WILAfrica Conference SASCE in partnership with CPUT will be hosting the WILAfrica conference. Click here for more details >>>

Thursday, 23 October 2014

CPUT collaborates on The Long Walk project

INNOVATIVE: The proposed design of the SubWalker INNOVATIVE: The proposed design of the SubWalker

Matt Silver-Valance and Braam Malherbe are setting out to prove that the impossible is possible by walking non-stop from Robben Island to Cape Town, all along the ocean floor.

This ambitious underwater walk is an initiative of the Launchpad for Charity Foundation, and is in aid of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, a 200-bed pediatric hospital currently under construction in Johannesburg.

The Long Walk will follow Silver-Vallance’s 2013 Balloon Run, which saw him make the crossing from Cape Town to Robben Island carried by helium party balloons.

img-CPUT-collaborates-on-The-Long-Walk-project-2

img-CPUT-collaborates-on-The-Long-Walk-project-3

img-CPUT-collaborates-on-The-Long-Walk-project-4Matt Silver-Vallance’s 2013 Balloon Run, which saw him make the crossing from Cape Town to Robben Island carried by helium party balloons

To make sure Silver-Vallance and Malherbe complete the daring 7.8 km underwater journey, CPUT’s Ocean Engineering team based at the TIA Adaptronics AMTL will develop a Subwalker.

Dirk Muller, who is the project manager for the CPUT team, says the Subwalker is a specialized device that will allow the walkers to move freely underwater and supply them with a controlled concentration of breathing gas for the approximate seven-hour walk.

The Subwalker will cover the walkers’ torso and will house a variety of equipment, such as batteries, life support systems, diver media interface, body temperature regulating system and diver monitoring.

Muller says the project is a first of its kind and that there are some challenges, such as ensuring the Subwalker provides a stable and comfortable environment for the walk.

But Silver-Vallance is positive about the underwater quest.

“Our organisation deliberately identifies challenges that seem impossible and then goes about trying to make it possible, this is to commemorate Nelson Mandela’s famous quote: “It always seems impossible, until it is done!”

For more information on the project go to www.lfcf.co.za

Below are videos of the Balloon Run.

Written by Candes Keating

Tel: +27 21 959 6311
Email: keatingc@cput.ac.za

Provides coverage for the Engineering and Applied Sciences Faculties; the Bellville and Wellington Campuses, and research and innovation news.