Water News

    Aquatic Drone Provides Ocean Exploration Opportunities for Non-professionals

    Created by the start-up company Azorean, the Ziphius aquatic drone is the first of its kind created for non-professional water exploration.

    The Ziphius Aquatic Drone has appealed to hundreds who are interested in underwater exploration, despite the fact that it hasn’t even hit the market yet. The product is the first of its kind, but is relying on donations for it to be produced on a mass scale.

    The idea for the water-borne drone came about last summer, and is described as a craft that establishes a WiFi connection with the user’s mobile device and allows them to explore waters that they normally would not navigate on their own. It has the capability to take photos and videos above and below the surface of the waves it’s riding on, which can be uploaded directly to social media sites.

    Rather than being designed for use by professionals, the Ziphius is geared toward more recreational pursuits for families looking to have some fun.

    The drone was created by Azorean, a company founded in 2012. It is currently being advertised via its Kickstarter page, which has set a goal of $125,000 in pledges. Approximately $53,000 has been raised so far and funding closes on July 24. If the amount is not raised, the product cannot be completed, although prototypes have already been made and tested. Those who want to donate can assist in production of the product with commitments as small as $1.

    The Kickstarter description reads, “Imagine the cutest gadget ever: an app-controlled drone that responds to your smartphone or tablet commands in real time. It allows you to see more than meets the eye and take pictures or videos of your aquatic experiences. Ziphius is easy to play with. Its processing power allows you to play augmented reality apps, where you can explore virtual worlds. Like a pet, it expresses its emotions and shows autonomous behaviors.”

    Reaching speeds up to six miles per hour, the Ziphius also has the ability to remain upright, even in the most choppy of waters. The craft’s WiFi signal is strong enough to reach out to 300 feet away from its “host” mobile device.

    “Ziphius’ body is composed of two main parts: A black plastic structure and an expanded polypropylene replaceable outfit. The black plastic structure contains all the electronics in a water-proof casing and is highly resistant to impact,” the website stated. “The EPP replaceable outfit plays an outstanding role in Ziphius’ aesthetics and functions. Not only does the replaceable outfit come in different shapes and colors, but also expands the Ziphius applications beyond unadulterated fun.”

    Even without fully reaching its Kickstarter goal, Azorean has developed relationships with mold companies and electronic suppliers. The mold company, the Vangest Group, located in Portugal, is near where the Ziphius was first created.

    “This gives us a level of flexibility, which we would not have, if we were producing the Ziphius overseas,” the website stated. “Together, we’ve established a detailed plan for Ziphius’ production and launch. For the electronics component, Ziphius’ BOM is finely detailed, which has allowed us to establish contacts with an ESM company to ensure Ziphius assembly and testing.”

    The yellow “outfit” is what the first models will come equipped with, but other colors may be available depending on how much money is raised. The company also plans on offering personalized designs on a broader scale than just color, with options like cup holders, shark fins, or a GoPro attachment.

    To get started, users simply need to active the application on their phone or other mobile device, find a WiFi connection, and put the Ziphius in the water. The product description states that it’s perfect for exploring lakes, rivers, beaches, and swimming pools.

    Check out the full list of product specifications here.

    “Right now ocean exploration is very much confined to professionals and scientists, and here we have a device that can be used by everyone, everywhere,” said President Antonio Camara in the YouTube video.

    Image is a screenshot from video by MyZiphius on YouTube

    Share This Article