Chalk it up to a misspent youth watching movies like The Abyss if you want, but we’re total suckers for underwater robots. However, the majority of machines we see in this space are either aimed at industry or used exclusively as research and development projects within university research labs. Thankfully, Chinese startup Youcan Robot is throwing a bone to the regular working man and woman — courtesy of its new underwater drone, which just launched on Kickstarter.
Called BW-Space, it’s a remote control drone that’s capable of descending more than 300 feet below the waves, attached to dry land via a communications cable which reaches up to a Wi-Fi module on the surface. So long as you’re within range of this module, you can then control the underwater drone using your trusty smartphone or tablet. What better way to spend a day at the beach than taking well-illuminated 4K videos or 12MP stills of the depths, right?
“BW-Space Underwater Drone is the second-generation product developed by the Youcan Robot team,” Jenny Pan, chief marketing officer of Youcan Robot, told Digital Trends. “It is the world’s first underwater drone with intelligent tracking. Users who operate our drones can use the intelligent tracking function to automatically follow divers and swimmers, and can free their hands without having to operate the machines all the time. We also have the intelligent function of automatically adjusting the light. As the depth of the dive deepens, the BW-Space can intelligently adjust the light according to the brightness of the external environment to achieve the optimal shooting effect.”
As if that wasn’t smart enough, Pan said that the aquatic drone also boasts a fixed depth and direction motion control algorithm that ensures that the BW-Space will stay in a stable position in the water even when faced with a current. This is achieved courtesy of thrust provided by two horizontal and one vertical propellor, capable of moving the BW-Space through the waves at a maximum of 6.6 feet per second.
“Our BW-Space will appeal to divers, fishing enthusiasts, photography enthusiasts, drone enthusiasts, and [just general] technology enthusiasts,” Pan continued. “Since the emergence of BW-Space, we have participated in many exhibitions and won many awards. Users adore BW-Space Underwater Drone.”
As ever, we offer our usual warnings about the potential risks associated with crowdfunding campaigns, which can fail to materialize on time or as described to customers. However, if you’re aware of these risks and still want to get involved, head over to the BW-Space Kickstarter page to pledge your cash. Prices start at $659 for the basic kit, although pricier options with more accessories are also available. Shipping is planned to take place in October.