I knew engineer Ted Ciamillo was a smart guy.
Not only because he has a big cypress-framed machine shop with so many cool toys in it somewhere in Georgia [See Map] and that he chose to build and name his design Zero Gravity, planting a perception of it in the market that this Titanium CNC'd gizmo is supposed to make you fly weightless in air when its actual function is to bring a bicycle to a grinding STOP!
In comes the fortune, the fame and the lusting customers.
Thats not so much what I'm interested in. You see, when Ted is not designing brakes, he works on another one of his inventions, only that this is way cooler than the brakes.
Ted Ciamillo has a vision, and much of it is somehow connected with deep, I mean deep, water.
He wants to be a Luno Sapien, a self propelled deep water creature!
Naming this side obsession The Subhuman Project, he has designed and built a 15-foot, 2 ton human powered submarine that he will pilot himself in November 2009, all alone and 6 feet below the surface for 3000 miles from Florida to the African coast.
Is is said that this endeavor, if successful, will break some 15 world records. It is also promising to yield tons of data to researchers about unheard of alien creatures deep in the Atlantic Ocean.
That is striking. I truly dont understand why everyone wants to go into outerspace, and spend billions of dollars looking for so called Alien lifeforms when there are hundreds, perhaps thousands of them, right there beneath our feet. They are colorful, weird in shape, don't live off sunlight and don't look like anything we can imagine.
The key component of this submarine happens to be a fiberglass monofin called Lunocet, the biomimetics inspired technology that mimics a dolphin's tail ditto. He employed the help of Dr. Frank Fish (what an appropriate name!), a professor of biology at Westchester Univeristy, PA in order to get the CAT scan data of actual geometries from real fishes, which he then translated to a CAD system which gave him his surfaces and all the manufacturing tool paths.
What finally came out was a system of carbon fiber hydrofoils pivoting about an aluminum and titanium baseplate. The Lunocet...tada!
For you engineers and those interested who want to go more in-depth on that phase of the design, click here.
Ted's entire Subhuman Project has its own website, on which you can read and watch some really cool videos of Ted at the shop. Click here.
And finally, Lunocet, Ted's monofin, also has its own website so you can navigate there if you'd like and read more about what it is and how it works.
It must also be reminded that Ted appeared in an interview in this month's National Geographic Adventure magazine. I have scanned the pages below so you can click on it and zoom in and read. Or you can go read the HTML version of the interview on NATGEO's webpage.
I have a set of Zero Gravitys on my bike [sheepish smile]. Now I truly feel complete, like being part of a bigger vision, even though the brakes are probably as good as any thing else out there in the market.