While we’ve seen many wearable underwater propulsion systems, they’re usually strapped to the user’s arm or leg. The CudaJet is different, it’s a true backpack-style underwater jetpack.
We first heard about the device five years ago, when it was a prototype called the Cuda.
It was developed by British underwater enthusiast Archie O’Brien during his final year at Loughborough School of Design. Among other things, he wanted to create a system that was lighter and faster than existing products. The CudaJet is the final commercial version he envisions.
The unit consists of the twin-jet drive pack itself, which attaches to a padded neoprene harness worn around the torso. A hardwired hand-held trigger-style remote is used to control the speed and monitor the charge level of the lithium battery – which is claimed to run for up to 40 minutes on a 75-minute charge.
The jetpack, which can be used to a maximum depth of 40 meters (131 feet), can deliver 40 kilograms (88 pounds) of thrust, has been reported to reach speeds of up to 3 meters (10 feet) per second for the wearer. The scales are said to tip 13.2 kg (29 lbs) when out of the water, with the harness adding an additional 1.5 to 1.7 kg (3.3 to 3.7 lbs), depending on size.
The full CudaJet package starts at £14,000 (~US$18,021) – we’re still waiting to hear back about availability. You can see the jetpack in action in the video below.
Pilot the world’s first underwater jetpack – CudaJet