The Cascapedia is a self-balancing paddle board equipped with an internal gyroscope for increased stability. It was designed to assist people riding down rivers or paddling on choppy waters. It could also feature an electric oscillating propulsion system.
Origin of the Idea
When we went fishing last summer on the Cascapedia river, I noticed lots of people riding downriver with canoes, kayaks, and paddle-boards. Most of them had difficulties keeping their balance while they were running through faster currents. I took my free time while I was fishing to think about fitting their boards with an internal gyroscope to increase their stability in the eddies and a few additional features.
How It Works
On the Cascapedia, the rider will still use a paddle to maintain their balance, but the internal gyroscope will do most of the heavy lifting. It would be located in the middle of the board’s center of gravity. The user could also modify the intensity of the gyroscope or simply switch it off completely. With the gyroscope, beginners would be able to stand up more easily, which can be a significant challenge even on still water. If any repairs need to be done, a hatch would allow the technician to reach the appropriate hardware.
The Cascapedia is equipped with multiple sensors to help novices avoid salmon pits (deep pockets of water) since it disturbs fish and fishermen alike. Also, sensors would help the pilot to stay centered in the river and avoid shallow water and rocks. This system would help protect the river’s ecosystems, keep the board from being damaged, and keep the pilot from getting hurt.
The Cascapedia is equipped with a retractable keel that doubles as a rudder. It would help steer the vehicle with a small electric motor. Eventually a flexible polymer could be used like an artificial muscle to propel the vehicle. This polymer could also protect wildlife because it would have the capacity to alter its rigidity if a fish hits it, protecting the fish from the board and the rudder.
I think the Cascapedia could be sold to ride down rivers around the world. It could also be mounted on surfboards, canoes, and kayaks of various sizes depending on buyer preference. An autonomous piloting software could be offered to keep the board in the middle on certain parts of the river while the rider and his passenger simply enjoy the scenery.
I would like to thank Adolfo Esquivel for designing the Cascapedia project. Adolfo earned an industrial design degree from Colombia and completed a postgraduate study on Events Design at the UQAM of Montreal. He currently works as an Industrial Designer for BRP in Valcourt. Adolfo also created the design of the Ikaros skydiving glider and the Aquafun personal hydrofoil concept.