Drones have become a regular sight in the sky and soon they’re going to be taking over the waterways.
I think of them as unmanned submarines and my imagination runs wild with images of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. But, the idea of owning my own submarine, in my mind, would make me a real-life Bond villain. And, when you see the price tags that go along with them you might have to be a supervillain to afford them!
At StartUp Launch Pad at the Global Sourcing Fair in Hong Kong, I came across a number of underwater drones. They got me thinking of just how much is happening under the sea.
This is the world’s first bionic robot fish. This Kickstarter campaign is currently in production and has not yet shipped to any backers.
The single fin for propulsion on the back might seem too basic, but BIKI is equipped with sonar for obstacle avoidance. It comes with a 4K wide-angle camera, can descend to 196 feet and should last you one to 1.5 hours depending on what the water conditions are like.
If you’re looking to take BIKI into the sea, it’s already been to Antarctica to help explore unknown territory. There is even a light if things get a little dark down there.
BIKI is controlled by an iOS or Android app and it one of the few underwater drones that doesn’t come with a tether. With the return to base feature, you should never lose it.
Currently available for US$ 599 on pre-order and US$ 999 when it officially goes on sale, even at it’s higher price tag it’s one of the most affordable underwater drones on the list.
Gladius Underwater Drone
The Gladius is what I expect an underwater drone to look like. It’s bright yellow and reminds me of the ones I used to play with in tub as a kid. The 16MP camera takes 4K photos and streams 1080p video. It can reach 100 meters in depth and has a three-hour battery life. Gladius has quad thrusters which have it moving at four knots or two meters/6.6 feet per second. It has a controller, or can be controlled by an Android or iOS app. It’s tethered to a floating buoy that has an integrated wireless module to make for easier smartphone connectivity.
It’s got a heftier price tag than its US$ 599 Indiegogo campaign would have you believe. It retails for US$ 1,999 in the US and EUR 2,049 in Europe.
Blueye Robotics Pioneer
The Blueye Pioneer drone comes from the same Norwegian technology that makes professional underwater drones aimed at serious divers and fishermen. The drones can get to a depth of 150 meters with a minimum battery life of two hours and is capable of inspecting underwater sea cables or checking offshore wind farms. Its Android or iOS app controls the tethered drone which can stream 1080p video and take HD photos.
Blueye also has VR goggles, which you can use to control it and share what you see to your favorite social network.
You’ll have to really want the deep sea capabilities of the Blueye Pioneer, as you can pre-order it with a US$ 100 deposit now for US$ 3,550 plus tax and shipping. Estimated delivery is in 2018.
Deep Trekker has been creating underwater drones that have been used for search and rescue for years. This is a professional drone, so the build is quite rugged.
The maximum run time is eight hours so this is a real working drone. It comes in five different varieties starting at US$ 4,873 and heading up to US$ 12,000. They’re a Canadian company, so we’ve obviously got a soft spot.
The PowerRay is a drone for fisherman. The Power Ray Explorer, Angler, and Wizard come with a FishFinder, a detachable sonar pod that provides information on fish distribution, water temperature, depth, and landscape. The drone also has a fish-luring light that uses a flickering LED to lure fish in (pun intended).
This power-seeking fish finder can be used with VR goggles. It’ll cost you a pretty penny, as the range is around US$ 1,500 to 2,300.
This is a hands-free drone that’s designed to follow you around while you’re underwater and capture amazing photos and video of you living your mermaid dreams. The iBubble is a fully autonomous diving drone — it tries to be your floating GoPro with a built-in cameraman.
You wear a tracking bracelet to control the video modes so the iBubble can track you. It can move up to 25 meters away from the divers and descend up to 60 meters
It’s available for pre-order for US$ 1,999 with estimated delivery around July 2018.
If you’ve read this far down the article it means that you really, really want an underwater drone. Here’s a fun water-friendly gadget that will hold you over until the prices come down on the real deal:
Silverlit Spy Cam Aqua Submarine with Camera
If you’re just looking for something to play around with in the pool and aren’t looking to break the bank, the Silverlit Spy Can Aqua Submarine is only US$ 50. But, the price tag means you’re making a lot of concessions. The channel remote is UV-operated, so it could have trouble outdoors or on very sunny days.
This article originally appeared on Mobile Geeks. Nicole Scott, who was GadgetMatch’s companion and guide to its very first StartUp Launch Pad experience, shared her experience on the bi-annual conference at the Global Sourcing Fair in Hong Kong.
[irp posts=”23754″ name=”Gululu water bottle is also a virtual pet”]
Airpeak will be Sony’s foray into camera drone market
Slated to launch in Spring 2021
The ever-competitive drone market will soon have another brand to welcome. Sony just announced its entry into the consumer drone market with the Airpeak brand, which will likely go toe-to-toe (propeller to propeller?) with established brands like DJI.
Specific details about the brand, however, remain scarce at the moment. Sony’s official website only teases a short cryptic video.
The website also mentions that Airpeak will be the culmination of “imaging and sensing technological expertise and AI Robotics” — something which Sony has with its consumer camera and robotic products.
A separate press release also confirms Sony’s plan to target video creators with the Airpeak brand. Further, the brand will bring 3R technology (Reality, Real-time and Remote) to the drone market.
The first wave of products under the Airpeak is slated to launch in the spring of 2021. In the meantime, Sony will continue to obtain feedback from users who participated in co-creating drones under the brand.
It is worth noting that this isn’t Sony’s first foray into the drone market. Last year, the company entered a partnership with ZMP to form the Aerosense company. However, that company caters specifically to the business sector. So, the Airpeak brand will actually be the company’s first for the consumer drone sector.
How the tech world helped in the Notre Dame fire incident
Modern technology isn’t our foe at all
In light of the recent news about the fire incident that happened in the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France, several companies, including those from the tech sector, have shown how much they care for the ruined 856-year-old historic landmark.
When the flames broke out, firefighters used Mavic Pro and Matrice M210 drones. The cathedral was severely damaged but thankfully, the drones helped in distinguishing where the fire had spread out. Several tweets show how helpful drones are, even during unexpected disasters like this one.
— Alexandre Fremont (@alex_fremont) April 15, 2019
People from DJI talked about how their drones helped Paris’ Emergency Response Team in determining the fire inside the cathedral.
Learning that Emergency Response for Notre Dame also included the use of drones, made me feel good. Then seeing a female operator made me proud. Both individually are not common, both together even less. Such a difficult incident to deal with, done with exemplary. pic.twitter.com/Qdh3UIwmer
— Romeo Durscher (@romeoch) April 16, 2019
Craftsmen built Notre Dame eight centuries ago. Now it may be up to robots to save it.https://t.co/zyfMU1lEuI
— Brendan Schulman (@dronelaws) April 17, 2019
After the incident, many people, including popular icons all around the globe, have shown their distress about the destruction of the cathedral. Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, is one among those people. He even promised Apple would help in the progress of rebuilding Notre Dame’s ruined architectural landscape.
We are heartbroken for the French people and those around the world for whom Notre Dame is a symbol of hope. Relieved that everyone is safe. Apple will be donating to the rebuilding efforts to help restore Notre Dame’s precious heritage for future generations.🇫🇷
— Tim Cook (@tim_cook) April 16, 2019
Most gamers can tell that the Notre Dame Cathedral is found in the gameplay of Assassin’s Creed: Unity. Ubisoft, which is also a French company, said that the infrastructure was scanned using their state-of-the-art 3D mapping technology. Using data preserved for the game may help architects and builders in restoring the cathedral. As an addition, the game is for free at the Ubisoft store to honor the fallen landmark.
It may be insignificant for most people but these all prove that companies and their existing technologies can still help in times of global incidents like this.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro Review: 1 month in
Not a perfect drone, but…
We won’t bore you with a rundown of its specs, but instead, we’ll give you the lowdown on DJI’s new drone — what works, what doesn’t, and what’s there to love. This is our DJI Mavic 2 Pro review.
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