Chasing Dory, the mini underwater drone for marine exploration

In recent years, drones have become an exclusive device as well as valuable work tools in most of the fields such as search-and-rescue, photography, and much more. Every other day, we see a new drone in the market. Now there is one more addition to the drone world.

A Chinese technology company and a leader in the underwater robot niche, CHASING-Innovation has launched its new underwater drone called “CHASING DORY.” It is the smaller sibling to the company’s already highly popular Gladius Mini model.

This CHASING DORY is available to everyone and cheaper than most medium-sized drones from leading manufacturers. While the portable size and easy operation are aimed to please industrial users, the newer, more accessible drone will no doubt catch the attention of photographers and videographers too.

The drone has a very compact size - smaller than a sheet of paper
The drone has a very compact size – smaller than a sheet of paper

The drone has a very compact size – smaller than a sheet of paper and fits into any backpack, so it can be easily transported where you want to use it. It is not a 100% wireless drone but must be connected to a cable that goes in turn to a buoy, to avoid losing it.

CHASING DORY comes equipped with a Full HD (1080p) video camera, and bright f/1.6 wide-angle lens. A 45-degree tilt lock lets you smoothly scan the ocean floor or peer up at the crystal waters above for the best angle. Just as a flying drone maintains its height automatically, it can also do the same in the water, always staying at the same height automatically.

It can be used for marine research, underwater photography and videography.
It can be used for marine research, underwater photography and videography.

Besides, it has powerful LED headlights that allow capturing high-quality images whilst working in common low-light underwater conditions. The Dual LEDs are front-mounted and positioned each side of the camera for bright, even lighting. Also, the camera is assisted in dim conditions by dual 250-lumen LED spotlights.

Chasing Dory is fitted with five propellers for dynamic positioning in the water, two for forward/backward movements and sideways steering, while the remaining three alter the depth and dive angle. It can reach a speed of 1.5 knots, and submerge up to 15 meters, depending on the connection cable we are using. The drone has 8GB internal storage.

The drone can be controlled via an iOS/Android app, which allows communicating wirelessly over a distance of 49 ft with a Wi-Fi buoy. The app also includes live view functionality, enabling the user to see the images being received by Dory’s camera in real-time.

Two hours of battery charging allows us to have up to an hour of underwater exploration. Undoubtedly one of the most interesting aspects is its price. It is available on Kickstarter for about US$349 and is scheduled for delivery in October. And the planned retail price is $499.



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