Magazine article ASEE Prism

Undersea Worthy

Magazine article ASEE Prism

Undersea Worthy

Article excerpt

Ocean researchers are getting help from engineers. The "exosuit" designed by Vancouver inventor Phil Nuytten - essentially a wearable submarine that allows divers to descend to 1,000 feet for up to 50 hours - has been getting headlines for several years. But in late 2014, the suit - which looks like a mashup of Buzz Lightyear and Ironman costumes - got its first real test when divers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution used it to explore the famous Antikythera shipwreck, which lies 200 feet below the surface off the coast of Greece. The $700,000 metal suit maintains surface pressure despite the great depths, and it gives divers maneuverability thanks to 18 arm and leg joints. Propelled by four 1.6-horsepower thrusters, it can also be controlled remotely without a diver inside. …

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