Well, it's official – the crowdfunded underwater drones are now coming thick and fast. It was just last week that we heard about the MITO, and now Geneinno's Titan has hit Kickstarter. Among other things, it's reportedly able to dive deeper than almost any other model.
We say "almost" because Blueye's existing Pioneer drone matches the Titan's maximum depth rating of 150 m (492 ft) – by contrast, all of the other ones we've seen can go no deeper than 100 m (328 ft). It should be noted, however, that while the Pioneer records video at a maximum resolution of 1080p/30fps, the Titan manages 4K/30fps along with 8-megapixels stills.
Its camera shoots that video with help from two LED spotlights that put out a combined 3,000 lumens, plus it's possible to mount either of two included color-correction filters on its F2.5 160-degree lens (to keep non-artificially-lit shots from looking blue or green). Footage is recorded onboard at 4K, plus it's also streamed up the drone's communications/control cable at 1080p/30fps.
The operator views that video in real time via an iOS/Android app on their mobile device, which is mounted on and paired with the Titan's video game-like controller. That controller in turn wirelessly communicates (up to 50m/164 ft) with a Wi-Fi module that's plugged into the topside cable reel.
Propulsion and maneuverability are provided by six thrusters – two horizontal and four vertical, which is two more vertical thrusters than we've seen on any other drone. These take it to a top forward speed of 2 meters (6.6 ft) per second, while also providing stabilization by adjusting the pitch, yaw and roll in response to a 9-axis motion sensor. A two-hour charge of the battery should be good for a claimed four hours of use.
One other nifty feature is a powered extension port on the underside of the drone, to which future accessories such as manipulator arms or sonar units could be attached.
Kickstarter pledges for the Titan start at US$1,199, although that will only get you one with a 50-meter cable. For the full 150, you'll need to shell out $1,599 – the planned retail price for that version is $2,999. Assuming it reaches production, delivery is estimated for October. And should you be curious, the Blueye Pioneer is now going for $6,000, plus an upgrade is needed for a cable longer than 75 m.
You can see the Titan in action, in the video below.
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