Get ready to welcome the Fathom One, the world’s first affordable modular underwater drone. Costing just $600, small enough to be carried in a rucksack, and controllable via smartphone or tablet, the Fathom will give users the chance to explore underwater locations they otherwise couldn’t — courtesy of a full HD live stream from the deep.
“In the same way that aerial drones have allowed people to soar to new heights in the past five years, the Fathom One is about allowing people to dive to new depths,” Danny Vessells, one of Fathom One’s co-founders, told Digital Trends.
Much as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have transformed everything from photography to the delivery of medical supplies, Vessells noted that underwater drones like Fathom offer plenty of innovative use-cases.
It could, for example, be used to carry out tasks such as inspecting underwater pipes, search-and-rescue operations, research, or even giving fishermen a competitive edge by finding the best spot to drop a line. There are also all the ready consumer applications we’d expect — like snapping a truly unique underwater shot or offering tourists a twenty-first century upgrade on the glass-bottom boat experience to check out marine life.
According to its creators, the Fathom drone is able to dive to a depth of 100 ft, and has a range of 100 ft from shore station, plus 100 ft tether. The modular aspect of Fathom One is equally exciting. Not only does it make it easier to transport, since you can easily take it apart and put it back together again, but it also offers the tantalizing promise of add-ons.
“By making the drone modular, we can begin to introduce new attachments [in the future],” Vessells said. “[That could be] new capabilities via simple augmentations such as larger dive lights, or more diverse camera mounting positions — all the way to more complex features, such as sonar modules or manipulator arms. This facet of the Fathom One is something we’re extremely excited about, as it allows a user to expand their experience, while keeping the same base product.”
And how exactly do you get your hands on this base product? “The Fathom One will be launching on Kickstarter August 30,” Vessells concluded. “If you signup for our newsletter, we’ll let you know the exact time of the launch. That way, if you’re quick on the draw, you can get a super early bird special before they run out. $600 is already affordable — but these early bird specials will blow you away.”