Scuba diving is challenging and fun. However, learning to compensate for buoyancy can be tricky. A scuba diver constantly adjusts the air in a bladder as they breathe or attempt to ascend or descend. Underwater photography may be tough to accomplish- especially remaining focused on your depth. Often divers realize they have risen to the surface while preparing for a shot. A system is needed to stabilize divers with minimal intervention so the diver could totally enjoy the environment; somewhat of an autopilot for diving.
During my senior year at MIT, I created the Automatic Buoyancy Compensation Device (ABCD). The device was envisioned to be a simple add-on to any popular Buoyancy Control vest on the market. The gadget would direct the circulating air through the vest to maintain optimal buoyancy. All the consumer had to do is adjust a few buttons on their hand control to set the depth and the rate of decent or rise and the device would do the rest.
A tiny pressure gauge determines the depth. By comparing readings, the vest can measure the pace and acceleration of the diver. A small solenoid air valve controls the vest, adding or releasing the air to maintain the diver’s buoyancy. Other data is collected into a control algorithm to fine-tune the buoyancy on demand.
This vest could be extremely practical for novice divers, technical divers, and underwater photographers.