The Atlantide is a personal electric submarine propelled by a water turbine. With its built-in driverless technology, it’s designed to keep novice divers at a safe distance from coral reefs to protect these fragile marine habitats.
Renderings provided by Charles Bombardier
New and occasional divers can harm coral reefs simply by touching them or by getting too close. It would be possible to create a new kind of recreational vehicle to discover these reefs from a safe distance while keeping the experience an exciting adventure. The idea behind the Atlantide is to use it as a guided tour of the reef from a safe distance.
How it works
The Atlantide would be equipped with a water-based used to power a water turbine located within its hull. When the vehicle leaves the beach, it would drive like a personal watercraft, but much slower to reduce energy consumption. While approaching the diving site, the pilot would have full control of the vehicle.
At the dive site, the pilot would simply click the dive button on the dashboard to start the reef exploration routine. The Atlantide would then automatically start diving under water by using controllable ballasts tanks located fore and aft. The Atlantide would be able to detect reefs and would be programmed to dive slowly, keep itself levelled, and remain at a safe distance from the sea floor to reduce disturbance.
The Atlantide would take its passenger on a ride next to the reef. It would follow a guided path underwater, and it would allow the divers to explore the surrounding area at their own pace. The diving information would be displayed on an oversized screen. The onboard computer would make sure the vehicle did not come in contact with the coral, other subs, etc.
To free up the pilot and passenger, diving tanks would be located onboard the Atlantide. Therefore, the divers would only need to don air regulators and diving vests. There would be ways to secure the passengers to the vehicle. An the Atlantide’s shape would aim at minimising drag to reduce energy consumption.
What it’s used for
Every day, a lot of inexperienced divers are allowed near fragile coral reefs. One way to protect those reefs would be to use an automated submarine like the Atlantide. Riding such a vehicle to and from the reef would already be a really interesting adventure. The Atlantide could thus be used by beach resorts to ride around protected habitats. This new type of submarine could also be used by other divers to cover more ‘ground’ and explore new places under water.
The Atlantide concept was developed in collaboration with , an Industrial Designer from Bengalore, India. Thulkar graduated with a master’s degree in design from the Indian Institute of Science in 2014. He currently works as a freelance vehicle designer and created the concept of the cyclist friendly car and the locally built drone equipped SUV.