Skip to main content

Fathom One is a modular underwater drone that lets you explore the deep

Fathom One
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.”

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
This collision-proof drone helped explore the deepest ice cave in the world
Flyability

Flyability Helps Scientists Explore the Deepest Ice Caves in the World in Greenland

There is no shortage of stunning aerial photos to show what drones can do in the air. But drones can go in the other direction, too -- and, in the process, help traverse some seriously challenging underground environments that would be extremely dangerous for humans to explore. Underground environments such as the world’s deepest ice caves, close to 1,000 feet below ground level on the Greenland ice sheet.

Read more
Amazing underwater habitat will allow researchers to explore the sea’s depths
proteus concept 1

Earth’s orbit already has the International Space Station, but its oceans could soon be home to their own futuristic research center -- at least if industrial designer Yves Béhar and aquanaut Fabien Cousteau (son of filmmaker Jean-Michel Cousteau and grandson of Aqua-Lung co-creator Jacques-Yves Cousteau) have their way.

The intrepid duo have announced plans for the construction of Proteus, a 4,000-square-foot modular lab that will sit 60 feet below the surface of the Caribbean Sea off the coast of Curaçao. It will serve as the world’s largest underwater habitat and research station, and provide a base for researchers hoping to study the ocean. The plan is to be able to accommodate up to 12 people at a time.

Read more
Let this daredevil drone take you on a tour of the Mercedes-Benz Museum
daredevil drone takes a tour of the mercedes benz museum mercedez

One look at this wince-inducing collection of disastrous drone crashes and you’ll immediately understand that it actually takes real skill to pull off spectacular moves with a remotely controlled quadcopter.

The kind of airborne artistry we’re talking about is demonstrated perfectly in an incredible new video (below) celebrating Saturday’s reopening of the Mercedes-Benz Museum in Stuttgart, Germany, as the nation gradually eases coronavirus-related lockdown measures.

Read more