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Your personal underwater drone

Use your smartphone to control the underwater drone… Image credit: Chasing

In May 2019 I posted a news on Gladius Mini, an underwater drone targeting the mass market at a price point around 1,400$ US, The same company is now pushing the envelope with a smaller model, Dory, they plan to offer at a 500$ price point hoping to hook a much broader market. The appeal lies both in the much lower price and in the smaller form factor with only one equipment needing charging, the drone itself that powers the wifi buoy it is tethered making for easier charging.

For a full review, and comparison with its pricey sibling, take a look at the clip.

The company has opened a Kickstarter campaign that was going really well at the time I took a look. They were aiming for a 27,000$ goal and they had already received pledges for over 133,000$.

Apart from being an engaging gadget for people liking the undersea world it extends our each to the liquid element and the company in its advertisement explicitly mention the seamless connectivity to social networks. You can take HD video and still photos that can be uploaded to the smartphone phone and from there post them to the world.

It is also interesting to see that the smartphone has become the usual control device for drones, aerial as well as underwater (in this latter case there is the need for a buoy acting as wifi bridge since WiFi signal cannot go under water).

The Dory does not seem to have any autonomous spirit, it is completely controlled via the smartphone. On its screen you can see what the drone camera sees and decide how to move it around. It has control feedback that makes steering quite easy. As an example you can decide to have it hovering (can you hover underwater?) in front of a coral reef or a school of fish and Dory will take care of counterbalancing currents to effectively stand still in that position.

About Roberto Saracco

Roberto Saracco fell in love with technology and its implications long time ago. His background is in math and computer science. Until April 2017 he led the EIT Digital Italian Node and then was head of the Industrial Doctoral School of EIT Digital up to September 2018. Previously, up to December 2011 he was the Director of the Telecom Italia Future Centre in Venice, looking at the interplay of technology evolution, economics and society. At the turn of the century he led a World Bank-Infodev project to stimulate entrepreneurship in Latin America. He is a senior member of IEEE where he leads the Industry Advisory Board within the Future Directions Committee and co-chairs the Digital Reality Initiative. He teaches a Master course on Technology Forecasting and Market impact at the University of Trento. He has published over 100 papers in journals and magazines and 14 books.