The Concept

The Kanaloa is a personal submarine inspired by Mantas Rays. The Kanaloa would be equipped with large flexible wings combined with hydrogen-powered water turbines.

The Background

The oceans present as one of the least explored (or visited) regions on our planet. I have always wanted to build a compact submarine purpose-built to view coral reefs and observe sea creatures; concurrently, I yearned to create a vehicle that could blend in against the backdrop of oceanic terrains. Thus, would it be possible to build a ‘biomimetic submarine’ that would precisely mimic the movements of Manta Rays? This line of thought is the idea behind The Kanaloa.

How It Works

The pilot (and passengers) of The Kanaloa would be seated inside a panoramic cockpit and drive the submarine using controls similar to that of a light-sport aircraft. The sub, as previously stated, would be powered by two water turbines identical to the ones installed on a Sea-Doo personal watercraft. The water intake grills would be located in the leading edge sited on the wings. The final form/layout would change depending on the wing profile, turbine performance, and total volume and mass of the sub—not forgetting the functionality and performance specifications, as requested by buyers.

The Kanaloa would be able to bend its wings to ‘fly’ underwater; as a result of this functionality, it could achieve optimal performance without any pistons, hydraulics, or solenoids. Moreover, the Kanaloa would be able to mimic the organic agility of Manta Rays, using its artificial muscles to bank, turn, and roll. The flight software of the Kanaloa would utilize Artificial Intelligence to control the artificial muscular system, and Machine Learning to learn from each diving experience.

What It’s Used For

Powersports enthusiasts would be able to rent Kanaloas to explore designated areas; also, provisions would also be made for underwater courses to acquaint users with how to handle the sub. Since it’s not advisable to allow inexperienced divers near fragile coral reefs, an autonomous diving software would be in place to navigate such areas so that the marine life could be protected. Interestingly, diving the sub to and from the reef by represents quite an adventure; nonetheless, once the Kanaloa ventures into a sensitive underwater location, the manual drive would be overridden, hence the autonomous diving software, which would mimic the movements of Manta Rays to navigate the said location safely.


The Kanaloa concept was imagined in July 2017 by Charles Bombardier and designed by Nikhil Sorte. Nikhil now works for the Groupe Renault in Chennai, India. He has completed a foundation in Transportation Design at ISD Rubika, India. He also designed the Silvermoon aircraft concept for Imaginactive.