The PowerSwim Program at DARPA is developing highly efficient, human-powered swimming devices for use by combat and reconnaissance swimmers. The technology uses the same oscillating foil approach that is exhibited by many fish and aquatic birds.
The “human-powered swimming device” is capable of making swimmers move 150% faster than normal with the same amount of effort. It was designed by DARPA to help Navy SEALs reach their destinations quickly without the use of a submarine or a motor propeller. In the history of mankind it represents the largest increase in human swimming efficiency in terms of propulsion through water.
Powerswim looks like something Q would have built for James Bond has he rescued girls and secret documents from a sinking submarine. But Powerswim was actually developed by Jay Lowell, a program manager at the Defense Science Program at DARPA who admits that it looks pretty dorky.
Watch the video on it here: