Marine

Submersible Exosuit lets divers plunge to 1,000 ft below the surface

Submersible Exosuit lets diver...
The Exosuit uses a series of rotary joints in order to allow the pilot a high degree of flexibility (Photo: Nuytco Research)
The Exosuit uses a series of rotary joints in order to allow the pilot a high degree of flexibility (Photo: Nuytco Research)
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Side-view of the Exosuit Atmospheric Diving System (Photo: Nuytco Research)
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Side-view of the Exosuit Atmospheric Diving System (Photo: Nuytco Research)
Rear-view of the Exosuit Atmospheric Diving System (Photo: Nuytco Research)
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Rear-view of the Exosuit Atmospheric Diving System (Photo: Nuytco Research)
The Exosuit sports pincer-like appendages on the end of each arm (Photo: Nuytco Research)
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The Exosuit sports pincer-like appendages on the end of each arm (Photo: Nuytco Research)
During a dive the suit is tethered to the surface via a 1,250 ft umbilical (Photo: Nuytco Research)
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During a dive the suit is tethered to the surface via a 1,250 ft umbilical (Photo: Nuytco Research)
The EXOSUIT can be modified with extra thrusters, sonar and LED lighting as required (Photo: Nuytco Research)
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The EXOSUIT can be modified with extra thrusters, sonar and LED lighting as required (Photo: Nuytco Research)
The Exosuit uses a series of rotary joints in order to allow the pilot a high degree of flexibility (Photo: Nuytco Research)
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The Exosuit uses a series of rotary joints in order to allow the pilot a high degree of flexibility (Photo: Nuytco Research)

Thanks largely to Hollywood blockbuster franchises, humanity seems to be in the grips of a global obsession with exosuits. The fixation is informing the designs of future military tech and may even play a role in how we operate in space. Canadian based Nuytco Research hopes to bring its own Exosuit to the sea floor, allowing divers to safely operate at depths of up to 1,000 ft (305 m) with none of the nasty pressure-induced side effects that so often ruin a deep sea diver's day.

Nuytco Research's Exosuit Atmospheric Diving System (ADS) is technically not a suit at all, it is in fact certified as a submarine that merely happens to take the shape of a person. Regardless of its official classification, the ADS is unquestionably an impressive and imposing tool that any uber-wealthy dive enthusiast would love to have in their arsenal.

For a diver equipped with standard scuba gear, it would take around 12 hours to safely return to the surface following a (near record-breaking) dive to 1,000 ft (305 m). This is where Nuytco Research's creation, which has been in development since the year 2000, comes into its own. An ADS suit maintains a pressure of one atmosphere (the same as at the surface), effectively allowing divers to re-surface without the need for lengthy decompression protocols, even when returning from extreme depths.

During a dive the suit is tethered to the surface via a 1,250 ft umbilical (Photo: Nuytco Research)
During a dive the suit is tethered to the surface via a 1,250 ft umbilical (Photo: Nuytco Research)

The Exosuit weighs in between 500 – 600 lb (227 - 272 kg), depending on suit configuration. The exterior is made of A536 aluminum alloy and features pincer-like appendages located at the end of each arm that can be manipulated by the pilot to perform delicate tasks. The ADS system carries a primary and backup oxygen supply with the capacity to support a pilot for up to 50 hours and has integrated batteries capable of running the electronics for the duration of the dive.

Once submerged, the pilot can maneuver with the use of four magnetically-attached thrusters. The thrusters are designed to be responsive and quiet, with the option of expanding the complement to eight for greater maneuverability. Operators also have the option of outfitting the suit with additional LED lights, an HD camera and even sonar as the situation requires.

When a dive is in progress, the suit is connected by a 1,250 ft (381 m) fibre-optic umbilical that feeds its telemetry, communications and HD video to the surface.

Nuytco Research believes that the flexibility and the unique nature of the suit will make it an attractive proposition to clients in military, scientific and commercial spheres.

You may now be asking yourself "how much will it cost me to get my underwater armored playsuit?" Well, with a price tag of around half a million US dollars, it may be a while yet before the average man can go deep see exploring at his leisure.

Source: Nuytco Research

4 comments
Don McGinn
Nothing too new here, ADS (Atmospheric Diving Suits) have been around since the 1880's There have been various modern itterations through the years. I helped commision the Newtsuit for use in the oil industry in the early 90's. Still interesting to see the advancement of this tech through the use of new stronger and lighter materials
Brian M
Not sure how useful this would really be, a remote robotic device would be more manoeuvrable, cheaper and zero risk to its operator and probably a fraction of the cost for commercial operations. For recreational deep diving for the wealthy a more conventional submersible would be better and more fun!
Stephen N Russell
Like to exp in a dive simulation to a sunken sub like to see hand controls via joystick for thrusters & HUD or compass display in helmet & one can bring arm into suit to clear nose.
Noel K Frothingham
Ask yourself how the thrusters are now controlled by the pilot/occupant., Mr. Russell.