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Added 7 January, 2014

Water: The next frontier for personal drones

Personal unmanned vehicles are getting a lot of buzz lately, trending upward with each day. But, until recently, drones have been flying machines, taking to the air to take video images and deliver payloads across challenging terrain. It is only rational that the next step for drones is the water. But what makes an aquatic drone different, say, than a remote-controlled boat? The Ziphius drone, for example, sets itself apart by incorporating a movable video camera that can shoot images below and above the water line. Built with twin engines, the craft is highly maneuverable and, crucially, both the drone and its camera are steered through the operator's tablet device, where you can also watch the drone's live video feed in real time. Like so many other technologies lately, it might not be immediately obvious what people will use aquatic drones for (other than fun, of course), but like so much tech these days the thought is "if you build it, the public will think of good uses for it." Indeed the Ziphius is compelling enough that it reached its publically-funded USD $125,000 Kickstarter goal. From a trends perspective, drones are having their moment.
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