Researchers Create 'Naviator' Drone That Can Both Fly and Swim
Would you be surprised to hear the U.S. Navy is interested?
Researchers at Rutgers University have developed the 'Naviator' drone, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that can fly through the air like a standard drone, then land on water, submerge itself, and travel under the surface like a mini submersible. Better yet, it can even re-surface and take to the skies again with ease.
We recently reported on Blueye Robotics and their 'Pioneer' drone, which is a drone relegated to the ocean, but it seems like Rutgers' Naviator has finally merged the two worlds together. Of course, this is all still very much in the developmental phase, but fortunately, there's already video evidence of this UAV in action.
According to TechDigg, Rutgers has been garnering strong attention from this project, going as far as garnering interest from the US Navy Research Office. According to rumor, they've offered the university as much as $600,000 for the rights of the Naviator. Naturally, a UAV that can traverse the skies as well as the oceans is something that the U.S. Navy would have a powerfully vested interest in - especially if this thing were to be sold to other parties, instead. For now, the Naviator remains in the hands of Rutgers University and the research team that developed it.
Let's take a look at this poly-capable machine in action below, courtesy of Rutgers University.
Pretty impressive, don't you think? There are all sorts of scenarios where a drone like this could come in handy. Of course, the U.S. Navy is interested in the defense/security aspects of such a capability, but even for us private consumers, the Naviator could prove beneficial. What if you forgot to tie your dingy up at the dock, and it's suddenly drifting out into the ocean? Well, we're the Naviator eventually equipped with a grabber or similar add-ons, you could simply fly this thing out there with no concern for water damage, and retrieve your boat. What about the film industry? Jawdropping tracking shots that begin in the clouds before diving below the ocean's surface could be produced with this drone. The mind wanders, with all kinds of possibilities.
We'll be sure to keep you informed as to the progress the research team at Rutgers makes, as well as any potential business transactions that may occur. Stay tuned!