|Called Exosuit, the suit has a rigid metal humanoid form with Iron Man-like thrusters that enable divers to operate safely down to depths of 300 metres (see photo).
"Though designed for diving in the bowels of New York City’s water treatment plants, earlier this month it underwent its first trials in seawater at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) in Massachusetts. The tests are readying the suit for a daring attempt to excavate an ancient Roman shipwreck off the Greek island of Antikythera in the Aegean Sea. A century ago, divers pulled the world’s oldest computer – the Antikythera mechanism – from the wreck. They are hoping that they will find a second device when they go down in September. […]
The $1.5 million Exosuit falls somewhere in between. “It’s basically a wearable submarine,” says Phil Short, a diving specialist on the planned mission to Antikythera. “The pressure inside is no different from being in a submarine or in fresh air. We can go straight to the bottom, spend 5 hours there and come straight back to the surface with no decompression.” […]
The Exosuit is needed both because of the depth of the Antikythera wreck – it reaches 120 metres – and the delicacy of any artefacts that might lie within. When Greek sponge fishermen found the shipwreck in October 1900, the pressure was such that they had only 5 minutes on the seabed before having to ascend. It was risky: several divers were paralysed and one died from decompression sickness."
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