Photo via Flickr Creative Commons Eric Thiermann/KQED QUEST
Ugo Conti loved being out on the ocean but hated being sea sick. So, he took his engineering skills and love of insects and went on a mission to design a better boat. What he came up with is something completely unique, incredibly fuel efficient, materials efficient, and....you don't get sea sick.
Check out the full documentary as shown at the San Francisco Ocean Film Festival after the jump.Ugo Conti's Proteus boat is a perfect example of what you can create when you don't know you aren't supposed to create it. He had no idea how to go about making a boat - he just knew what he wanted to accomplish - so he wasn't stuck inside a designer's box. He took inspiration from insects, which are already evolved to be efficient and skilled on the water, and got to work.
The boat skims the water, rather than sitting down in the waves, so it uses far less fuel to get where it needs to go. Also the cabin sits up above the water and is lowered down when entering and exiting - it can even be exchanged so that if the use for the boat shifts from research vessel to rescue vessel, only the cabins need to be swapped out. There's no need to redesign a whole new boat for specific purposes.
Already, Conti's invention is getting tested by the Navy, who is interested in using the design thanks to that fuel efficiency factor as well as its agility. But anyone who takes a look at this invention and what it is capable of will be interested. Yet Conti is already off on the next round of improvements. Perhaps that will include making it run on a hybrid of renewable power sources - even though it's far more fuel efficient than similar sized vessels, we'd love to see it ditch fossil fuel all together.
Check out this fascinating boat in the documentary below.