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The Scubster pedal-powered wet sub (UPDATED)


June 25, 2010

All systems go, the Scubster's first successful submersion

All systems go, the Scubster's first successful submersion

Image Gallery (14 images)

While Gizmag was at the Green Air Show in Paris, designer Minh-Lôc Truong and high flyer Stéphane Rousson showed us a new pedal-powered personal submarine they've been working on. The streamlined carbon fiber Scubster is currently being built in the south of France by Rousson and a team of University engineers to designs supplied by Truong. Rousson will also strap on a wet suit and get tanked up to pilot the submarine.

The first test run of the 13.78 x 7.87 x 4.92 feet yellow submarine will hopefully take place by the end of June in the Mediterranean waters off the coast of Nice.

To get things moving up to the desired 10kph (6.2mph) speed, Rousson will need to pump away at the pedals with his legs, which in turn will drive the blades on each side of the sub via a customized gear mechanism and belt drive from a Strida bike. Controls inside the pilot compartment help to guide the Scubster up, down, left and right as well as taking care of angle of incidence and forward or reverse motion.

The goal of the project is to take part in next year's International Submarine Race, which is scheduled to be held at the Naval Surface Warfare Center-Carderock Division, Bethesda, Maryland between June 27 and July 1 2011. It'll be the first time a French team has entered the race and, with luck, the first one to win.

UPDATE: The first successful test run has just taken place, see photos below.

And here are some photographs of the second test run at Passable Beach on the 28th of July 2010:

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden

I wonder how many kilos of cocaine this thing can carry? Now the drug cartel has another tool they can use to get drugs into the United STates!


They should make a yellow two seater. Then the remaining Beatles can live in one

Steve Lane

If you still need scuba gear, what\'s the point?

Stacey Myers

Innovative way of using pedal power.

Dr.A.Jagadeesh Nellore(AP),India

Anumakonda Jagadeesh

if its pedal power wouldn\"t that use you air in the tanks faster what the sense in that

Facebook User

Ed, my very first thought was about the dope smugglers, too!

Stacey, I wonder about having to have have scuba gear -- as you say, what\'s the point? When I first saw this elsewhere but started searching for more info, I though this was a true submarine. I\'m not a diver, but I can\'t see any reason save one to have one of these if a person has to suit up. The one possibility is that if the sub is strong enough to withstand an attack by a shark, then it would be good for watching them. Well, then there\'s the drug-smuggling angle, but a smuggler sure couldn\'t go far having to wear scuba gear.

As it is now, about all it is in an enclosure -- to what purpose is unclear.

I don\'t even see any military applications, not right off the top of my head, anyway, unless a diver can exit then re-enter. Then I guess a covert diver could haul a larger mine to plant on an enemy ship with one of these than he could without one, but even that doesn\'t sound very practical.

Now, if they make one you can get into wearing street clothes and have air inside, then that\'s an entirely different matter.

The yellow color is clever, true.

Kurt Francis
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