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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Russian engineers build Submarine Bicycle

TECHNOLOGY - Okay, technically its not a bicycle. Its just pedal powered.

If you ever dreamed of traveling underwater this underwater novelty is being promoted to the rich as an alternative to scuba diving. And its reasonable affordable, approx. $90,000 USD, which is pretty cheap for a submarine. (Normally submarines are very expensive because of all the engines and electrical parts.)

The Russian engineers who built "the Blue Space" are promoting it as the first ever pedal-powered submarine (technically not true, read below).

“Usually they use heavy engines and propellers and huge batteries for underwater vehicles – and that requires a lot of energy,” explained Vladimir Taradonov from the State Marine Technical University. “Ours can be driven by just two people's efforts! Nothing hard – even children can do it!”

The Blue Space can dive down to 30 meters for up to four hours, traveling at approx. six kilometers per hour, a leisurely pace and with its sky-roof cockpit provides passengers with amazing views. So tourism resorts could easily afford it and provide it as an option for visitors.

Its also being touted as a cheaper alternative for maritime archeology and inspection of underwater pipes.

Lastly, its invisible to sonar so there are some worries it could be used to spy on things (seriously, spy on what exactly? It can only go 30 meters deep) or smuggle people or items across borders (slowly).

It also comes with lots of safety equipment to prevent it from diving too deep and for peace of mind.

It is technically not the first of its kind either. There is also the Scubster.

The Scubster is also an underwater bike, a pedal powered submarine with twin propellors that push it through the water at a 8 kmph. Built in France, its inventor Stephane Rousson hopes that rich people will buy it as a toy for their expensive yachts.

The Scubster may be smaller and faster, but it can only carry 1 person. Worse, it can only go 20' underwater. The price tag hasn't been announced.

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