Gone are the days when underwater drones used to be extremely expensive, so expensive that they were almost prohibited to buy unless you were a military person, an underwater researcher or a prestigious owner of an oil and gas company. These underwater vehicles were big, bulky and not-so easy to operate, at least not as easy as they are today.
The commercialization of underwater drones started just a decade ago but their technological advancement since then is mind boggling. They have become smaller, cheaper, faster and last but not the least, ‘easier to operate’ than any time before in the history.
As the technology is advancing, underwater drones and ROVs are gradually becoming more popular among the ocean explorers, hobbyists and underwater filmmakers alike. So much so that it is almost impossible to imagine a modern ocean explorer or an underwater filmmaker without an underwater drone.
If you fall in the category of those who cherish a genuine curiosity in their hearts about underwater exploration and filmmaking, you might want to ask – what are some of the best underwater drones available in the market? Or what factors should you take into consideration before buying an underwater drone?
If you really have decided to buy an underwater drone, but do not know the answers yet, we’ve got you here. First of all, underwater drones are not cheap and secondly, there are a few things you should consider before jumping into a conclusion one which one is the best underwater drone for you.
Some of the important things to consider are the price, off course, then comes the mood of control, wired or wireless; then you should check out the battery life because you don’t want your underwater treasure hunt to end halfway all of a sudden; and last but not the least, the camera configuration and its performance in the murky depth of the sea where hardly any sunlight can reach.
It’s important to know what purpose of yours will be served by the underwater drone you are going to take home with you. So here we would like to present you a review of some of the best underwater drones available in the market so you can decide for yourself which one to buy.
Chasing Innovation Gladius Mini
Diving Depth: 100m and 50m
Battery Life: 4 hours
This bright colored five thruster can reach as deep as 100 meters below the water to give you good look around. The five-thruster propeller setup makes it a quick responding vehicle, especially useful when you need the vehicle to tilt or move up and down. It is equipped with smart features such as depth-lock, which enables you to lock the device under a certain depth (think of it as altitude lock on flying drones).
Its 4K UHD camera accompanied with 12000 lumen lights produces stunning images even in low light situations. Comes with a solidly built outer shell enabling you to set the drone down under the sea with fewer forehead furrows. The small but stable device is fully compatible with sophisticated attachments for professional applications too.
- Operable in both fresh and saltwater.
- Supports deep diving.
- Depth lock and orientation lock.
- No AI object detection and avoidance.
- Connectivity issues are too frequent.
- Remote is very fragile.
YouCan Robot BW Space Pro 4K
Diving Depth: 100 m
Battery Life: 9600mAh high-density, large-capacity lithium battery provide 5 hours of battery life, which is more than you can find in similar products.
The YouCan Robot BW Space Pro 4K is especially built and designed for those who have a particular interest in underwater photography. It is available in the market with three different camera setups: FHD, 4K and 4K with 6x zoom.
The drone is also equipped with a 1.8-inch light sensor which enables it to capture 30% more light when compared to a 2.3-inch sensor. It’s large F1.5 aperture may seem a bit oversized on an underwater drone, but when it comes to better light transmission, there can be no debate on its performance.
The four thruster ROV is able to tilt about 45 degrees in each way to give you a good look around. Moreover, what makes this drone a perfect recreational fun is AI object tracking. This literally means it can detect & follow underwater objects faster and more efficiently and differentiate between hundreds of thousands of objects with a blink of an eye.
Its solidly built outer shell is always ready to be thrown into the water without any worry. The subsequent movement of the drone can be controlled can by Youcan Dive App. If you enjoy watching underwater imageries while sitting on a couch on the ship with your friends, this app lets you display real time underwater imageries for simultaneous viewing on multiple devices.
And if you are looking for something professional, don’t worry! YouCan Robot BW Space Pro 4K is also great at shooting of vessels in professional use!
- Stylish and elegant outlook
- Comes with a handle
- Zoom camera option
- 3 thruster propelling system is less stable and results in limited directional freedom.
Geneinno Titan ROV
Diving Depth: 150m
Battery Life: 9000mAh, 10.8-volt battery delivers a runtime of 4 hours per charge
Geneinno Titan ROV is equipped with a six-thruster propelling system which makes it one of the best ROVs when it comes to remotely controlling. The fast and steady movement of the drone both in mild and moderate current is unparalleled. Add with all these its capability to tilt up and down 120 degrees and an ultra-wide field of view of 160 degrees, nothing better than this you are going to find to satiate your thirst for underwater exploration.
With its 1/2.5″ CMOS sensor, you can take underwater photos and shoot 4k videos at ease. It is also capable of streaming 1080 live view from under the deep blue sea. This ROV has a depth capacity of 402 feet. The 1/2.5″ CMOS sensor along with color correcting lens technology and two 1500-lumen lights to illuminate the scene, is more than capable of delivering eye-dazzling imageries from under the sea.
You can also equip Geneinno’s outer shell with robot arms, sonar or even hydrophones thanks to its adaptable interface. All in all, this small but crafty ROV is nothing less than an underwater photographer’s dream come true.
- Compatible to optional accessories such as robot arm
- Flexible movement underwater
- Camera does not remain stable when there is unusual dynamics or imbalance in the water
AquaRobotman Nemo ROV Underwater Drone
Diving Depth: 100 meters
Battery Life: 3.5 hours
With a speed of 2 meters per second, AquaRobotman Nemo is one the fastest ROVs in the list. Thanks to its unique hydrodynamic design, the four-thruster drone can move much faster than most of the 6 thrusters in the category.
What makes the ROV stand out is its on-board QAS-Balancing system, which helps in generating steadfast balance while capturing underwater images. The viewing experience it delivers through its VR technology is truly remarkable.
The only drawback is its battery life which is around 3 and half hours. So, you are advised to keep an extra battery with you if you’re looking for a long dive under the sea.
- Remarkable VR capacity
- The only drawback is its battery life which is around 3 and half hours. So, you are advised to keep an extra battery with you if you’re looking for a long dive under the sea.
Diving Depth: 30 meters
Battery Life: 4 hours
Country: United States
With two dimmable 450 lumen headlights, this wireless remote control underwater drone will let you instantly conquer the crushing darkness under the sea. It is equipped with a 4K/12-megapixel camera which is more than capable of capturing stunning underwater imageries. It can reach down to 30 meters below the water at a speed of 4 knots.
PowerVision PowerRay is easy to set up, allows precise controlling and capable of real time streaming. You can shoot videos at multiple moods including slow motion & burst mood. All in all, PowerVision PowerRay lives up to most of its promises and exhibits superior performance than most of its competitor in the category.
- The control App has some truly unique features including sharing options
- Design is unique and eye-catchy
- 4k camera
- Connective cord provides a very limited range of dive
QYESHA FIFISH V6
Diving Depth: 100m
Battery Life: 9000 mah battery will give you a dive time of 4 hours maximum.
QYESHA FIFISH V6 is a six-thruster professional underwater drone which can give you unparalleled directional freedom in underwater filming and photography. Unlike most of the ROVs in the category, this one can move in more directions than just forward and backward.
With a 166-degree field of view and powerful 4000-lumen lighting, the drone can take outstanding photos from the underwater and feed it back to the controller in real time. The 4000-lumen sunlight technology enables its specially designed lenses to capture bright, colorful and close to natural image.
The drone offers 1080 live video streaming and boasts an 8x slow motion mode. Its VR smart control enables you to have an immersive experience in the ocean when the FIFISH goggle is activated. Also, the motion sensor headset that comes with it offers you a seamless control of the drone while underwater.
The FIFISH smart controller is ergonomically designed to give you a sense of genuine comfort while making the drone dive into the blue ocean. And if that’s not enough for you, the FIFISH app offers multiple soundtracks and some unique underwater filters to help you edit your photos & videos like a pro!
- Impressive battery life
- Enhanced motion stabilization system
- Remarkable safety features
- Operating the drone requires extensive communication and massive amount of data transportation on the first person view due to the limited bandwidth of Wi-Fi.
Blue Robotics BlueROV2
Diving Depth: 100 meters
Battery Life: 3 hours
Country: United States
Blue Robotics BlueROV2 has 6 vertical thrusters mounted to the outside unlike its predecessors which had four thrusters. The additional 2 vertical thrusters have brought some powerful new capabilities in the ROV like six degrees of directional freedom, active control and pitch stability and increased payload lifting.
When it comes to the pitch stability, the mini ROV is perhaps among the very bests in the category. You can move it through the water at full speed without any oscillation and imbalance. The drone automatically corrects its orientation for any imbalance or unusual dynamics in the water. The automatic self-balancing is particularly important when you need a steady camera view regardless of the outside condition underwater.
The drone has strong control over both roll & pitch. And if you combine this with its feedback stability control, this means you can literally position it at any unusual orientation & still control the drone like normal.
Blue Robotics BlueROV2 has already gained some popularity among the school going kids for project purposes, business owners, hobbyists and amateur explorers for its unique design and capabilities. Additional accessories that can be mounted to the drone includes grippers, sonar and thrusters (8 thrusters can be mounted at a time).
The drone has a speed of 1.5 meters per second with it’s built-in 6 thrusters & its headlights provide 6000 lumens of light to help you take bright and clear pictures and videos in low light.
- A wide range of additional accessories can be mounted
- Remarkable roll and pitch stability that allows the pilot to take on exciting new underwater challenges
- Priced a bit high for regular underwater drone user
Blueye Robotics PIONEER
Diving Depth: 150 meters
Battery Life: 2 hours
Blueye Robotics PIONEER can reach as deep as 150 meters underwater which is nothing but impressive. The drone is operable both by smartphone/tablet & FPV goggles made the manufacturer. The drone offers auto-depth & auto heading features along with a battery life of 2 hours allowing you to conduct extensive filming underwater.
Its headlights are equipped with 3300 lumen LED headlights to help you get an optimal view in low light areas. The drone is powered by 4 thrusters is capable of capturing HD video footage of 1080p at 30 fps.
- 150-meter diving depth
- Powerful thrusters and powerful LED lights
- Availability in the market
- High Price