Move over, Snuba — there’s a new player in the world of tankless diving.
A group of Australian divers has developed the AirBuddy, a portable tankless diving system that offers up to 45 minutes of dive time at a depth of up to 12 meters (40 ft) for 1 diver and 6 (20 feet) meters for 2 divers.
The AirBuddy consists of three main components: a battery-powered air compressor, a supply hose and a regulator (mouthpiece). The air compressor pressurizes surface air that is then delivered to the diver through the supply hose with a regulator.
While the concept is simple and has been around for years, AirBuddy is built with six patented innovations that make it a smaller and lighter surface-supplied breathing apparatus. By simply charging the 12V battery (3.5 hrs to fully charge via standard electrical socket) and connecting the hoses, you’re ready to go.
The AirBuddy‘s compact size fits in your carry-on, and can be transported on a plane on vacation, saving time by avoiding the hassle of booking SCUBA gear in advance or driving around trying to find a dive shop.
AirBuddy‘s inventor, Jan Kadlec, says:
“We created AirBuddy to provide an easy alternative for self-guided shallow water diving. We aren’t trying to replace SCUBA, it’s still great for deep dives and cave diving. We wanted to make diving just as convenient as other sports; a sport where you just grab your gear and go. It was created to eliminate all the hassle, time and expense that comes along with preparing for SCUBA diving and it’s perfect for reef diving which is where countless species of sea life can be found.”
A passionate diver, lifehacker and corporate development professional, Kadlec designed AirBuddy along with a team of fellow diving enthusiasts with years of experience in mechanical engineering, manufacturing and business management. They have now finalized their design after almost four years of development and testing. All together, the team has gone through seven generations of prototypes, of which many of the parts have been specially designed for this model.
For its next step, the team today launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, hoping to raise AU$169,000/US$127,104/118,627 Euros.
Check out the AirBuddy Kickstarter page here.