Publication Date

Fall 12-7-2019

Document Type

Final Report

Embargo Date


Problem Statement

The main objective of this Design Project was to create a hands-free, wearable underwater propulsion device. The target consumer is leisure divers, so managing cost was important. Current products on the market do not allow divers to be hands-free while diving and are very expensive. The design process began with an interview with Josh An, a Masters Degree candidate at Washington University in St. Louis. Josh is an avid diver and wanted to see if it was possible to develop a cheap underwater jet pack for leisure diving. After multiple design concepts and mock up prototypes, our team decided on a design concept that was attached to the hip of the user. The motor was taken from an existing trolling motor (used for recreational fishing) and repurposed to fit on the side of the body through a system of leg and waist straps. Attached to the waist strap was a control box that housed all of the electrical components for the project, including the battery. Our project included three design goals that were tested after the final prototypes completion. The design goals were: 1. Be waterproof for 5 minutes in shallow depth water, 2. Weigh less than 5 lbs when fully submerged, and 3. Be comfortable enough to wear for 5 minutes outside of water. Our design passed all of the design goals. We had to edit our waterproofing strategy by filling air capacities found within the device, but it worked out in the end.

Author's School

McKelvey School of Engineering

Author's Department

Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Class Name

Mechanical Engineering Design Project (MEMS 411)