Unemployed Man Builds $31,000 Submarines in His Basement

In a world where Internet and Smartphone app startup companies are a dime-a-dozen, it’s not every day that you see a startup that makes submarines. And definitely not one that is run by one man, from his basement. Yet, that’s exactly what 37-year-old Zhang Wuyi has been doing after he was laid off from his job in a textile machine factory.

Wuyi, from China’s Hubei province, builds mini submarines in a makeshift workspace in the basement of a disused building. When he started off, he worked alone. Today, he has three orders under his belt and also employs ten workers. His submarine models are capable of diving up to 30 meters under sea level and travel at 20 kmph for 10 hours. They can seat two people and also contain oxygen tanks and video cameras. The walls are made of wrought iron. It takes Wuyi up to a month to build a submarine, and each one sells for about $31,000.

Photo: Jason Lee/Xinhua

Wuyi’s ‘small and simple’ submarines are aimed at local fishermen. The first and only sold sub  so far was purchased by Cong Zhijie, a sea cucumber farmer. He says, “I was brave enough to be the first user of the submersible, but that machine helped me catch up to 50kg of sea cucumbers in 40 minutes.” The second submarine is currently under construction at Wuyi’s basement factory. Pictures and videos of his DIY submarines have become quite popular, and are being talked about on TV and online.Although his submarines won’t be diving to the bottom of the Mariana Trench anytime soon, they serve as inspiration for many other engineers who dream of turning their passion into a successful business.

 Photo: Jason Lee/Xinhua

 Photo: Jason Lee/Xinhua


via Shanghaist

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