Automatic Buoyancy Compensation Device Being tested at Georgia Tech McAuley Aquatic Center

Auto Buoyancy Compensation Device for Scuba

The Problem

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.

The Device

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.


Automatic Buoyancy Compensation Device for Scuba Diving