Marine

The Scubster pedal-powered wet sub (UPDATED)

The Scubster pedal-powered wet...
All systems go, the Scubster's first successful submersion
All systems go, the Scubster's first successful submersion
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The streamlined Scubster is made from lightweight carbon fiber and uses gear components and the belt drive from a Strida bike
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The streamlined Scubster is made from lightweight carbon fiber and uses gear components and the belt drive from a Strida bike
A team of French designers and engineers are currently building a pedal-powered personal wet sub which they intend to enter in next year's International Submarine Race
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A team of French designers and engineers are currently building a pedal-powered personal wet sub which they intend to enter in next year's International Submarine Race
The Scubster is a wet sub, meaning the pilot will need to wear a wet suit and use breathing apparatus
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The Scubster is a wet sub, meaning the pilot will need to wear a wet suit and use breathing apparatus
The 13.78 x 7.87 x 4.92 feet yellow submarine, not exactly what Ringo Starr had in mind
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The 13.78 x 7.87 x 4.92 feet yellow submarine, not exactly what Ringo Starr had in mind
Power from the pedals turns propellers on each side of the Scubster
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Power from the pedals turns propellers on each side of the Scubster
The team hopes the first test run will take place shortly n the Mediterranean waters off the coast of Nice
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The team hopes the first test run will take place shortly n the Mediterranean waters off the coast of Nice
The Scubster prototype is currently being built in the south of France
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The Scubster prototype is currently being built in the south of France
Looking at the personal sub from every angle
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Looking at the personal sub from every angle
The nervous wait before launch
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The nervous wait before launch
Almost ready to go
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Almost ready to go
All systems go, the Scubster's first successful submersion
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All systems go, the Scubster's first successful submersion
Some shots from the finished sub at Passable Beach on the 28th of July
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Some shots from the finished sub at Passable Beach on the 28th of July
Some shots from the finished sub at Passable Beach on the 28th of July
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Some shots from the finished sub at Passable Beach on the 28th of July
Some shots from the finished sub at Passable Beach on the 28th of July
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Some shots from the finished sub at Passable Beach on the 28th of July

While Gizmag was at the Green Air Show in Paris, designer Minh-Lôc Truong and high flyer Stéphane Rousson showed us a new pedal-powered personal submarine they've been working on. The streamlined carbon fiber Scubster is currently being built in the south of France by Rousson and a team of University engineers to designs supplied by Truong. Rousson will also strap on a wet suit and get tanked up to pilot the submarine.

The first test run of the 13.78 x 7.87 x 4.92 feet yellow submarine will hopefully take place by the end of June in the Mediterranean waters off the coast of Nice.

Power from the pedals turns propellers on each side of the Scubster
Power from the pedals turns propellers on each side of the Scubster

To get things moving up to the desired 10kph (6.2mph) speed, Rousson will need to pump away at the pedals with his legs, which in turn will drive the blades on each side of the sub via a customized gear mechanism and belt drive from a Strida bike. Controls inside the pilot compartment help to guide the Scubster up, down, left and right as well as taking care of angle of incidence and forward or reverse motion.

The goal of the project is to take part in next year's International Submarine Race, which is scheduled to be held at the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Carderock Division, Bethesda, Maryland between June 27 and July 1 2011. It'll be the first time a French team has entered the race and, with luck, the first one to win.

The Scubster prototype is currently being built in the south of France
The Scubster prototype is currently being built in the south of France

UPDATE: The first successful test run has just taken place, see photos below.

The nervous wait before launch
The nervous wait before launch

Almost ready to go
Almost ready to go

All systems go, the Scubster's first successful submersion
All systems go, the Scubster's first successful submersion

And here are some photographs of the second test run at Passable Beach on the 28th of July 2010:

Some shots from the finished sub at Passable Beach on the 28th of July
Some shots from the finished sub at Passable Beach on the 28th of July

Some shots from the finished sub at Passable Beach on the 28th of July
Some shots from the finished sub at Passable Beach on the 28th of July

Some shots from the finished sub at Passable Beach on the 28th of July
Some shots from the finished sub at Passable Beach on the 28th of July

6 comments
Ed
I wonder how many kilos of cocaine this thing can carry? Now the drug cartel has another tool they can use to get drugs into the United STates!
Steve Lane
They should make a yellow two seater. Then the remaining Beatles can live in one
Stacey Myers
If you still need scuba gear, what\'s the point?
Anumakonda Jagadeesh
Innovative way of using pedal power. Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India
Facebook User
if its pedal power wouldn\"t that use you air in the tanks faster what the sense in that
Kurt Francis
Ed, my very first thought was about the dope smugglers, too! Stacey, I wonder about having to have have scuba gear -- as you say, what\'s the point? When I first saw this elsewhere but started searching for more info, I though this was a true submarine. I\'m not a diver, but I can\'t see any reason save one to have one of these if a person has to suit up. The one possibility is that if the sub is strong enough to withstand an attack by a shark, then it would be good for watching them. Well, then there\'s the drug-smuggling angle, but a smuggler sure couldn\'t go far having to wear scuba gear. As it is now, about all it is in an enclosure -- to what purpose is unclear. I don\'t even see any military applications, not right off the top of my head, anyway, unless a diver can exit then re-enter. Then I guess a covert diver could haul a larger mine to plant on an enemy ship with one of these than he could without one, but even that doesn\'t sound very practical. Now, if they make one you can get into wearing street clothes and have air inside, then *that\'s* an entirely different matter. The yellow color is clever, true.