'Rob Murphy experimenting
with prototype dive legs
only 4 months after his accident!!!'
1 2 3 4 5

Dive Buddies Part III

It wasn’t long before Rob was ready to get in the water. We started designing the Dive legs. We made them exoskeletal, which means the strength is in the outer shell and they are hollow. Like the shell of a lobster or crab is an exoskeleton (so you could say Rob is a little crabby). This shape makes the legs have the same hyro-dynamics that his legs would have, and so they would feel most normal in the water. We also make air ports to maintain neutral buoyancy in the legs so they don’t want to float when he is trying to go down. We got special dive ankles and beach comber feet so that Rob could lock his ankles in the 70 degree swimming position or 90 degree walking position. This way he can still walk around on the boat without switching legs.
We made endoskeletal prototypes first to make sure everything would work as planned. Rob met us at the pool for the “test drive”.  He put ‘em on and dove in. He swam the length of the pool a couple times under water. When he surfaced, I thought his mask would come off because his face was contorted into a huge grin.
The next week, there were a few pictures in my inbox. Rob had already gone diving in the prototypes and was sending me pics with cobia and hogfish he speared. There he was, grinning again.
We decided the prototypes were a go. Rob thought it would be cool if we could use an “underwater camouflage” pattern like the wet suite companies were using. I found a company that made fly fishing shirts in the pattern of water and we laminated the fabric in with clear resin.
The next thing I knew, I was getting pics from Rob diving in the Middle grounds. Videos from trips to North Carolina and the Florida Keys. Then, the producers from “Speargun Hunter”, came down and filmed an episode about Rob. He did several dives with the host of the show, Sherri Day, and the producer, Robin Berg, and his whole crew came to my office to interview and film.
Rob’s still out there living his life, despite the difficulties of being a double amputee. Most people that come to my office are trying to get back up on their feet. Rob just needed to get back down.

  • Dive Buddies Part III
  • Dive Buddies Part III