Ziphius?A Smartphone-controlled Aquatic Drone
Ziphius is a compact little aquatic vehicle that you can control with a phone or tablet. It’s on Kickstarter now and the video is actually pretty cool.
This video is cunning because they don’t show you the killer feature right away. It’s just the Ziphius driving around in the waves, and then you see the app. Ziphius is not just controlled from a mobile device, it streams 720p video from an on-board camera. It also stores 1080p video of its journey on the 8GB internal memory card. It has a dedicated Wi-Fi hotspot and will work up to 300 feets away. Although, that probably depends on how good the antenna in your device is.
The camera rotates 160º so it can capture video below it underwater, and in front of the vehicle so you don’t steer Ziphius into any fishing nets, or whatever is out there. There’s even an LED flashlight to illuminate the murky deep.
Ziphius is almost 14-inches long (35 cm) and weighs in at 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg). Inside, the device is powered by a Raspberry Pi mini-computer and has a battery that can keep it tooling around for about an hour. The dual propellers can send Ziphius zipping along at 6mph, which is 5.21 knots for you nautical types. It’s also weighted such that it won’t capsize.
This device is undeniably neat, but you’ll have to drop $245 on the Kickstarter to get a Ziphius (early bird deals are already gone), and it won’t be available until March 2014. If you pay more, you can get more skin colors and extra memory, but it gets spendy. You have to really want to explore the seas to place a bet on Ziphius.
The Kickstarter runs through July 24th, and Ziphius needs $125,000 to get funded.