5 Best Underwater Drones in 2019

5 Best Underwater Drones in 2019

Do you want to explore the underwater world? Are you planning to buy a drone to help you get the job done?

About 71 {ea2cf71a94ac0ec497812eb0b7c2bc33f9b74ebf28048bb730380b7f1d9c4acc} of the Earth’s surface is covered with water, so it is understandable if your curiosity tickles you to explore the world under the sea. There are hundreds of thousands of marine species that exist underwater and if you are interested in exploring it, the underwater drone will be a great partner.

I understand that you are interested in underwater drones. If you are looking for one, then, you are just on the right page. I’ll be sharing with you my top picks to help you decide which one to get. So, let’s get started!

1. Nemo Underwater Drone

Specs

Dimensions: 40.4 x 29 x 11.4cm
Weight: 3.4kg
Max depth: 100m
Water resistance: from -2°C to 35°C
Speed: 2m/s
Battery: 3hr

Nemo has a unique and pretty design for a drone. Its yellow and black color combination reminds me of Bumblebee from Transformers and it is as cool as the popular autoboot.

Nemo Underwater Drone is best for scuba diving, ocean exploration, search and rescue operation, boat inspection and even fishing. It provides wireless and professional photography with real-time video streaming.

If you are after an underwater drone with an impressive camera, this is a good candidate. It supports up to 4K video and shoots up to 120fps. It can also capture 16mp photos.

It comes with QAS-balance system that enables it to capture high-quality dynamic images that feature a rich film setting with matrix lights and special underwater shooting filter.

Also, this is the first underwater drone that features a quick charger modular C-Hyperhelix battery. It allows you to view the live feed on the Nemo app installed on your iPhone, smartphone or tablet.

As for its performance, Nemo can dive up to 100 meters with a max speed of 2 meters per second. It can operate up to 3 hours underwater, which is very impressive for its size.

Nemo is very easy to transport because it is lightweight. In addition, it comes with a travel backpack.

Personally, I love its aesthetic. However, I am more impressed by its long run time, impressive range, precise controls, and excellent image and video quality. If you are looking for a great underwater drone that is ultraportable, I highly recommend this.

Read More: Best Drones for Fishing : Buying Guide for Beginners

PROS

  • Easy to carry
  • Fast charge modular battery
  • Professional-grade Wi-Fi live-streaming video
  • Supports virtual reality mode
  • Great quality storage

CONS

  • Expensive
  • Requires a bit of learning

2. Open ROV Trident

Specs

Dimensions: 41 x 20.5 x 8.6cm
Weight : 3.4kg
Max depth : 100m
Water temperature: -2°C to 40°C
Speed : 2m/s
Battery: 3hr
Wire: 25/50/75m

Trident underwater drone has a sophisticated look. Its black and white color combination and sleek design give me the impression that it is serious with what it does and I’m not disappointed with its performance.

This underwater drone has a rectangular design. It looks like a projector due to the camera at the center, but don’t be fooled because it was placed there for a purpose.

It comes with airplane-inspired flight control that lets you explore underwater like never before. It has motion stabilizing controls and a heads-up display.

It also comes with an advanced color correction algorithm that allows you to see underwater in all of its glorious colors. You can also stream live with low-latency and record in full HD simultaneously.

Trident is built to be deployed underwater and it is very tough. It has a scratch-proof sapphire lens that protects the camera. In addition, it has custom brushless rugged motors that are specifically designed to last in saltwater and resist wear from sand and sediments.

For added comfort, this is ultra-compact and lightweight that it can fit into a backpack. You can bring it along with you wherever you go.

You can bring Trident with you whenever you sail, dive or go fishing. You can also just drop it off the dock and see what you can find underwater.

Another thing that really impresses me is it’s being open source. You can extend its custom sensors or modules.

Overall, Trident is very easy to pilot and convenient to use. It is high-quality and durable. I had fun using this underwater drone, so I highly recommend this.

PROS

  • Open source
  • Ultra-compact
  • Lightweight
  • Portable
  • Easy to control
  • Tough and durable

CONS

  • Expensive

3. Biki

Specs

Sizes : 26.6 x 14.8 x 10.6cm
Weight : 1.1kg
Max depth : 65m
Water temperature : 0°C to 40°C
Speed : 0.5m/s
Battery : 1.5hr
Storage: 90-120min video

Robosea BIKI has a cute shape because unlike the first two, it has a round body. It has a bionic design and it looks like a fish because it has a fin and a tail which convinces me that it indeed belongs to the water. This underwater drone is driven by the tail at the back.

BIKI is a great entry-level underwater drone. It is much cheaper than Trident and Nemo, but it is as good!

It can dive up to 196 feet and is equipped with a 4K camera and lighting for great photos and footage even at night. It has a built-in GPS and route customization, too. It can last underwater for about 90 to 120 minutes. It also comes with 32GB of internal storage and two 114 lumen lights on the unit’s face.

Its GPS Return to Base feature enables a safe diving experience and it’s the perfect solution for accidentally losing contact with the drone. Just press the Return to Base and the drone will return to you.

Its HD camera delivers impressive footage and images which makes it a good option if you want to try cinematography or photography underwater. Its 4K HD camera comes with 150-degree wide-angle lens to capture a wider view of the environment which are great for underwater photos.

When capturing pictures, you don’t have to worry about its quality because BIKI’s gimbal and body, work together and its precise motor stabilizes each slight movement and adjusts shooting angle of the camera to make videos clear and photos stable.

BIKI is also designed with smart features. It has an Infrared Obstacle Avoidance feature that makes it capable of sensing obstacles within 30cm and it automatically avoids it. Thanks to this feature, your drone is safer from a collision.

Overall, I’m very impressed with BIKI because it looks very simple but it is capable of diving underwater and taking great photos and videos. Most importantly, it is more affordable because it costs less than $1,000. If your budget for an underwater drone is below $1,000, you should check this out.

PROS

  • Easy to setup
  • Shoots in 4K
  • User-friendly
  • Built-in lighting
  • More affordable than competitors
  • Has on-board storage

CONS

  • Unreliable connectivity
  • Fish-tail propulsion is not as precise as a multi-propeller system

4. Powerray

Specs

Dimensions: 465 x 270 x 126mm
Weight: 3.8kg
Speed: 4kn
Depth hovering accuracy: 4in
Camera: 4K UHD @ 5fps in 12mp
Storage: 32GB/64GB
Operating time: 4hr

PowerRay by PowerVision is designed to explore the underwater world. It is not just waterproof, but it can be submerged underwater as deep as 98 feet.

Its base station has 230 feet long waterproof tether connected to the vehicle. It has integrated 4K ultra HD camera that shoots at 12mp still photos a burst mode that shoots up to 5 frames per second. It has a 64GB SD card too that guarantees enough storage for your photos and videos.

PowerRay is the only underwater drone with PowerSeeker fish finder sonar and magnetic bait drop that helps you locate and place bait at any desired position. Its sonar system can detect underwater landscape, temperature data, depth and fishing hot spots.

It also alerts users through the Vision+ app when fish are detected. This helps you monitor the fish, so you can be in control. With this tool, your fishing experience will never be the same.

If you want an immersive First Person View (FPV) experience, PowerVision allows you to do so with PowerVision VR One Plus Goggle. It allows you to interact with the underwater world on many levels which makes it all the more fun and enjoyable to use.

Aside from entertaining you, this drone is very helpful for marine biologists because it helps several scientific research missions from shellfish farms to exploring the behaviors of the different species underwater. With this tool, exploring marine life has become easier, cheaper, more accessible, and more convenient.

PowerRay is a very powerful underwater drone. Aside from delivering high-quality photos and videos that are perfect for cinematography and photography, it has amazing operating time. A single charge can make the drone last underwater for up to 4 hours.

Due to PowerRay’s impressive quality and performance, it has received several recognitions. I have no doubt that it deserves all the accolades because from my experience, this underwater drone delivers you the best underwater experience and it costs under $1,000 only.

PowerRay is a must for diving, boating or any underwater activities you want to document! I highly recommend this.

PROS

  • Has several rewards
  • PowerSeeker Fishfinder
  • Extraordinary long dive times
  • Impressive photos and videos
  • Has 1080p real-time streaming
  • Supports immersive FPV experience
  • Has PowerVisions Sentimate control system
  • Perfect for professional, commercial and research purpose

CONS

  • Expensive

5. FIFISH V6

Specs

Dimensions: 383 x 331 x 143mm
Weight: 3.9kg
Max Depth: 100m
Water Temperature: -10°C ~ 60°C
Speed: 3 knots
Battery: 4hr
Charge time: 1hr

FIFISH V6 offers you a chance to explore the undersea world without limits. This machine is the first omni-directional consumer underwater drone.

It utilizes a patented six-thruster engine. It can maneuver in six-degrees-of-freedom and can do 90-degree tilts to 360-degree spins.

It has the capability to explore all the possible angles. Its revamped camera system is optimized for underwater filming delivering 4K ultra HD footage in its 166-degree wide-angle lens.

For a better experience when exploring the deep sea, this comes with powerful lighting, it has two headlights with 2000 lumens each giving you a great view even at night.

This drone offers flexibility by adding three control modes for the drone pilot to choose from. It has Altitude Mode that stabilizes depth, which is perfect for beginners. It has Sport Mode designed for advanced divers allowing one to custom control applications with creative shooting functions. The last one, Head Tracking Mode, can be enjoyed using the VR Goggles for an optimal diving experience.

FIFISH V6 is perfect for everyone who wants to see more of what’s under the sea for a purpose or for plain entertainment. This drone is durable and reliable. It’s expensive but worth it, so if you have the budget, I highly recommend this.

PROS

  • Fast charge
  • 4-hour battery
  • Auto color-enhancing algorithm
  • Full power motion stabilization system
  • Six degrees of freedom
  • 4000-lumen integrated LED highlights
  • Immersive VR head tracking mode

CONS

  • Expensive

What is an underwater drone?

Underwater drones, also called unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) are vehicles that are able to operate underwater without a human occupant. These vehicles are available in two categories: remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV).

ROV
ROVs are controlled by a remote human operator. They are submersible and capable of operating underwater. They are controlled via tether by a single person or crew.

AUVs
This type of drone operates independently of direct human input. They are often preprogrammed to travel autonomously to a specified location via GPS and perform a designated task like sensor readings, land survey, data collection and more.

When to use underwater drones?

Underwater drones offer a number of benefits because they can do things that no other tools can perform. If you are wondering whether you should get this type of quad or not, then this section should help you decide.

Here are some reasons underwater drones are very helpful.

Safe exploration
Underwater drones offer you a safe alternative to explore the dangerous areas for divers. You can easily deploy it in underwater locations to gather remains and collect data.

Fits into confined areas
Underwater drones come in different sizes, there are small and big ones. Those small in sizes are capable of maneuvering and inspecting small and hard to reach areas underwater. This proves to be helpful when collecting data in areas unattainable by divers.

Quick deployment
In emergency situations when time is limited, underwater drones can help you get the job done because they can be deployed immediately. In fact, some can be deployed in as little as 30 seconds.

Longer dive time
Divers can remain underwater for up to 30 minutes to an hour. The majority of the jobs under the sea require several hours to finish which is quite daunting for divers and not to mention, more costly because divers have to keep on returning to the water until the job is done. However, underwater drones have a long battery life, some can even last up to 8 hours, making it capable of finishing a job in a single plunge.

Underwater Drone Applications

Underwater drones prove to be very helpful in various industries. Here are the different applications where underwater drones are beneficial.

Aquaculture. Fish farmers use an underwater drone for net inspections, lighting, feeding, stock monitoring and troubleshooting. With this tool, they can ensure a healthy fish crop and efficient harvest.

Commercial and salvage diving. Underwater drones are used to assess the underwater environment. This can help mitigate risks, which makes the job easier and safer for the divers.

Municipal infrastructure. Routine inspections are critical for long-term care of infrastructure. Underwater infrastructure like dams, bridges and reservoir inspections used to be a difficult job to do and it is often risky. Good thing underwater drones get the job done without the risks and at a lesser cost.

Cinematography/Photography. Taking photos and recording videos underwater whether for photography or filmmaking has never been easier with the use of underwater drones.

Conclusion

Underwater drones are very helpful if you want to explore the world under the sea whether its for entertainment, business or research purposes, search and rescue operation and more. These aircraft are designed to be submerged making them the most efficient tool when you are working about anything underwater.

For those who have used underwater drones in the past, what’s the best one for you? Feel free to share your experiences and ideas with us! We would love to hear from you!

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