The Technology Behind the Amphi

The Amphi team has simplified the powered underwater propulsion to the ultimate level. Our powered bionic monofin encapsulates two common personal modes of underwater propulsion in a single device. It contains advanced sensors and electronics to assist you with your dive and after-dive analysis and works as if it was a part of your body, it needs no attention. You are free to enjoy your dive or swim. The power is with you or to be precise - behind you. In this blog, we are going to go through the key aspects of the Amphi.

Key Technological Aspects of the Amphi

hybrid

The central idea behind the Amphi system is hybrid propulsion powered partially by human muscles and partly by electric thruster. Does this concept sound familiar? We see the same approach on our streets in the form of an electric bike. You may be wondering why one would build a powered bionic monofin. Wouldn’t it be better to use a good pair of fins or an underwater scooter? Well, the answer to this question is: it depends. If your goal is to minimize the weight and complexity, then fins are the way to go. The downside to using a pair of fins is that you are quickly exhausted and less accessible to air. 

If you want to maximize your bottom time and minimize effort, a powerful (and heavy) scooter is the best choice. Realistically, dives are somewhere in between. You are rarely forced to be super light and reliable or to be towed by a behemoth without any effort on your part. Ideally, you want something in between, a smooth transition between muscular and artificial propulsion. The Amphi delivers exactly that. It shares the effort between the diver and the thruster, and you can decide how much support you need. The fin and the scooter are integrated into a single device, adding other advantages that are not possible when using fins and scooters.

the mechanical Advantages

Boats have propellers mounted at the stern or near the stern. The reason for this is that it interferes with the haul. Ideally, you want your thruster to exchange the energy so that it creates thrust, not drag. Hitting the haul with the jet coming out of your thruster creates unnecessary turbulence and drag. The same is true for the diver. Holding a propeller in front of you creates interference with your body. You may minimize it by lowering the scooter and riding above it, but in this case, you generate more drag by being beyond the hydrodynamic shadow of the scooter. In addition, the line of thrust and the line of drag are not co-axial, and it creates torque, which throws the diver-scooter system of balance and needs to be compensated for, thus causing additional energy losses. 

Amphi places the propeller at your feet. Yes, the fin blade is behind it, but the blade is much smaller and smoother than your body and diving gear put together, so the drag created by the fin is way smaller. This configuration creates an additional hydrodynamic advantage, which I will write about later. And yes, you guessed it, the line of thrust and drag are co-axial. 

Another mechanical advantage is integration. We use the same mechanical structure which holds and attaches the fin to your feet to support the thruster. We don’t need handles, controls, anchoring points. The Amphi weighs close to ten pounds. Similarly, power-wise scooters weigh around 16 pounds. Keep in mind that Amphi already has a fin, which for a traditional diver adds another couple of pounds. Pound for pound, Amphi is roughly two times lighter than the scooter-fin combination. 

synergy

How does the propeller work with the fin? It is just two separate thrust generators put randomly together, or something else? Well, the answer is: this is something entirely else. There is a synergy between the two. The secret sauce of Amphi propulsion, if you will!

I need to be a little technical here, bear with me. I will try to stay at a fundamental level. For now, let me focus on the fin's angle of attack (AoA) and flow velocity through the fin blade. With any fin, the angle of attack is changing throughout the stroke. The closer to the end of the stroke (where the fin changes its deflection from one side to another), the higher the AoA. At the end of the stroke, the vertical velocity VFin is the highest. This vertical velocity VFin, together with swimmers velocity Vs., contributes to the flow velocity V through the foil (fin), see the diagram. Sadly, with this large angle of attack α > 40 degrees (especially at low swimming velocities and strong kicks), the fin cannot take advantage of the vertical velocity amplitude. It is similar to a wing stall. It generates no lift on the foil, thus no thrust either. So, the potentially most powerful moment of the kick is virtually powerless. In Amphi's propulsion, the angle of attack is changed by the thruster's jet. It decreases it by providing an additional vector Vt parallel (for the most part) to swimming velocity Vs and skewing the overall flow V vector towards lower attack angles. This prolongs the lift generation phase of the fin. What is even cooler, it decreases drag on the fin too. Drag is usually minimal for small angles of attack. Sometimes it feels almost as if the fin wasn't resisted by the water at all. In addition to the AoA magic, the thruster provides much higher velocities over the fin surface, which creates lift proportional to V2. As I said, I will be talking about this stuff more in later entries. If this was too much for you, then remember one thing: we can increase thrust created by the fin by roughly 10—20% by providing synergy between the propeller and the blade.

ergonomics

How about no controls whatsoever? Is there anything more comfortable than “a perfect nothing”? No push buttons, dials, cables, gauges, levers handles? Nothing, nada, zip. You attach your feet to the Amphi and swim. Amphi will sense the strength of your kick and will add or subtract power accordingly. You can change the character of this control mechanism in two ways: by changing sensitivity to your kicks, or by changing for how long the thruster will remain “on” after you stop kicking. This allows you to go between aggressive sport like machines and relaxed cruising pal. 

Other aspects of ergonomics are the SPD clips we used instead of traditional foot pockets. The clips achieve three things:

Amphi can be disassembled into a fin blade (2 pounds), bindings (1.5 pounds), PowerPack (6.5 pounds). You can place them in separate bags or a single monofin bag, like those offered by Waterwayfins or similar. Easy to travel with as long as you remember that the bag is 30 x 30 inches. 

Mission-Specific

What’s more important than being able to share the system with your loved ones. Amphi can be turned from a powerful and very dynamic machine to a toy just by its software. Using your phone app, you can change almost anything within the system. But this is not where the flexibility ends. One can change the powerpack and blades. Examples: strong powerpack and shortfin blade for mostly powered dives or smaller powerpack and long flexible blade for relaxed long swims mainly using your muscles. And anything in between. 

We plan on having three different power packs and six types of blades. The only constant is the bindings, well, you can get different colors, though. 

On-board intelligence

By now, you know that Amphi has its electronic brain. A pretty powerful one, too. It can take inputs from multiple sensors to control your swimming actions. But it can also track your underwater path (including position, speed, and depth) if you want to, and then display it for you on your smartphone, or share it on the Internet.

In the future, we will add an optional sensor suite called MyGaya to record oceanographic data. But it’s a separate subject. The bottom line, Amphi, is an intelligent dive buddy. It’s not a dumb towing aid. 

UW to the cloud

The significant part of this project has been allowing people to share their underwater experiences online. Thus Amphi is capable of communicating with the cloud via the user’s cellphone. One will be able to sync Amphi’s data to user servers, share them on forums and with friends, compete remotely, etc. The possibilities are endless. We did not even scratch the surface yet. The wifi connectivity is there, and how people use it will be mostly up to them. We, the Amphi team, will follow the popular vote.

Amphi Americas - The World's First Powered Bionic Monofin

If you are interested in learning more about the Amphi, connect with us today! 

About the Amphi - Our Story

Our Amphi Product

Amphi is the first-ever, hands-free underwater scooter created to make snorkeling and diving effortless. As the world’s only powered bionic monofin, the Amphi waterproof mechanism helps swimmers propel themselves underwater with ease. The Amphi elevates your diving experience so you can take in all the things around you while also giving you more time under the water.

Effortless underwater propulsion for divers and snorkelers

Diving and snorkeling are some of the most exciting and enjoyable hobbies you can experience. But, it can be an exhausting activity that may leave some heading back to shore early. This prevents divers from getting to spend more time underwater and often causes them to miss out on getting the complete experience. 

Fortunately, the Amphi allows divers to conserve their energy by propelling them underwater without any effort from the diver. You get to take in your surroundings without worrying about overexerting yourself, which can make each new dive more enjoyable.  

Our Amphi Team

The Amphi was created by Dr. Marek Swoboda, a diving enthusiast, and highly respected biomedical engineer. Growing up in communist Poland left Marek with limited availability to SCUBA equipment, and he found that the technology being used wasn’t performing well. This led to Dr. Swoboda’s need to create the powered bionic monofin that would change the way divers and snorkelers experience the underwater world. 

Using the combination of biomedical technology and hydrodynamics helped Dr. Marek create the ultimate underwater propulsion device that we know as the Amphi. And with the help of our Research and Development team, our EP (Everything Person) CEO, our Training and Safety team, and our Expedition Director, we’re able to constantly make improvements and enhance the Amphi to its fullest potential.

The Technology Behind Amphi

Thanks to Dr. Swoboda’s background in biomedical engineering and physics, he’s been able to use more innovative technology systems to create the Amphi. This device eliminates the need for other scooters and fins and is especially useful for freediving. This underwater propulsion system is hands-free, quiet, and lightweight. It also allows you to experience the water in a new and fun way that is environmentally friendly!

And our hybrid propulsion device allows divers to use their muscles for swimming, the thruster, or both!

Immerse Yourself in the Underwater World with Amphi!

Learn more about our product, our team, and more at the link below!

Connect With Us!

Travel to Maui

Maui is the second-largest island of Hawaii and attracts more than 2 million visitors each year. This Hawaiian island is world-famous for its extraordinary beaches and fantastic diving opportunities, but that’s not all “The Valley Isle” offers. Maui, called “The Valley Isle” because central Maui is located between two large mountains, has many attractions that make it a popular travel destination. For instance, Maui is known for being heavily trafficked by migrating humpback whales, farm-fresh cuisine, and beautiful beach sunrises and sunsets. And while water activities remain the most popular interests among visitors, there are plenty of land activities to partake in as well. Learn more about traveling to Maui below!

Experience Maui

Maui has a variety of excursions and explorations available such as incredible dive sites, helicopter tours, whale watching, boat tours, paddle boarding and surfing, hiking, and so much more. Another interesting characteristic of Maui is all the farming they do there. Though sugarcane is no longer grown here, you can find several different fruits and vegetables grown and sold right at their farmer's markets. The food is fresh and organic, but it's also authentic and locally grown with care. And whether you're an earlier riser or a night owl, you can see a beautiful sunrise or sunset from Haleakala, which is widely popular among tourists and locals alike.

Maui Diving Tips

If you’re like most Maui travelers, you’re probably there to do some snorkeling and diving. Fortunately, there are many dive sites to choose from, all of which are unique and exciting. Some of the best dive sites in Maui include:

Lanai Cathedrals

Listed as one of the best dive sites in all of the Hawaiian islands, the Lanai Cathedrals contain large caverns for divers to explore. Here, you can expect to see lacework among the lava in the area, a variety of marine life, and if you’re lucky, maybe even a turtle or dolphin.

Honolua Bay

 It has water depths of up to 45 feet and is easily accessible, making it ideal for divers of all experience levels. 

Molokini beach

It contains some of the most transparent waters found in Maui with visibility for up to 150 feet, making it a haven for experienced divers. This dive site is known for being on top of an underwater volcano, which offers a unique opportunity to most. Be sure to look out for whale sharks here! 

If diving is a passion of yours, then you know how crucial it is to have top-of-the-line diving equipment. Our team at Amphi has created a new device that is designed specifically for a better diving experience. If you’re headed to Maui for some recreational or professional diving, consider adding our powered bionic monofin to your essential dive gear! Connect with us here to check it out!

Travel to the Florida Keys!

Home to the continental United States' only coral barrier reef, the Florida Keys is an ideal vacation destination, especially for avid divers. While the Florida Keys are located closer to Cuba than Miami, this remains the southernmost area of Florida. Not only are the Florida Keys commonly known for their natural beauty, cultural diversity, and comfortable climate, but also for the many outdoor activities there are to partake in. What was once an inspirational oasis for famous authors and artists such as Ernest Hemingway and Jimmy Buffet, has now become a popular destination for vacationers to travel to. See all the Florida Keys has to offer and why it's become so desired.

Fun and Adventure in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys contain the United States' only coral barrier reef making it a popular place for diving and snorkeling. The coral formations found here are famous for their abundance of fish and marine life. They've even developed a sanctuary for the marine habitat known as the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Animal and ocean conservation is huge here so preserving the marine habitat is a major focus in the area. Many visitors enjoy sightseeing during the day as well as taking part in diving, snorkeling, watersports, fishing, and golfing. You can expect to see large schools of fish swimming along the coral reefs as well as barracuda and even sea turtles.

Once the sun starts to set, the Florida Keys hold a sunset celebration every night at the Mallory Square in Key West. Here, you can see tight-rope walkers, jugglers, and animal acts performing as the sun sets into the Gulf of Mexico. There are also several local stages where dramas, musicals, and comedies are performed for anyone to watch. And if that isn't enough excitement, there are also plenty of restaurants, bars, and nightly events that provide fun after the sun goes down.

Diving with Amphi in the Florida Keys

The Florida Keys is the perfect place to experience Amphi. That's why we decided to test our underwater device right here. Its hybrid design will help you discover the richness of the underwater world. You will be able to move over the coral reef with ease and for a longer period of time, as Amphi will do all the work for you. We are planning to equip our bionic monofin with a device called MyGaya. This device will be able to collect ocean temperature, pressure, and salinity data when you swim or dive, turning Amphi into an environmental data collection system. This way not only will you have fun, but you will also become a citizen scientist! Connect with Amphi Americas to learn more!