Underwater drones are prevalent for shipping companies and shipyards to perform routine ship evaluations, provide high-quality visuals, collect valuable data, assist in maintenance and repair work, and monitor the safety and health of aquatic life.
However, these UAVs have some limitations, such as being hard to manuavour, heavy and oversized, and needing better cameras.
Chinese manufacturer Youcan Robotics has unveiled their luxury, industrial strength omnidirectional underwater drone, OceanEye.
It is a luxury underwater drone with an innovative 8-motor vector layout for unparalleled, omnidirectional stability and control across ocean depths. These motors are fully sealed and saltwater corrosion resistant, built with imported Japanese bearings. This advantage the motor by providing a super long life lasting up to a 2000-hour lifespan.
OceanEye is integrated with an incredible 4K zoom camera system for unparalleled underwater photography. This camera allows us to explore the intricate details of objects up close from a distance. The camera has advanced image stabilization technology, ensuring steady and stable footage that gives a crisp and immersive viewing experience.
The UAV drone uses a dual combination of low-beam and high-beam light, expanding the visibility range by up to 10 meters. The high beam spotlight uses 3000 lumens, which gives 10 meters of long-range visibility; the low bean floodlight uses 2400 lumens for close-range visibility of up to 3 meters.
The underwater drone is 500mm long, 334mm wide, and 146mm high. When out of the water, the drone weighs 5.6 kg (12.3 lb). It makes it compact and lightweight and can be used in water temperatures ranging from -10 to 40 ºC (14 to 104 ºF).
The UAV drone can be controlled through smartphones, tablets, and a provided remote. Like other underwater drones, the OceanEye is connected to its surface operator via a communications tether; it comes with a 100-m tether, although a 150-m tether is available as an upgrade.
OceanEye has a dive depth of 100 meters and can operate with a maximum speed of 2m/s. It is integrated with a 10000 mAh lithium battery that provides a runtime of 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon use.
The underwater drone comes with the tools such as a grabber arm, water collector, water samplers, sonar, and other tools. These tools can analyze underwater missions with ease.
The UAV drone can be used in underwater terrain surveys, oil and gas pipeline inspections, bridge and dam inspections and harbor inspections, hull fouling inspects, propeller and rudder inspections, underwater search and rescue, underwater salvage operations, underwater forensic investigations, and diver safety, water tank inspections, river and lake monitoring, and underwater object retrieval, aquaculture, ocean science, etc.
OceanEye underwater drone is available on the Youcan Robotics website – in color choices of black or orange – priced at US$5,499 for the 4k prime lens variant, and the 4k zoom lens variant is priced at US$5,999.