New-and-improved underwater drone has a zoom-lens camera
Last year, Chinese startup Youcan Robot successfully crowdfunded its BW Space underwater drone. Now the company is back, with the upgraded BW Space Pro model. Among other things, it features a 6X optical zoom lens.
Like the original BW Space, the Pro is capable of descending to a maximum depth of 100 meters (330 ft), relaying video and receiving commands via a tether that runs up to a Wi-Fi repeater on the surface. The user can be located anywhere within 500 m (1,640 ft) of that repeater, utilizing a dual-joystick LED-screen-equipped remote to control the drone. They can also do so simply utilizing an iOS/Android app on their smartphone or tablet.
The Pro is more compact than the original, while at the same time featuring an additional vertical thruster (so it now has two verticals, along with two horizontals). This added feature allows it to remain horizontally level while ascending or descending straight up or down, and to travel forward while maintaining a nose angle of plus or minus 45 degrees – the latter ability could be useful for filming moving subjects that are travelling above or below the drone.
One charge of the Pro's 9,600-mAh lithium battery should reportedly be good for an average of four hours of use.
And yes, its 4K/30fps stabilized camera now has a 6X optical zoom. As with almost everything else, this is remotely activated by the user. The drone's dual spotlights, however, do automatically adjust their output according to ambient underwater lighting conditions.
The Zoom version of the BW Space Pro (there are two cheaper, less capable Pro models) is available now for pre-order, priced at US$1,699. It should ship on October 25th, after which its price will rise to $1,999.
You can see it in action, in the following video.
Source: Youcan Robot