Thanks largely to Hollywood blockbuster franchises, humanity seems to be in the grips of a global obsession with exosuits. The fixation is informing the designs of future military tech and may even play a role in how we operate in space. Canadian based Nuytco Research hopes to bring its own Exosuit to the sea floor, allowing divers to safely operate at depths of up to 1,000 ft (305 m) with none of the nasty pressure-induced side effects that so often ruin a deep sea diver’s day.
Nuytco Research’s Exosuit Atmospheric Diving System (ADS) is technically not a suit at all, it is in fact certified as a submarine that merely happens to take the shape of a person. Regardless of its official classification, the ADS is unquestionably an impressive and imposing tool that any uber-wealthy dive enthusiast would love to have in their arsenal.
For a diver equipped with standard scuba gear, it would take around 12 hours to safely return to the surface following a (near record-breaking) dive to 1,000 ft (305 m). This is where Nuytco Research’s creation, which has been in development since the year 2000, comes into its own. An ADS suit maintains a pressure of one atmosphere (the same as at the surface), effectively allowing divers to re-surface without the need for lengthy decompression protocols, even when returning from extreme depths.
The Exosuit weighs in between 500 – 600 lb (227 – 272 kg), depending on suit configuration. The exterior is made of A536 aluminum alloy and features pincer-like appendages located at the end of each arm that can be manipulated by the pilot to perform delicate tasks. The ADS system carries a primary and backup oxygen supply with the capacity to support a pilot for up to 50 hours and has integrated batteries capable of running the electronics for the duration of the dive.
Once submerged, the pilot can maneuver with the use of four magnetically-attached thrusters. The thrusters are designed to be responsive and quiet, with the option of expanding the complement to eight for greater maneuverability. Operators also have the option of outfitting the suit with additional LED lights, an HD camera and even sonar as the situation requires.
When a dive is in progress, the suit is connected by a 1,250 ft (381 m) fibre-optic umbilical that feeds its telemetry, communications and HD video to the surface.
Nuytco Research believes that the flexibility and the unique nature of the suit will make it an attractive proposition to clients in military, scientific and commercial spheres.
You may now be asking yourself “how much will it cost me to get my underwater armored playsuit?” Well, with a price tag of around half a million US dollars, it may be a while yet before the average man can go deep see exploring at his leisure.