As Mr. Robinson watched the day-to-day coverage of the catastrophic event, he began to formulate a resilient design that would be able to withstand the strong forces of a tsunami. After sketching his tsunami-ball design with Adobe Illustrator and consulting a few engineers to confirm the structure’s potential buoyancy, he began to work on its construction.
Since the initial idea, Robinson has spent the better part of two years and up to eight hours a day building the 22-foot-long, 10-foot-wide, 8.5-foot-high wooden capsule, which is made of interlocking pieces of plywood and epoxy. Recently installed with portholes, the buoyant structure was inspired by oil-derrick escape pods and a Canadian artist who builds tree-hanging wooden spheres as hotel rooms.
Once work on the oval storm shelter is complete, the gaps within the plywood skeleton will be filled with buoyant foam and the boat will be equipped with an electric motor and a structural keel. Solar panels will also be installed and connected to batteries. Robinson hopes to finish his ambitious project in May followed by one very hopeful test run in the Pacific Ocean.