The natural catastrophe that affected Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture in March, 2011 provoked a wide spectrum of reactions around the world.
Before he became a modern-day Noah, Chris Robinson worked for a start-up incubator in Silicon Valley. However, when a tsunami devastated Japan in 2011, Robinson was inspired to take matters into his own hands in case a similar natural disaster ever occurred in his native Palo Alto.
After a tsunami hit Japan in early 2011, Robinson began wondering how he and his family in Palo Alto, California, might survive such a brutal event. What began as a playful conversation about personal jetpacks and balloon houses turned into a real project called Tsunami ball, Robinson explained.
The designer sketched his ideas with Adobe Illustrator and asked engineers for help with the calculations. A submarine-shaped boat made from wood sounds absurd, but Robinson insists he considered all materials first.
Dubbed the Tsunami Ball, the floating unit is constructed mostly from plywood and is shaped more like a hoagie sandwich than a sphere. All told, it’s 22 feet long, airtight, and built to withstand a serious beating. The designer sketched his ideas with Adobe Illustrator and asked engineers for help with the calculations. A submarine-shaped boat made from wood sounds absurd, but Robinson insists he considered all materials first.
The space is big enough to shelter 10-12 people and will float to the surface once the wave crashes.If a wave is approaching, you can heed the alarm, take cover inside the Tsunamiball, and survive the onslaught of water. The pod will float to the water’s surface, allowing survivors to seek refuge.Those inside can then open it up and seek refuge wherever the water may have lead them.
The outer hull will be two-and-a-half inches of marine-grade plywood covered in xyletol and epoxy, he explained on. “Xyletol is a very abrasion resistant polyester material. When combined with epoxy it is very similar to Kevlar.” The framing and initial layers of the exterior hull are done. Once he completes the outer shell, he plans to test the Tsunamiball in a pool and then in the ocean.