Bionic dolphins? Ho-hum. But I bet sometime during the summer you’ll be whitewater rafting and dreaming of this Thomas “Doc” Rowe’s outrageous watercraft.
Cruising at 55 mph, built to withstand 200 mph winds, constructed from Kevlar, able to spin 360 degrees or rise vertically like a real dolphin, and can travel 300 miles without refueling, this newest aquatic vehicle in town is the stuff of theme parks. But it’s far more useful than meets the eye.
You can, for instance, use it for boat rescues during a tempest, or as an alternative for open-ended jet-skiing activities. Although likely to sell at US$ 120,000 in the near future, the cost of the bionic dolphin is as astounding as the feats it can do. It will retail next year for US$ 350,000.
Rowe has his hopes high on the bionic dolphin (AKA Variable Attitude Submersible Hydrofoil), including the eventual patent approval. Fact is, the U.S. Coast Guard patent office can’t determine whether to put the vehicle in the underwater or above-water category, as it’s neither of the two. But the government of Bermuda apparently likes the concept of this unusual water taxi. And as soon as the thing gets to the market, “Doc” deserves all the credit for pushing the envelope when it comes to coming up with a bizarre concept for water vehicles.
As for me, I really think the bionic dolphin’s body design and construction is sleek enough to make it to the NFS: Carbon or F1 Championship line-up. Not a bad idea, eh? Let’s see what Electronic Arts or Sony has got to say about, err, a dolphin amongst cars. Not ho-hum, definitely.