An Australian-invented underwater diving system just raised $200,000 on Kickstarter

Airbuddy. Image: Supplied

A group of Sydney friends has just raised more than $200,000 on crowd sourcing platform Kickstarter so they can go commercial with their invention, AirBuddy, a diving system using air supplied from the surface.

No more dragging heavy air tanks to be filled at the dive shop. This system uses a silent battery, floating on the surface to drive a compressor, feeding air to a diver below without the usual cumbersome air tanks.

The AirBuddy, which will retail around $1600, delivers about 45 minutes of air at a maximum depth of 12 meters. The batteries recharge in about 3.5 hours using a charger similar to that of a laptop.

The system is similar in concept to traditional hookah diving units weighing 35kg or more and costing upwards of $3000. What’s different is the size and ease of transport and use.

In the Kickstarter campaign, they asked for $169,000 but have hit $200,000 with 22 days of fund raising still to go.

The founders have a lot of “water-love” between them. Managing director Jan Kadlec is a regular diver and marketing manager Lucy Palusovais an underwater enthusiast. Mechanical engineer Juraj Kadlec and manufacturing professional Ivan Maturkanic have a lot of snorkeling experience.

“We worked together with a group of recreational divers and snorkelers to design AirBuddy,” says Lucy Palusovais .

“Thanks to our six patented solutions, we were able to significantly decrease the weight and size.”

This is how the system works:

Image: Supplied

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