The transportation industry is integral to modern life, from large freight ships carrying vital cargo to personal ambulances transporting patients. Due to its essential role, this sector has grown immensely to accommodate.
In addition to the sector's growth has been its environmental footprint, which has come under scrutiny over the past few decades as more reports realize just how massive it is. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the "transportation sector is one of the largest contributors to anthropogenic U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions," equating to about 29% of overall emissions within the nation.
As a result of these whopping numbers, a slew of remediation technologies has emerged, such as electric vehicles, hydrogen-powered ships, and even sustainable aviation fuel. All of these technologies have the ability to catapult the industry into a future riddled with alternative energy and no longer reliant on fossil fuels.
The growing amount of change within the sector has led to a domino effect throughout the world as other companies and individuals have also been making efforts to lower transportation's environmental footprint, whether that be on a small scale or an industrial level.
Of these efforts lies a Chinese company that recently came out with their underwater electric scooter, a device that perfectly shows the endless supply of possibilities within alternative energy.
The Subnado is a concept created by Waydoo, a company founded in 2018 with the goal to advance water sporting technology. The business was established in Shenzhen, China, and has since grown to be known on the international market due to its unique products, namely the Flyer One series, which allows a user to experience the sensation of flying above the water on a surfboard-like device.
Their most recent product, the Subnado, is also making waves across multiple reporting platforms as the company is claiming it to be the "world's smallest portable underwater scooter."
The device itself is relatively small in size, roughly spanning the length of an adult forearm, about 15 inches long. The cylindrical machine is equipped with an outer aluminum casing to provide added durability, a 98W internal lithium-ion battery, and a "500W electric motor that produces 6.5 kg of maximum thrust, capable of driving a 65 kg diver at a maximum speed of 1.4m/s." What's better is that "Attaching two Waydoo Subnados to each arm allows the user to reach speeds of 2m/s."
The battery provides enough charge to last for up to an hour underwater, which leaves plenty of time for water enthusiasts to explore before needing to resurface. The website also claims that the Subnado can be used by beginners, advanced divers, and everyone in between. A few other impressive specs that the device boasts besides its compact sizing and ease of use are its finger ring controller, a quick-release mounting system, and a 3-gear speed that allows drivers to explore underwater unabated.
Though the market isn't saturated with underwater scooters, the Subnado certainly isn't the first to explore this technology. Despite this, Waydoo's device does stand out amongst the others due to its size and energy source, with other options on the market notoriously having a bulky and hefty size, making them much less easy to use.
Currently, the Subnado is set to be launched on Kickstarter for crowdfunding sometime around Spring 2022. The website states that those who act early can claim advice for $299, though that price will soon rise to around $650 when it officially hits the market.
An Ocean of Potential
To some people, this device may not sound all that impressive. However, to others, it could make all the difference for underwater exploration, allowing users to continue their activity much more effortlessly. Likewise, the lithium-ion battery powers the device on alternative energy, an eco-friendlier option than the more traditional fossil fuels, effectively lowering the environmental footprint of the technology.
The Subnado's ease of use also opens it up to a wide range of real-life applications. For instance, this technology could be used for underwater leisure travel or as a valuable resource to researchers by allowing them to save time on underwater excursions.
Because the crowdfunding is set to start this Spring, the device's release is currently unknown. Nonetheless, considering the company's current success with other products, namely the Flyer One, we can expect a launch date to be just over the horizon and officially provide individuals with a lighter and greener way to travel underwater.
In the meantime, this device acts as just another invention that shows the reliability and possibilities of alternative energy.