When you think of the word drone, you imagine a machine with propellers on its sides, hovering around the air and taking photographs with its digital cameras. I bet it never occurred to you that the drone might actually be submerged deep underwater, monitoring and capturing aquatic life. Today’s technology has been slowly – but surely – bridging the gap between the two worlds. Air and water – submarine and plane.
Drones are not just dominating the skies, you may also find them going to the depths of the sea. A drone that looks and acts like a James Bond gadget has been making heads turn as of late. The EagleRay XAV is an amphibious fixed-wing drone that can both soar through the skies or dive into the water. This can allow its users to capture fascinating shots of vantage points from both over the trees and deep underwater.
Created by engineers of the North Carolina State University, the drone can sink to the water for a dive without reassembling its structure. A similar drone called the AquaMav can also go underwater, but it requires its wings to fold like a bird before submerging. The EagleRay skips this process entirely, leading to a more seamless transition between water and air. With its wingspan at 150 cm and being 140 cm long, it can move through water and redeploy itself to the air with no problems at all.
This amazing drone is capable of doing so much more for its owner. With its quick transitions between water and air, it can capture photographs that other drones cannot recreate. It can also monitor wildlife with ease, recording an amazing and fresh take on animal patterns in their environment – without missing a shot. This technology can follow underwater life and keep up with their pace, while still being able to capture their movement even after surfacing. Its sensors are also incredibly sensitive, being able to spot objects both on water and while airborne at extreme accuracy and detail.