Not too long ago, only well-funded research expeditions or Peter Jackson’s movie studio would be found with a high-fidelity drone camera – at least, one that worked underwater. Countless drone hobbyists have already taken to the skies, popularising the portable camera technologies and stunning aerial views once only available to helicopter-bound journalists on the evening news.
But as technology advances, and the kind of high-resolution digital imaging required for marine exploration reaches the price range of consumers, many have begun looking to the sea as the drone’s new frontier. Now, even the lay explorer can discover the ocean’s unknown depths.
Deep Trekker DTG2
Easy to navigate, and with an 8-hour battery life, this tethered drone boasts a 330-degree field of view for unrivalled underwater vistas. Available in 4 models of increasing complexity, one handy option even comes with remote-controlled arms.
Suitable for leisure or more professional uses, this lightweight ROV (remotely operated vehicle) is compatible with Android devices and able to capture high-definition photos and 1080p video. With LED flashlights on the body, and a buoyant, fluorescent cable connecting it to shore, you’ll have no trouble keeping track through murky seawater.
Who said exploration had to be hard? The portable HydroView comes in at under 10 pounds, and is inspired by “the sleek movements of marine life”, making it easy to navigate with either a computer keyboard or the gyrometers built into your iPad.
Sleek and powerful, the 12-megapixel PowerRay can be linked up with a VR headset for gesture-based navigation: the experience of deep-sea diving with none of the hassle. For the fisherman out there, it can also analyse the number of fish in a body of water, and even remotely carry your fish hook for optimum placement. Ships to US and Canada only.
Worried your underwater drone isn’t fitting in? BIKI is untethered and specifically engineered to match a fish’s swimming patterns, meaning it’s less likely to disturb local sealife. Oh, and it records in 4K Ultra HD, too.