Driven by a crowdfunding campaign, the Italian startup iSpace2o is developing a hydrofoil-type machine capable of moving above and below the water with oxygen production on board.
The Deepseaker DS1 is a 2 in 1 machine designed to carry up to 4 people. Why do we mention an electric car in the title? To stay true to the iSpace2o presentation of your hydrofoil: ” The vehicle is designed in the style of automotive, because the idea is to use it as a real car, with all the comforts of a car, with the possibility of traveling underwater and even on the surface. “.
The ship thus derives 2 main possible uses. First of all for excursions with family or friends, with the possibility of admiring what happens underwater. But the Deepseaker DS1 will be just as suitable for professional use. For example, for scientific observations, surveillance missions or emergency interventions.
2 in 1: a boat in the water …
By climbing on its foils, the machine in its basic version will be able to reach a speed of 23 knots, that is to say, a little more than 42 km / h. A performance that will owe to its 2 electric motors of 40 kW of power each. But also to Sealence’s DeepSpeed jets that give the hydrofoil an original propulsion.
” Great drive, absolute silence, no vibrations », Qualifies iSpace2o. What to project in a new experiential dimension “It simply came to our notice then. Rechargeable in about 8 hours, lithium-ion batteries should offer a range of 6 to 8 hours. Without quantifying the energy capacity of the pack, iSpace2o mentioned the possibility of a quick recharge in about 60 minutes.
Thanks to artificial intelligence, the Deepseaker DS1 will modulate its operation to have enough energy to reach the destination indicated by the occupants and ensure return. The startup cites Tesla to illustrate this assistance.
… and a pocket submarine
” It is currently the only ship capable of evolving in both a speedboat and a submarine. », Insists iSpace2o in its different media. The company now indicates the possibility of going down to 50 meters deep. He also promised, before the Covid-19 crisis, a mode of operation that would allow diving to 100 m. For how long?
It will be more energy available in the batteries than the oxygen level that will put an end to the evolution of the submarine. This vital gas for the occupants will be produced directly in situ from the water surrounding the DS1 Deepseaker. By electrolysis? The startup is talking about an innovation, a ” interaction between two electric motors connected to turbines “.
A kind of centrifuge that would allow the recovery of oxygen molecules, with a certain capacity to store the gas thus obtained. In addition iSpace2o promises an evolution of its machine capable of running on both battery and hydrogen. Probably with fuel cells. The question of electrolysis may rest at that time.
In terms of security, the young Italian company wants to be especially reassuring. Especially for diving stages. She explains: ” The submarine is equipped with a perimeter airbag that inflates with air in case of emergency, for a rapid rise to the surface in case of damage. “.
The realization of the helmet is also clear on this issue. The cabin is like a kind of sturdy carbon bubble, housed in a kind of ” steel rib cage If the latter cannot be distinguished from the outside, it is because it is covered with a thermoplastic body “.
This allows iSpace2o to guarantee: ” In the event of a collision, the interior will always be protected, being a separate unit from the rest of the submarine. “.
In addition to the autonomous navigation capabilities, the Deepseaker DS1 will bring other elements of new technologies. Thus, in addition to the digital board, a head-up display derived from augmented reality and produced by HoloMask. It will allow you to always have at your fingertips the most important information about how iSpace2o works.
The machine will also be equipped with devices that will allow you to live an intense discovery experience. So with GoPro cameras and hydrophones to listen to the inhabitants of the marine world.
Following a loan from the Italian agency Invitalia for business development, and after 3.3 million euros raised from 500 investors registered on the crowdfunding platform CrowdFundMe, iSpace2o will be able to build the hull of its prototype.