Artist lights up web with self-propelled underwater wheelchair

Artist Sue Austin is becoming an Internet sensation thanks to a series of underwater videos involving a motorized wheelchair that allows her to scuba dive and steer herself among coral reefs.

The project, which is called “Creating the Spectacle!,” was partly commissioned by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games; Austin, who is British, recently created a similar video to the one above that displayed her finding the Paralympic torch inside an underwater cave.

Many news organizations, such as the U.K.’s Daily Mail, are calling the wheelchair the “world’s first self-propelled underwater wheelchair,” and the installation’s website says that Austin hopes that it will help change the world’s preconceived notions about what it means to be disabled.

“Sue leads this team with the artistic vision of opening up a thinking space to consider one’s own preconceptions about disability and the experience of life from different perspectives,” the website said.

Building the chair was no easy task and took Austin several months, according to the BBC.

“When we started talking to people about it, engineers were saying it wouldn’t work, the wheelchair would go into a spin, it was not designed to go through water–but I was sure it would,” she told the BBC.