works
The Libelule is a spherical vehicle with two large wheels that allow it to travel almost anywhere. Once it’s in marine mode, the wheels would be used to scoop water like paddle wheels, which would allow the vehicle to move faster than existing amphibious crafts. In underwater mode, these wheels would also be used to move the Libelule along with a special tail section (not shown).
The frame of the vehicle is made with a light, stiff metal, with a front windshield and panoramic windows on the sideas that are also used like doors, similar to a helicopter.
A waterproof touch screen would be used to inform occupants about the condition of the Libelule and display all relevant data (speed, battery autonomy, available air, depth, etc).
To dive underwater, the driver would enter a body of water deep enough for the Libelule to dive in. Sensors would notify the occupants when the vehicle is ready to dive, and the driver or passenger would simply need to select a diving depth (for example, 5 meters) on the touch screen, and both would need to accept the dive.
Water pumps would then fill the cockpit with water, and scuba diving regulators would provide air for the occupants, who would need to wear masks. Once filled with water, the vehicle could use its internal ballast to manage depth and play with the level of water inside the cockpit as well.
What It’s used for
The Libelule could be used by beach resorts to offer exploration tours at sea or on beaches. It could also be used as a recreational vehicle for a day on or in the lake. There are a lot of ways such a machine could be developed to address specific markets. (low cost or high end? Electric or hydrogen? Suspension? Tail section? Your input is always welcomed.
The Libelule concept was imagined in July 2016 by Charles Bombardier in collaboration with Olivie Asford Parent. Moreover, the 3-D renderings of the concept were created by Adolfo Esquivel. Adolfo holds a degree in industrial design and currently works as a freelance industrial designer based in Montreal. Adolfo is also the author of the Firesound flying saucer concepts.