Drones

Fathom One lets adventurers explore underwater without getting wet

Fathom One lets adventurers ex...
Fathom One is a low-cost underwater drone for explorers who don't want to get wet
Fathom One is a low-cost underwater drone for explorers who don't want to get wet
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The Fathom One underwater drone works at depths up to 150 feet
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The Fathom One underwater drone works at depths up to 150 feet
The drone's maximum speed is just over 5 km/h
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The drone's maximum speed is just over 5 km/h
Fathom One can used for remote filming of obscure locations, or to film divers doing their thing
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Fathom One can used for remote filming of obscure locations, or to film divers doing their thing
The drone's modular design means it can be easily disassembled for travel and upgraded later on
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The drone's modular design means it can be easily disassembled for travel and upgraded later on
The drone's Wi-Fi buoy has a range of 100 feet
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The drone's Wi-Fi buoy has a range of 100 feet
The drone is compact, and fitted with an HD camera 
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The drone is compact, and fitted with an HD camera 
The drone is easily disassembled for transport
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The drone is easily disassembled for transport
The drone's modular design means it can be used to film with GoPros
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The drone's modular design means it can be used to film with GoPros
The Fathom One Kickstarter page will go live on August 30
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The Fathom One Kickstarter page will go live on August 30
The drone is easily disassembled for transport
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The drone is easily disassembled for transport
The modular Fathom One
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The modular Fathom One
The dual high-intensity LEDs at the front of the drone light the way
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The dual high-intensity LEDs at the front of the drone light the way
The drone has two LEDs on the front to light up the depths
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The drone has two LEDs on the front to light up the depths
Fathom One from front on
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Fathom One from front on
Fathom One will retail for $600 when it goes on sale 
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Fathom One will retail for $600 when it goes on sale 
Fathom One is a low-cost underwater drone for explorers who don't want to get wet
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Fathom One is a low-cost underwater drone for explorers who don't want to get wet
The Fathom One drone sitting on dry land 
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The Fathom One drone sitting on dry land 
Fathom One is hooked up to a Wi-Fi buoy with a 100 ft tether
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Fathom One is hooked up to a Wi-Fi buoy with a 100 ft tether
The Fathom One underwater drone, free of its tether on dry land
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The Fathom One underwater drone, free of its tether on dry land

Drones have opened the door to some incredible footage from (well) above sea level, but their talents run much deeper than that for underwater photographers and explorers. The Fathom One is designed to make amateur photography beneath the waves a bit more accessible, with a modular design and an HD camera for adventurers taking the plunge into underwater exploration.

Because the list of potential uses for underwater drones is so wide, the One is designed to open the door for a wide range of different add-ons. Central to the design is a modular thruster attachment system, working with an integrated rail system on the drone's underside to provide a mounting point for GoPros or extra lights. Modular design also means it's easier to pack the drone up and transport it.

Although the focus is on modular design and add-ons, the Fathom base unit is nothing to be sniffed at. There's an inbuilt 1080p HD camera to keep an eye on proceedings, and dual high-intensity LED lights mean deep trenches and hidden nooks aren't out of bounds.

The unit will operate at a maximum depth of 150 ft (46 m), and the thrusters can propel the drone's impact-resistant shell at up to 5.4 km/h (3.4 mph). Battery life is expected to be around 45 minutes, with Fathom claiming the One's ability to maintain its depth with minimal throttle helps save power.

The drone is compact, and fitted with an HD camera 
The drone is compact, and fitted with an HD camera 

Control comes courtesy of a smartphone app connected to a towable Wi-Fi buoy with a range of up to 30 meters (100 ft). The buoy itself is on a 30 meter tether, which might seem a bit impractical but does also mean a flat battery or drone error won't leave your drone lying idle on the ocean floor. Instead, it can simply be reeled in and fixed on the surface.

Although the Fathom One isn't available just yet, its creators say it isn't far away. A pitch on Kickstarter goes live on August 30 and retail pricing will start at US$600, making it significantly cheaper than the $999 Seawolf or the scuba-oriented iBubble.

Take a look at the camera in action below.

Source: Fathom

Fathom One

2 comments
Calson
The tether of 90 feet means the drone is limited to that depth which is unfortunate as 90 feet is the practical limit for non-decompression dives of any duration by scuba divers. It is in the deeper depths that the drone would be quite valuable. If quadcopter drones were limited to an altitude of 15 feet they would not be of interest to many people and it is the same situation and limitation. The problem for the drone developers is that they are not using an optical cable so as to minimize cost and so they have to wrestle with the thickness of the cable being dragged through the water and the ability of that cable to transmit a signal in both directions. The developers need to set their sights lower though the concept is an excellent one.
DanielLowe
Okay, not bad, but we need a 4K camera in/on that thing, to match my other (drone, timelapse) footage. Hmm, "mounting point".. but the GoPro :-(( maybe I can mount an E1 camera in a waterproof jacket.