ICTINEU 3 submersible dives to depths of almost 4000 feet


September 22, 2011

The ICTINEU 3 submersible can dive to depths of up to 1,200 meters

The ICTINEU 3 submersible can dive to depths of up to 1,200 meters

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While NASA makes plans to send man to Mars, there's still so much we don't know about our home planet - particularly when it comes to what lies beneath the ocean waves. Over the past few years we've seen the emergence of a number of submersibles that bring underwater exploration to a wider audience, such as the C-Quester and C-Explorer lines from Uboatworx and the EGO semi-submarine boat. The latest to catch out eye is the ICTINEU 3, a three-seater (one pilot and two passengers) submersible that is designed to dive to a maximum depth of 1,200 meters (3,937 ft), which its makers claim will make it the world's ninth deepest submersible.

Intended for everything from oceanography, archaeology, industrial work, filming and photography and leisure applications, the ICTINEU 3 is designed to be modified to suit the task at hand with the ability to accommodate various instrument and sensor payloads and to integrate new technology and equipment as they become available. It will also come equipped with two robotic arms with seven degrees of freedom, 1.5 m (4.9 ft) range and exchangeable claws.

To ensure the craft is also attractive for the leisure market, passengers are able to enter and exit from the water surface or a small boat. There's also a 1.5 m (4.9 ft) diameter acrylic window for taking in the view and the interior is maintained at atmospheric pressure so passengers won't have any decompression issues.

Propelled by four stern and four maneuvering thrusters that are powered by a 42 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the ICTINEU 3 can travel up to 32 km (20 miles) underwater at a cruising speed of 1.5 knots (2.8 km/h / 1.7 mph). It can operate autonomously for up to 10 hours with emergency life support for up to 120 hours. With a weight of 5,300 kg (11,685 lb) and dimensions of 4.8 m long x 1.95 m across x 3 m high (15.7 x 6.4 x 9.8 ft) that allow it to fit in a 6 m (20 foot) open-top container, ICTINEU says its submersible can be operated from most research vessels and is easily transported.

Construction of the ICTINEU 3 is due to be completed by the end of 2011, with sea trials and final certification and classification to follow. In addition to plans to manufacture the submersible on request with delivery taking two years, ICTINEU will also run diving services that are set to commence in the Mediterranean in early 2012.

The company is already taking bookings for these initial dives with a 1 hour 30 minute dive to depths of 50 - 250 m (164 - 820 ft) in Costa Rica priced at EUR1,250 (approx. US$1,691), while you can book yourself on a 3 - 4 hour dive at depths of up to 1,000 m (3,280 ft) in Rec de la Fonera for EUR6,000 (approx. US$8,117). ICTINEU also offers the option of personalized dives that see you sitting alongside a marine biologist or archaeologist, or even taking part in a scientific experiment. The company can also transport the ICTINEU 3 to your choice of diving location.

Ictineu 3 Submersible : 3D tour from Ictineu Submarins on Vimeo.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

How can a \"body\" to have seven degrees of freedom?

Written in the article: \"It will also come equipped with two robotic arms with seven degrees of freedom, 1.5 m (4.9 ft) range and exchangeable claws\"

The most sophisticated single rigid body, in theory can 5 degrees. In combination of another body the system can achieve 6DOF.

How you can have 7 DOF?


I just wish the author of this article wouldn\'t lie to us by saying in the headlines and picture captions that this thing can do this and that. That implies it exists, which it doesn\'t.

\"dives to depths of over 4000 feet!\" it says.

Rubbish - it isn\'t built yet!!!!!

it\'s designed to do whatever. If it does it when (if) it is built well and good.


average depth of waters around the world. ...shows you where this thing might be useful in terms of exploring the economic resources on the floor.

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Check out the DOER Ocean Explorer and Ocean Explorer Unlimited at


As a response to johnpsom: a general body in 3D space has 6 degrees of freedom (DOF): 3 for translation, 3 for rotation. However, when you build a robotic arm with chained elements, using just 6 junctions gives theoretically 6DOF, but you incurre in what is called \"gimbal lock\", which means that for certain situations the arm becomes blocked because some of the joints have reached a limit, or some are aligned in such a way that one DOF is not controllable. To avoid this, good arms with full 6DOF motion are constructed with 7 joints, and are usually called 7DOF arms.

Joan Solà
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