Scaled-down "scooter" doubles up on props
Thanks to ongoing advances in batteries and all things electronic, we've recently been seeing an upswing in the number of underwater propulsion devices hitting the market. Sometimes called underwater scooters, these handheld gizmos incorporate thrusters that pull scuba divers or snorkelers along, saving them the effort of, you know … swimming. One of the latest to catch our eye, the WhiteShark MIX, is claimed to be the world's smallest such device that incorporates dual propellers.
Designed by Chinese startup Sublue Tech, the neutrally-buoyant MIX weighs 6.5 lb (2.9 kg), puts out a total thrust of 17.66 ft lb (8.83 ft lb per prop), and pulls users at a speed of 3 knots (3.45 mph/5.6 km/h) – that's its one and only speed, it doesn't go any slower.
It's rated to a maximum depth of 130 ft (40 m), with one 2.5-hour charge of its battery being good for a claimed one hour of use. The battery charge level is displayed by LEDs on the top of the device. A mount on the underside allows a GoPro camera to be attached.
Its controls consist simply of two triggers – one for each prop – which must both be pulled in order for it to go. Letting go of either one causes it to stop.
Should you be interested in getting a WhiteShark MIX, it's currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign. A pledge of US$349 will get you one, when and if it reaches production. The planned retail price is $499.