Spanish underwater drone is ready to take a dive
If you've ever wanted to explore the underwater world using your own ROV (remotely-operated vehicle), there are now a number of consumer models in the works. The Sibiu Nano is one of the most recent to hit the scene, and it's being made with the do-it-yourselfer in mind.
Created by Spain's Nido Robotics, plans call for the ROV to be available either fully-assembled or as a kit that buyers put together themselves. In either case, it's designed to be easy to take apart and reassemble, allowing for upgrades to be made and accessories to be added. Additionally, all of its hardware and software is open-source.
The Nano is propelled/steered by six thrusters, and can descend to a maximum depth of 100 m (328 ft). Its interchangeable lithium-polymer battery is reportedly good for one to three hours of go-time per charge, depending on how the ROV is being used.
There's also an integrated 1080p/30fps camera onboard, which streams live video to the user through a 50m/164ft (or longer) tether that runs up to their laptop computer. That computer is also utilized to control the Nano in real time, via either the keyboard or a gaming controller.
Additionally, if users anticipate taking the ROV pretty deep, they can opt for a set of 1,500-lumen spotlights to help the camera see what's down there.
The Sibiu Nano is currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign, where a pledge of €899 (about US$1,114) is required for a fully-assembled model. If everything works out, shipping is estimated for June.
It can be seen in action, in the video below.