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Human Powered Submarine

Engineering design team that builds a human powered submarine to compete in the biennial International Submarine Race.

Three team members wearing SCUBA gear assist the sub under water in a pool.

What is the Human Powered Sub team?

Human Powered Submarine at Virginia Tech (HPS) is an undergraduate engineering design team focused on building a human piloted and pedaled submarine. To accomplish this goal we work in five separate sub-teams: electronics, safety and ergonomics, hydrodynamics, controls, and structures. Work begins with a design year where the major plans and architecture are formed; this is proceeded by a build year where that design is fabricated. From here the team facilitates scuba certification so that the design can be finalized and validated during pool and quarry tests. Lastly, the design is put to the test during the international submarines races.

The human powered sub team at competition in a pool.
The human powered sub practicing in a pool.
A human powered sub on a stand at a water-filled quarry.
Students working on the sub with air filter face mask on.

Who can join? 

Anyone undergraduate engineering student.


2019 ISR

Fast Facts

Team size: About 50 members
Department Afiliation: Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics
Workshop: Ware Lab

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