Drones are no longer just about flying machines with high definition cameras. Now, newer generations of drones focus on going under the depths of the sea. Yes, this does pose a new challenge for drone manufacturers.
Waterproofing for example is necessary – with even as little as a percentile failing, and the drone becomes useless underwater. Another issue is mobility. Waters have more resistance than flying on open air space. This means harder navigation and more battery consumption, as well as less active time on the waters before recharging. Last but definitely not the least is the drone’s camera capabilities. Underwater offers different lighting, some areas are even at pitch darkness. A camera good enough still to take shots in these bad lighting conditions (while still being waterproof) is necessary for those on the field.
Gladius Mini Review
A new drone from the emerging tech company Chasing Innovation offers a great aquatic drone with lightweight properties. The Gladius Mini Underwater Drone is a great starter drone for underwater exploration. As you can deduct from the name, it is a smaller version of the more expensive Gladius Pro, released last year and fetches over $2000. The Mini marks between $1000-1300, depending on where you order.
The Gladius Mini, being cheaper, is also smaller and feature fewer benefits in both the hardware and software division. That is what you are sacrificing for the massive cuts in prices. The Mini can dive to about 100 meters, and has a decent camera onboard. One can easily get 720p recordings in the device, while your vision of the underwater is aided by LED spotlights near the camera. The Gladius Mini can swim at 2 meters per second, which is decent enough for casual underwater explorations.
Inarguably the main difference between the Mini and the original is the battery life. Being smaller, one should expect a smaller battery onboard as well. The mini can stay underwater for up to two hours, compared to the 3+ hours on the original Gladius.
- Cheaper, smaller, lighter alternative to the original Gladius
- Decent camera with 720p quality shots
- Can submerge up to 100 meters
- LED spotlights help illuminate the dark depths for better shots
- 2 hours swim time
- Smaller battery compared to the Gladius
- While cheaper than the Gladius, it is still over $1000 per unit, which can still be very hard to swallow for more casual drone users