By now most of us have seen cool aerial drones, but what about units that work underwater? Since 2015, the consumer drone market has grown at a blistering pace, with some forecasters predicting it will hit a market worth close to $17 billion by 2020. One of the drivers behind this breakneck growth is the nascent subcategory of Unmanned Underwater Vehicles (UUVs), also known as underwater drones. In this ultimate buyer’s guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about this impressive new technology. You will also find our top picks for best underwater drones that are for sale on Amazon right now.
Top 5 underwater drones for sale on Amazon
We did the research, tested, contacted tech companies and asked buyers for their experience with different ROVs. Now it is time to show you the results. Here are our top picks for the best underwater drones for sale right now.
Deep-sea and technology fans from the start-up company Robosea have developed the first bionic underwater drone that moves wirelessly through the water without a propeller. As the new best buddy for the whole family, BIKI will capture unforgettable moments while splashing around in the pool or diving in the open sea.
Relax in the boat and bob over the water, enjoy the water and the silence: Many people associate this with fishing. Powervision now wants to change the way of fishing and introduces the PowerRay, an underwater drone for fishers, divers and sea lovers.
The underwater drone PowerRay by PowerVision is something extraordinary. The PowerRay not only impresses with its features but also with its unique design. With the help of the 4k UHD camera (12 megapixels) and
Poseidon I is an underwater drone produced by Geneinno, a manufacturer based in China. They also produce the Geneinno Titan. The camera, fitted with a wide angle lens, offers an impressive 1080p live video feed at 30 fps. The 1200-lumen LED lights assist in providing optimal visibility.
Poseidon 1 is small enough to carry on to an airplane which is TSA approved. The side panels are made of industrial grade plastic and rubber coating, which protect Poseidon I from underwater unknown obstacles as well as rough handling when being transported.
BW Space underwater drone can auto-follow and film while you dive. This ROV will appeal to divers, fishing enthusiasts, photography enthusiasts, drone enthusiasts, and other technology enthusiasts.
If you’ve ever done snorkeling and enjoyed the excitement of skipping through the water like a dolphin, you’re going to admire the WhiteShark MIX. Defined as the world’s tiniest water scooter, Sublue Tech designed a powerful underwater dual propeller system capable of reaching speeds up to 3.45 mph, which is the speed of professional
This well-built model from Sublue offers enormous value for your buck. The design is exceptionally compact and practical, which results in effective navigation and easy control. It weighs less than 6 lbs and is easy to squeeze in your carry-on bag. Due to its simplicity and the remarkable number of features, amateurs will find this unit to be an attractive entry to the world of underwater scooters.
Underwater drones FAQs
What is an underwater drone?
An underwater drone or ROV (Remotely Operated Vehicle) is basically just a floating object that can move underwater. Depending on the model, the appearance differs and while some products look more like a submarine, other underwater drones look like small technical fish.
These drones have modern 4K cameras to take beautiful pictures. With them, the beauty of the underwater world can be explored and passed on. The user on land controls the underwater drones.
The diving depth and the price depend very much on the respective model. There are relatively inexpensive drones, with which you can dive up to 100 meters, which are available for around 500 dollars. On the other hand, there are underwater drones that promise a diving depth of 150 meters.
Altogether many models are still in the initial phase, and the market still has to develop. Nevertheless, the products available so far are exciting and offer new insights.How does an underwater drone work?
Although the underwater drone does not move in the air,
butin the water, the functionality is hardly different. The devices are conveniently controlled via an app on the smartphone. A WLAN connection is used to establish contact with the underwater drones, which can be controlled in the water themselves.
The drones are powered either by a small electric motor with a small screw or by an alternative drive. Here, for example, electronic fish fins are used that resemble the locomotion of a fish.
Since the underwater world is very dark, the drones have powerful lights. This illuminates the surroundings. The camera gives you an insight into the surroundings.
Some drones are equipped with sonar to detect obstacles and avoid collisions. The battery life is between 1 and 4 hours, depending on the model. This kind of battery life allows the drones to cover very long distances in the water. However, speed is only a few knots (1 knot equals 1.15 MPH or 1.85 KMH).What are the different types of underwater drones?
The market for underwater drones is still very undeveloped and certain species and types have hardly established themselves. Each product is unique in its own way.
We can only distinguish between drones for private use and drones for scientific or commercial purposes.What are underwater drones used for?
The consumer drones offer good functionality and can reach depths of up to 150 meters. The battery life of almost several hours should be sufficient to explore the underwater world extensively. So you can experience everything with such a drone and have no restrictions compared to airborne drones. These ROVs (Remotely Operated Vehicles) are used for diving, fishing, having fun in a pool and for exploring and taking awesome underwater footage.
On the other hand, there are underwater drones that are used for search and rescue operations. These are not controlled via a WLAN connection but are connected to the boat by cable. These devices are usually much larger and offer better possibilities for the investigation of wrecks. So the lights are much stronger, and the devices make a more robust impression. However, the maximum depth is at the same level as with drones for consumers. However, the price is significantly higher than that of a consumer drone.
What are the pros and cons of underwater drones?
If you want to explore the underwater world, you should consider the following advantages and disadvantages and decide for yourself whether the pros clearly outweigh the cons.
The Pros of underwater drones are:
- With the underwater drone, you can dive to greater depths than would be possible with a typical dive. Here simple limits are often already at 18 meters and only with special courses and a lot of experience you can dive deeper.
- The 4K camera delivers very nice pictures and because the drone is very calm in the water you get more stable and higher quality pictures than you could ever achieve by hand.
- App control is very intuitive and requires no expert knowledge. The operation with the smartphone also eliminates the extra costs for an additional operating device.
The Cons of underwater drones are:
- The underwater drones move very slowly. If you are
usedfly drones in the air, you have to get used to a much slower speed. Only a very gentle ride will guarantee safety.
- Depending on the state of the water, visibility can only be a short distance. Especially at greater depths, the visibility decreases more and more, so that you can hardly see anything of the surroundings and are dependent on the lights. So you have to reckon with limited visibility.
What to consider when buying an underwater drone?
How long would you like to operate the underwater drone at a time? Is one hour enough to explore the underwater world or do you prefer longer dives?
There are big differences here and you have to consider that with a battery life of one hour, you cannot use exactly this time under water. After all, you should have a safety buffer and surface earlier.
Despite the type of activity that you intend to use the underwater drone for, the device that you get should be tailored to your requirements. An important metric that you should pay attention to is maximum diving depth. This means the device’s ability to handle pressure underwater. Drones with great diving depth are capable of facing a significant amount of pressure and can remain functional at amazing depths.
Modern fast drones can go up to 4 knots. This corresponds to 7.5 kilometers per hour or 4.6 miles per hour. With these drones, however, you must have some experience, since these speeds in the water are to be evaluated differently than on land.
With cable connection or without
Most drones require a permanent cable connection to transmit the signals. Here you have the disadvantage that these drones could get stuck on obstacles. They are therefore somewhat restricted in their freedom of movement.
On the other hand, there are drones that establish a WLAN connection to a floating buoy and can be controlled via an app. However, here you may have the risk that the connection will be interrupted. The “Return to Base” function does not cause the drone to be lost, but it cancels the current dive process.
Where to buy an underwater drone?
Most of the drones are still in the experimental phase and are under development. They are not available in regular shops, but you can buy underwater drones online from the manufacturer on their website or from Amazon. Sometimes you can also support the development via crowdfunding and secure the right to a finished product when it is ready for the market.
However, if you find an underwater drone in the shop, it will usually be offered at a higher price. Online you can purchase directly from the manufacturer and generally cheaper than from the electronics store.
Underwater drones in military
Called UUVs (Unmanned Undersea Vehicles), underwater drones are already being used for surveillance and to clear mines and map the ocean floor. Bryan Clark, a retired submariner, predicts that over the next couple of years, more of these units will enter the fleet to work alongside humans. There are even ongoing efforts to launch UUVs from Virginia-class submarines to conduct surveillance or deliver payloads.
Clark said that over the next decade marines should expect to use the underwater robots to bring sonar arrays and mines to the seabed, launch torpedoes or become torpedoes themselves to suppress rebel warships.
Evolving cutting-edged undersea weaponry is a top mission in “Torpedo Town, U.S.A.,” the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport, Washington, where Smith’s squadron headquarters are.
Underwater photography and videography
In case you believed that aerial photography is neat, underwater photography completely opens up an entirely new scenery. If you are either an experienced amateur or even a licensed underwater photographer, underwater drones will open up some whole new possibilities. They offer some new challenges and the chance for getting new possibilities must overweigh this. As compared to standard drones, different camera types, as well as qualities, are available with underwater drones to give a mixed performance in various circumstances.
DIY Underwater Drone
Have you thought about building your own underwater robot? Maybe you find some inspiration from this video. Jake built his own wireless underwater drone. The drone is made out of an underwater dive box, two underwater propellers, a retractable 360 camera, and a wireless HD video camera for live underwater views.
I hope you can make much smarter buying decision after reading my article. I tried my best to pick the best underwater drones that are for sale right now, which are available on Amazon. As always, feel free to use the comments section down below to let me know what your thoughts are on underwater robots.