SubCruiser Offers Hands-Free Underwater Propulsion
Tom Spendlove posted on July 19, 2019 |
AquaBeyond has built propulsion system that attaches to the user's legs.

AquaBeyond is a group of Hong Kong engineers and designers based in Los Angeles with a passion for exploring the unknown. Their love of underwater exploration and technology inspired them to create a water propulsion system and the group is running a crowdfunding campaign for a new diver propulsion system (DPS) called SubCruiser.

The diving unit claims to allow exploration down to 300 meters and is meant for amateurs, free divers or scuba divers. The novelty of the system is the backpack unit that holds the motors and battery and two propulsion units that either attach to the backpack or the user's legs. The propulsion system can move at 1.5 meters per second with 10 kilograms of total force. The backpack is 25 x 13 x 40 centimeters and weighs 5 kilograms. The 22 Volt, 4.5 Ampere hour battery is expected to give 40 minutes of ride time at maximum speed and 60 minutes at a nominal speed. The backpack has a battery indicator light that shines blue during testing, green during normal operation and red when the power is below forty percent. A control unit attaches to the user's wrist and allow for acceleration, deceleration, or hovering.

My first reaction to this propulsion configuration was a lack of control compared to traditional diver propulsion systems where the user holds onto the propulsion devices. There are several videos online that visually prove otherwise, with the diver performing deft turns and barrel rolls. The company's website is sparse beyond some promotional pictures, contact information, and links to social media including an active Facebook group. The sometimes frustratingly slow pace of new product development is evidenced both by the claims that the team has been working on the SubCruiser for five years, and the multiple posts from Summer 2018 that say the launch will happen 'soon'. This launch will definitely be something to watch, as the incredibly ambitious timeline on the campaign page says August 2019 Production, and September 2019 Worldwide Free Shipping. The campaign has met its modest funding goal and ends on September 8, 2019.

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