The BIKI Underwater Drone Is Designed Like a Fish, Can Dive 196 Feet
Meet BIKI, a sea-exploring drone equipped with a 4K camera on it to explore the depths as clearly as possible.
The portable underwater drone industry is on the upswing. Joining the top-tier Blueye Robotics' Pioneer underwater drone is BIKI. Unlike the Pioneer, which reportedly costs a few thousand dollars, the BIKI will be shipping this fall for a far more enticing price-point of $1,024. And if you pledge $599 right now, on BIKI's Kickstarter page, you'll get an "early-bird" offer consisting of the drone and a carrying bag.
While the Pioneer has virtual reality (VR) headset capabilities which allow you to have a more immersive experience and is able to reach 450 feet (giving you a more submerged experience), the BIKI has a few traits of its own that may tip it over the edge for consumers. Besides the aforementioned price-point advantage, BIKI has a 4K camera installed, and even two 114-lumen lights to help the little fish see clearer and help you take better photographs. The drone can also record up to 120 minutes of HD video on a 32-GB memory card.
How is this thing controlled? According to Robosea, "BIKI is the only underwater robot fish that applies the technology of infrared rays and features the functions of automated balance, obstacle avoidance, and return-to-base." You can either steer BIKI with the native remote or via an iOS/Android app. But the really cool thing is how this "robot fish" manoeuvres, in general. Take a look at this.
This visual, alone, may be enough for drone enthusiasts ready to take the plunge excited about the BIKI. It looks awesome, is something new and fresh, and really seems to work as advertised. Of course, we'll have to see about that ourselves once the drone ships in the fall, but as you can from Robosea's Kickstarter page, plenty of outlets have gotten to test the drone and have nothing but stellar things to say.
Head on over to that page to sift through a plethora of Robosea videos, showcasing BIKI's many features. Though they're all done in shallow waters, this thing really seems to work. Have a look at the guts and exterior of this underwater beauty below, to get a better sense of how it's designed.
Now, the primary purpose of developing this drone seemed to be the need for efficient underwater research. Of course, that will all change once BIKI hits the consumer market. But it all began with an urge to explore the oceans, starting with Antarctica. According to Robosea, inventor and CEO Dr. Xiong Minglei "achieved the smoothest underwater operation and gathered the water data via live transmission with the lowest cost and at the highest efficiency of underwater movement.
The Antarctic adventure tour was a success." You can take a look at the Kickstarter for some of the rewards for investing early. What do you think? Innovative and exciting? Not the killer-item you've been waiting for? We'll make sure to keep you updated on BIKI as soon as we get our hands on one.