While terrestrial engineers unlock the mobility possibilities of exosuits on land, the ocean-going equivalent of Tony Stark has been working on a project of his own. Inventor and underwater expert Phil Nuytten has unveiled the Exosuit, a 530-pound aluminum-alloy suit which shields its wearer from the harmful effects of decompression sickness and allows the user to soar through the seascape with 1.6 horsepower water jets. “It’s kind of like ‘Iron Man’ come to life,” says Nuytten.
Cold, dark and crushing, the world ten thousand feet below water is a place few would dare venture. The Exosuit’s robust frame protects from the 500 pound per squash inch pressure and possesses LED lights to guide explorers in the darkness. Scuba divers risk decompression sickness, also known as the Bends, if they transition too quickly from high to normal pressure. Atmospheric suits like the Exosuit are designed to mitigate this risk by maintaining steady internal pressure regardless of depth.
The Exosuit is only the latest marine marvel of engineering that Phil Nuytten has developed. Nuytten began designing scuba diving gear when he was a teenager and later created the Newtsuit, which was adopted by NASA and the Department of Defense. Nuytten also served as underwater technical director on James Cameron’s The Abyss and supported on the production of Titanic.
The Exosuit could be used by underwater miners off the coast of Vancouver, Nuytten suggests. He even has a name for their underwater base: Vent Base Alpha. Nuytten hopes that the Exosuit will provide inspiration and energy to the development of underwater human habitats. “If you don’t dream, you never get there,” says Nuytten. Thanks to the Exosuit, the dream of an underwater death metal concert may be closer to reality. One request to the lucky featured band: play some Sabbath.
Images via Nuytco