Best Underwater Drones for Sale
Are you looking for a way to uncover the various mysteries hidden under the sea, ocean, or lake? If yes, then you may want to invest in one of the best underwater drones, intended for that purpose.
Different from the ordinary drones flown on the sky, underwater drones are waterproof, and transmitters do typically not operate them since it is impossible to send radio signals through water.
Instead, these underwater drones use integrated autonomous sensors, a computer technology, and a buoy connected to the drone by a tether. In addition to the operating system, the drones have a camera that lets you capture or record footages. Some of these machines are even used for drone fishing !
In this post, we have scrutinized the best underwater drones for sale to help you pick one so you can explore the underwater world of our great seas and oceans .
If you're curious ( or in a hurry):
Here is a video of our the Vision PowerRay getting attacked by sharks. The drone is able to survive the attack and keep on operating.
Best Underwater Drones For Sale
1. Power Vision Power Ray (Top Pick in UnderWater Drone Category)
The Power Ray Wizard is designed by Power Vision, a global leader in the manufacture of unmanned vehicle technology solutions like drones, and virtual and augmented reality products.
The company's Power Ray Wizard is one of the favorite underwater drones sold out there. It comes with multiple features for underwater exploration, treasure hunting, and mapping. Moreover, the drone is famous in scientific studies, and filmmaking projects.
Some of the great features that make up this drone include the 12 Megapixels camera that supports 4K UHD Video real-time streaming and recording of scenes encountered within a depth of 98 feet under the waters. The footages captured are of 1080p, a high definition quality that can be used for commercial and recreational purposes.
Power Ray underwater drone’s 210 feet long tether gives you the freedom to dive your drone to a depth that only a few divers can reach. These depth ratings make it an excellent option for divers who cannot reach such an extent.
Another great feature found on this drone is the detachable PowerSeeker fish finder that can be used as a stand-alone device. As its name suggests, this invention gives you essential fishing details like fish distribution, depth, water temperature, and the landscape. You can read these features using the Power Ray Wizard app downloaded into your smart mobile gadget.
In addition to the PowerSeeker fish finder, this underwater drone Amazon has available, features a precision remote bait drop that lets you place a fish hook strategically. Both the fish finder and remote bait drop make Power Ray, an ideal option for fishing enthusiasts.
Other features that make up this underwater drone include the ZEISS VR One plus goggles that delivers an immersive diving experience, a 64 GB memory card to store your videos, powerful batteries, and a wheeled carrying case. Power Ray underwater drone is a bit pricey.
2. Robosea BIKI
First in our lineup is the RoboSea BIKI. The BIKI clearly draws its design inspiration from real fish as it's propelled and steered by an actuating fin at the back fo the unit. When on the surface of the water the BIKI can be controlled via a wifi connection with a compatible phone. The app for this is available on both Android and iOS.
Controlling the drone from the surface shows a real-time camera feed on the device being used to control the drone, but to take full advantage of the drone's 196-foot possible depth you'll have to forego the wifi control and real-time video. On the app you can set up a pre-determined path for the drone to take in the water, but once it submerges the real-time video will end and the drone will start recording to it's 32GB of onboard storage.
Alternatively, you can use the included remote that can allow you to control the drone underwater from up to 32 feet, but again there is no real-time video in this mode. The camera on the BIKI can record at a stunning 4k resolution and is aided in capturing scenes in the depths by two powerful lamps on the front of the unit. The unit boasts about an hour and a half of battery life but can be recharged in the same amount of time. The lens over the camera also gives the BIKI an incredible 150-degree field of view. This device can also be great for filming a scuba diver using its great video feeds.
- Impressive 4k resolution
- Can recharge in only 2 hours
- 196 foot maximum depth
- Slowest drone in our roundup at 1.12mph
- Least maneuverable, but easy for novices to control
Trident is one of the underwater drones from OpenRove, a company that was formed b by a team of engineers who wanted to explore an underwater cave that was rumored to contain some valuable treasures.
After days of engineering research and artistry, the engineers developed Trident, a favorite underwater drone utilized by scuba divers, recreational fishers, and undersea explorers.
Some of the fantastic features that make up the Trident underwater drone include the hydrodynamic offset thruster design that lets the drone to cruise smoothly even at top speeds. This feature makes the drone an ideal option for rapid exploration. Moreover, the hydrodynamic offset thruster design makes the drone a practical choice for exploring tight quarters.
Apart from the design, this underwater drone Amazon has a Wi-Fi supported 4.1 MP resolution cameras that let you stream and record 1080p videos. You can use the videos for recreational purposes. However, the camera might not be an ideal option for commercial video capturing.
Other outstanding features that set Trident aside of the competition include the 4 hours run time, 100m exploration depth rating, and 3.89 knots speed. These features collaborate to give you a complete exploration experience. It comes with a sturdy carry case for storage and transportation, and it charges fully in 3 hours.
This drone might not be a good option for exploring water with strong currents.
Check out this interview with the Co-Founder of OpenRov Eric Stackpole talking about the Trident underwater drone!
4. ThorRobotics Underwater Drone
Just like the first drone in our line up, the ThorRobotics underwater drone is on Amazon. Unlike the first one, however, this one is designed to be controlled via a hardwired connection rather than wirelessly. While this does decrease the convenience and ease of use factor, it substantially improves the stability and bandwidth of the connection between user and drone. This enables real-time video and precise control no matter how deep you go.
This drone comes with a 30-meter cable to match its maximum depth, which is about 100 feet. The cable allows the user to have precise control over the unit as it dives, and continue to maintain a camera feed even when under the water, something the BIKI couldn't do with its wireless connection. The cable runs from the drone to the included control center that comes in a durable case and boasts both a built-in monitor and controls.
This submarine features four propellers allowing it to chug along at about 1.8 miles per hour with a battery life of about 2 hours. There is no built-in camera, however, and a GoPro must be mounted inside the unit in order to record videos. This means that the specs of the camera depend on what kind of GoPro you end up buying.
The ThorRobotics underwater drone is especially sturdy and comes in at a somewhat bulky 9 1/2 pounds. The chassis also sports a pair of powerful 300-lumen headlights to illuminate the underwater scenery.
- Very sturdy steel construction
- Reasonably maneuverable with 4 strong propellers
- Camera not included
- Pretty heavy to lug around with lots of side equipment needed
- Cable restricts range
If you have been looking for a drone that can let you explore deeper than the underwater drones on our best list, then DTX2 would be a great option to consider. This drone is manufactured by Deep Trekker, a renowned company that makes excellent quality commercial grade ROVs.
The company’s DTX2 ROV is maintenance free ROV is intended for those who are looking for a drone that can help them inspect underwater pipe, military workers, or those who are hunting for treasures. DTX2 ROV can go up to a depth of 1000 feet.
Besides being maintenance free, this drone brags of a 26 kg thrust, a feature that makes it an excellent option for tough underwater tasks. Its vectored thrusters support side to side and vertical movements for an enhanced maneuverability in higher currents.
Some outstanding features on this drone include 300 Lumens tracking with a camera, 400-meter cable, and four 4,000 lumens. It also features a powerful internal battery, a handheld controller, and a transport casing.
Depending on use, you can customize the ROV with attachments like crawler wheels for improved maneuverability, auxiliary lighting for improved illumination in dark places, laser scalers to estimate the actual size of objects, and auxiliary cameras for additional views.
In addition, you can customize the ROV with a hybrid- power system that provides additional runtime, a handheld controller that lets you operate the ROV while diving, and a sediment sampler for collecting various specimens.
Other additional attachments that you may also want to consider include a water sampler, imaging sonar, a thickness gauge, control console, mort retrieval system, and many more attachments. You can purchase the accessories separately
To wrap up our line up of the best underwater drones we have the iBubble, a project that was originally crowdfunded on IndieGoGo. The iBubble aims to be the underwater camera platform that everyone is looking for. It features a wide array of highly advanced features that make it not only exceptionally stable while filming and able to produce amazing shots, but also more environmentally friendly than many of the underwater drones on the market today
For starters, the iBubble features 8 individually controlled motors that keep the whole platform very stable. In addition, the drone features onboard sensors that allow it to guide itself around to a degree, even avoiding obstacles on its own. In fact, if you're diving with the drone it can be set to run completely autonomously and follow you without any manual controls.
This collision avoidance also plays into the eco-friendly aspect of this drone. Having a drone with tons of spinning propellers ramming into reefs or wildlife can be pretty damaging, so the designers of the iBubble have made avoiding this a priority. They have also added sound shielding to the drone, to prevent the otherwise loud whir of the motors from disturbing wildlife.
The iBubble drone sports a one-hour battery life, which is long enough for most dives. What's more is that it can dive to a depth of 200 feet. Unfortunately, much like the ThorRobotics drone, the iBubble does not come with a camera. You have to install a compatible GoPro yourself. Compatible models include the GoPro Hero 3 and higher.
- Fastest and most maneuverable drone in the list with 8 motors
- Autonomous colision avoidance and diver following
- 200 foot max depth
- Only 1 hour of battery
- Does not include a camera built in
Underwater Drone Buyer's Guide
If you're in the market for an underwater drone then there are a few things you should be on the lookout for. The technology is still relatively new in the consumer world, unlike the aerial quadcopter style drones that have been around for a while. Because of this, almost every drone on the market has wildly different specs, giving them very distinct advantages and disadvantages relative to each other.
The first thing you should look at are things like battery life and maximum depth. Take into consideration how you plan on using the drone. If you want something to take on snorkeling trips then something that can't necessarily go that deep might be fine, but you probably want something that is a little easier to control and not physically tethered to a controller. If you plan to do some deep scuba diving, however, it may be worth the investment to get something that can go much deeper.
Some underwater drones feature varying levels of autonomous control and collision avoidance. This is important if you plan on diving alone with the drone. If you don't plan on regularly having a dedicated camera operator it's a good idea to look for a drone with an autonomous follow mode. With this in mind let's look at the different options for controlling your drone.
There are typically three types of control inputs that drones can use. Some will use a physical cable to tether the control unit to the drone, others will use a wireless connection, while others still will want to be autonomous or controlled by direct input. Depending on your goals and how much experience you have with drones you may want one controller over another.
For those looking for the simplest way to get started without too much experience, a wireless model is probably best. These offer the simplest setup and often have very simple controls to match. The controls are streamlined to offer full functionality while remaining easy to use. The downside here is that wireless connections are less reliable, not very stable, and are often very limited in their range especially in the water.
The next option would be a drone that has a physical tether to the controller. Using actual cables to connect devices rather than trying to sync them wirelessly through the water offers substantially higher bandwidth and more stable connections. This means that unlike wireless connections you can get real-time video feeds even while completely submerged. This makes these types of underwater drones ideal if you're doing work that requires you to be able to see what's going on around the drone in real time such as inspecting the hulls of boats.
Wired controllers tend to be much more advanced in their controls options than wireless ones, which can be great for more advanced users but intimidating to newbies. Often these models will not only allow the operator to control the movements of the drone but also a camera gimbal that can be moved independently to keep interesting scenery or animals in the shot for longer without turning the whole drone.
Finally, let's consider drones that have autonomous functionality. These are perfect, as mentioned if you plan on doing a lot of diving with your drone, but don't plan on having someone with you who can watch over the operation or control the drone. As anyone who has gone diving knows, you pretty much already have your hands full from the activity of diving alone. Adding drone controls on top of that could be prohibitively difficult or even dangerous.
This is why some companies have designed drones for this exact reason. For example, the iBubble on this list can follow the user automatically without any control input. Alternatively, you can hold the drone by a leash like extension and guide it in front of you, much like a dog. Either of these options are great for those looking for a solo drone to take diving.
Camera quality depends on a huge number of factors, especially when underwater. Not only is resolution important but in underwater filming, the lenses used in front of the camera are also very important. The RoboSea BIKI features a built-in 4k resolution camera that has a lens which allows it to capture 150 degrees of its surroundings.
The other two drones on our list, however, do not come with their own cameras built in. Instead, you have to install your own GoPro camera, so naturally, your selection of camera will have a huge effect on the quality of the video you're taking. For this reason, we'll do a quick rundown on different GoPro cameras and which one you should try to use in an underwater drone.
The Fusion and Session cameras do not fit into the enclosures of underwater drones, so you are restricted to only cameras from the Hero product line. The base model of the Hero can record in 1440p or 1080p while both the Hero5 and Hero6 Black can record in glorious 4k. The difference between the two is that the 6 can run at 60 frames per second while the Hero5 can only record at 30 frames per second.
The higher frame rate will give the appearance of smoother movement in shots with fast moving fish or people. What's more is that the higher frame rate can be slowed down to give smooth slow motion shots. Both the Hero 5 Black and the Hero6 Black can both run at 1440p and 1080p as well, to either save storage space or to capture very high frame rate shots for buttery smooth slo-mo.
Best Underwater Drones for Sale: Final Thoughts
An excellent underwater drone is essential for explorers, military personnel, recreational fishers, treasure hunters, and any other person who would love to explore the sea. The best underwater drones have a powerful camera for capturing and recording videos, powerful batteries that offer a reasonable run time, and handheld controller. The underwater drones for sale in RC Hobby Review's best list have the qualities that define the best devices in this category.