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The Californian building an ark in his back garden: Inventor claims ‘tsunamiball’ could survive any storm

The shell of the tsunamiball nears completion in Palo Alto

Boat will kept on a high 'perch' in Palo Alto garden in case a tsunami hits
Has enough room for an entire family
In  the event of a Tsunami, it simply floats with the wave
Set to be rented out on Airbnb until needed


In the quiet suburbs of Palo Alto where the tech elite live, a modern day ark is taking shape.
Chris Robinson, a designer, began thinking about the how his family could surive an event similar to the 2011 Japanese Tsunami.
Now, he has almost finished his project - a giant 'tsunamiball' that can float away from its perch in his back garden, keeping its occupants safe inside.

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Inside the ark: watertight portholes allow those inside to look out, and can be covered to allow sleep on the craft.
'Tsunamiball is intended to be a tsunami-proof boat,' Robinson said.
'After the Japanese tsunami in March of 2011 I started to wonder how a family might survive such a brutal and sudden event.'
Robinson then talked about the idea with friends, before he started sketching. 
'The project started as a series of creative conversations and sketches with friends about possible ways to escape a tsunami with your family intact,' he said.
'The tone was light and playful. Ideas like helium balloon houses, and personal jet packs were exciting lunch time topics.


Through the porthole: Chris Robinson working on the Tsunamiball, which he hopes to finish later this year

'Eventually the idea of a floating ball as an escape vessel was hatched.'
Robinson, who said his wife was behind the idea, then refined the designed, still unsure if it was possible - and if he'd be able to make it.
'From that idea, through a series of sketches and several hundred web searches birthed the concept that a tsunami-proof vessel was a possibility.'

Robinson at work on the boat. He hopes to have it finished later this year.

'With no boat building experience and almost no time spent on the water, this was more of a fantasy than a practical planning exercise,' he admits.
'But the more I researched, the more I expected I could build it, and I started to build in January of 2012.
'I hope to finish sometime in late 2014.'
The boat has a double hull to protect it from sharp objects and debris.
'The idea for this boat is to have it in the back yard above the detached garage, several miles from the water, said Robinson.
'The focus is on building a vessel that could withstand the initial impact of a tsunami from any direction while on land.'



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