PowerVision, a Beijing-based maker of drone-related products, just unveiled its new underwater drone, the PowerDolphin, at CES 2018 in Las Vegas. Shaped like the universally beloved mammalian creature, this remotely operated vehicle can reportedly do far more than simply swim around and capture some footage.
According to Digital Trends, the PowerDolphin can capture ultra high definition photos and footage at 30 frames per second, stream it to the user at 1080p, and remotely rotate its camera up to 135 degrees, with a 215-degree viewing angle. That’s not all, though. This ROV, inspired by the life-saving instincts of the animal it was based on, was designed to deliver life preservers and a tow cable to anyone in danger of drowning.
It also uses sonar, constructs maps of the seabed below, and can actually detect fish from up to 131 feet away and release bait upon detection. This is far more sophisticated than some of the other underwater drones we’ve reported on before. The PowerDolphin actually seems like it had clear intent behind its creation, namely, to save lives and catch fish, like a dolphin.
Let's take a look at this thing in action, shall we?
"The PowerDolphin is a new lifestyle robot that is not only suitable for water sports, photography, fishing, and other enthusiasts or rescue and scientific researchers, but also provides a new perspective of life to adventurous people,” Founder and CEO of PowerVision, Wally Zheng said.
Regarding its recording abilities, the 4K footage is stored on a MicroSD card encased in the hull, but can be live-streamed to the user during operation, as well. In addition, there’s even a headlight at the front to help users see clearly once the depths become too dark to see or record anything of value. Once fully charged, the PowerDolphin can swim for up to two hours.
There’s a Return Home feature, which is always a welcome asset to those nervous about losing their ROVs or UAVs once out of sight, especially since this drone has a one-mile range.
According to Digital Trends, this drone will be on shelves in April at a price of $749. Though that’s quite a steep price for a fishing buddy or underwater camera, this does seem to be a bit more impressive than that. We’ll just have to wait and see if drones like this actually provide the user-experience promised, and are worth shelling out close to a thousand dollars for. Stay tuned.