Underwater drones have become vastly popular. The high-end design of an underwater drone allows you to click high-quality images.
Being able to video shoot aquatic wildlife was only a dream. But with high-tech underwater drones, you can turn this dream into a reality.
Filming fish, turtles, and other marine animals is now possible. You can use it to film your family on vacation. The drones provide stability.
It helps you capture awesome underwater videos and photographs! Whether you plan to go with your family or friends, taking an underwater drone is always a good idea!
Choosing the best underwater drone can be tricky. It is essential to scrutinize the features and choose the perfect underwater drone. All types of underwater drones are available in the market. We have picked five amazing underwater drones for photography. These drones also let you shoot videos while swimming underwater.
You can check out the features, dimensions, and durability of all these underwater drones and pick one that suits your needs.
Winner: Sublue WhiteShark Mix Underwater Scooter
- Battery: 11000 mAh, Rechargeable
- Weight: 7.7 pounds
- Size: 465mm x 230mm x 230mm
The Sublue WhiteShark Mix Underwater Scooter is our finest pick. It is the best underwater drone in the market. You can use this scooter to glide through the water. It is lightweight and portable.
With a battery life of 30 minutes, this underwater drone is amazing. You can click stunning pictures of the deep blue sea. Capturing aquatic wildlife has never been more fun! It is easy to pack and can be used in the sea, the ocean, or a lake.
- It weighs 3.5 kgs. It makes it easy for you to carry it in your luggage. It is lightweight and portable. You can pack it in your suitcase and use it anywhere in the world.
- It is compatible with almost all sports cameras. You can learn to use it within minutes. The symmetrical design is robust and allows you to glide through the water.
- The Sublue WhiteShark comes with an 11000 mAh battery. This battery powers the drone for 30 minutes.
- The underwater drone provides a speed of 3.35 miles/h. You can go to a maximum depth of 40m. The double thrusters release 8kgf thrust. It allows you to swim underwater with ease.
- It is user-friendly and a great way to keep yourself busy. Both kids and adults can learn to use it with ease.
- The battery compartment is not waterproof.
- Have to keep both buttons continuously pressed for movement.
Runner-up: CellBee Underwater Scooter
- Battery: 4400 mAh, Rechargeable
- Weight: 5.9 pounds
- Size: 10 x 6 x 19 inches
The CellBee Underwater Drone is a lightweight sea scooter. It is portable and compatible with most cameras. You can also attach a GoPro to the best underwater drone. It comes with an underwater drone kit.
The powerful batteries and hi-tech motor allow you to enjoy a seamless swim. Taking the CellBee Underwater Scooter out for a swim is an absolute pleasure. You can use it for underwater sports or a fun time with your friends. Either way, this underwater drone is a great buy!
- The powerful machine comes with a 360W motor. You can use the speed switch buttons to increase or decrease the speed. It is possible to switch the speed between 2.0 mph and 2.7 mph.
- It comes with a built-in 97Wh battery. This battery powers up the underwater drone. It is also approved by airplanes, making it possible for you to carry it anywhere across the globe.
- The 4400 mAh battery allows you to use the underwater drone for 20 -40 minutes. If you use it at a low speed, it will run for 40 minutes. At high speed, it runs for a maximum of 20 minutes.
- It is safe for children to use it. The CellBee Sea Scooter lets you set the depth, lighting, remote control speed, and other functions. You can also set a parent mode.
- The yellow/black color is aesthetically pleasing. It comes with a simple symmetrical design that helps you maintain your balance underwater.
- It is compatible with most sports cameras. The camera mount is strong and keeps the camera tightly fixed on the drone.
- The speed is much lesser than other drones
- The battery life is relatively low
Alternative: CHASING Dory Underwater Drone
- Battery: 4800 mAh, Rechargeable
- Weight: 4 pounds
- Size: 7.4 x 3.6 x 9.7 inches
Chasing Dory is a palm-sized underwater drone. It comes with a 1080p full HD camera. The camera allows real-time viewing and APP remote control. The portable carrying case makes it easy to pack the underwater drone.
Chasing Dory comes in a bright yellow color. It is easy to spot when you are swimming underwater. You will also get a WiFi buoy and a 49ft tether along with these features. Packed with high-tech features, Chasing Dory is one of the unique underwater drones.
- It works well for underwater photography. The inbuilt 1080p HD camera allows you to click clear pictures with great accuracy. The 250-lumen headlights provide the perfect light for your photographs. It enhances the images and clicks stunning underwater photos.
- It weighs very little, which makes it easy to carry. Chasing Dory is an innovative, portable, and easy-to-use underwater drone.
- It comes with an in-built WiFi buoy. It allows you to operate your drone in real-time. The WiFi buoy provides a wireless connection for up to 50 ft. You can use the underwater drone without getting into the water.
- It also comes with a built-in color restoration algorithm. This color corrects your pictures and gives them a professional touch.
- It also has a 49ft tether. You can attach the rope to the drone and leave it in the water. The WiFi buoy will allow you to control the drone through an app. It gives you the freedom to use your drone anyhow you want.
- It doesn’t have propellers.
- It cannot pull a person underwater.
- It can only be operated from outside the water.
Alternative: Mankeel Underwater Scooter
- Battery: 6000 mAh, Rechargeable
- Weight: 14.1 pounds
- Size: 22.6 x 13.1 x 8.5 inches
The Mankeel Underwater Scooter comes with dual motors and dual propellers. It helps you glide underwater. The scooter comes in a bright yellow and white color, giving it a relaxed aesthetic look. You can mount almost any camera onto this underwater drone.
It’s zero buoyancy allows you to remain underwater. The Mankeel Underwater Sea scooter is stable and provides excellent balance underwater. So, if you are looking to have an underwater adventure, this underwater drone is for you!
- It comes with a 480W motor. This high-power motor allows you to dive 50m into the sea. It is built to reach a maximum speed of 1.5m/s. With the high horsepower, you can dive deep into the sea.
- The Mankeel Underwater Scooter comes with a built-in 6000 mAh battery. It lasts between 30-45 minutes. The battery lasts for 30 mins at high speed whereas, at low speed, it lasts for 45 minutes.
- The total weight of the drone is 4.7 kgs. It is portable and lightweight. You can easily pack it in your luggage and use it on national and international trips.
- Mankeel scooter comes with dual propellers. The thrusters are extremely powerful. They release 12kgf thrust, making it easy for you to swim deeper.
- The fantastic design allows the floater to achieve zero buoyancy. It also comes with a safe protective net. It protects the user from accidental injuries.
- Have to hold with both hands for balance
- It does not have an in-built camera
Alternative: Yamaha Explorer Seascooter
- Battery: Rechargeable
- Weight: 11.5 pounds
- Size: 22 x 15 x 15 inches
The Yamaha Explorer Seascooter is perfect for recreational divers. If you are into snorkeling, chasing fish, or shallow dives, this is the best underwater drone option. You can buy it in blue or white color.
The lightweight, portable drone can be carried anywhere in the world. It is best for beginners. The Yamaha Explorer is an entry-level sea scooter. Make sure to keep that in mind before you decide to purchase it.
- It cruises at a speed of 2.5mph. You swim down to 30ft underwater.
- This drone is best for shallow dives and snorkeling adventures.
- It includes a dual-trigger control and an auto shut-off option.
- Since it weighs 5.2 kgs, it can be easily packed with your luggage.
- The propellers are robust and allow you to swim with ease.
- It comes with a built-in camera mount. You can attach most types of cameras to this mount and click amazing pictures of the underwater world.
- It loses buoyancy in fresh water and is only buoyant in saltwater
- It is an entry-level model.
- It is not ideal for professional photography.
Underwater Drone FAQs
How deep can an underwater drone go?
Some of the best underwater drones, or remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) as they are known, today can conquer depths ranging from 100-150 m. The US Navy created an ROV that could dive 200 m underwater.
However, the Navy used this tool specifically for deep-sea extraction of essential objects from shipwrecks. Huge ROVs, used by the oil and natural gas industry, can dive down approximately 6000 m.
The YouCan Robot BW Space PRo 4K stands out in the list of drones that we can use. It can get down to 100 m under the surface and records everything in its state-of-the-art 4K camera. Also boasting a maximum depth of 100 m is the Chasing Innovation Gladius Mini ROV.
The Geneinno Titan has been adjudged the best ROV for underwater explorers, thanks to its ability to reach depths of 150 m in a dive.
The diving capacity of an underwater drone can be affected by its weight. The higher the weight, the more a drone can dive.
How do you make an underwater drone?
The most crucial aspect of an underwater drone is balancing its weight. The structure must be heavy on the bottom so it can sink. Moreover, it must have floatation devices on the top to rise back to the surface once instructed.
This design must form the skeleton of the drone because it is the distinguishing factor between an underwater ROV and any other drone.
Make sure that all the equipment you use will work underwater. You cannot use PVC cement in this setup because it is prone to leaks.
Once you’ve come up with a fixed structure, you need to think of the machine’s movement underwater. Using propellers – like an antique Hollywood submarine – should do the trick.
Make sure that these propellers are heavy enough to create movement underwater since they have to bear the weight of the ROV and tackle water pressure at the same time. Adding four propellers is a safe bet; you can use two for moving forward and backward and two to move up and down.
It pays to have a compass on board your underwater ROV. A sense of direction is crucial underwater. Compasses used in these ROVs are sensitive to magnetic fields. So make sure that they are considerably far away from anything that can create a magnetic field, for example, a motor.
Installing a camera onboard is an essential process. It is your lens into the blue world, a periscope to peer into the water. You can use an infrared black and white camera for deeper dives, whereas a color camera works excellent for shallower waters. Additionally, investing in a specialized underwater camera is worth it because they offer a perfect picture and automatically switch to night vision without light.
You can attach lights to your underwater ROV to give it a better vision, especially in the deep. LEDs are the easiest choice in this case. They are inexpensive and very effective.
Most ROV builders will use a microcontroller to maneuver their craft underwater. This remote control allows you to gain control over all the motors onboard. Data from the drone is transmitted to the controller using an Ethernet cable.
To reduce the number of cables and wires joining the ROV and the controller, you can use batteries to make the craft more independent. The batteries will also add weight to the underwater drone, which is a good addition. Two 12 V, 2.5 A batteries should ideally do the job.
It would help if you also devised a way to control your drone. Moreover, underwater drones would need to be tethered to the controller to prevent them from being swept away in the currents. You can form a controller with your laptop and move the ROV using a joystick. As mentioned above, a very long (100 m) Ethernet cable should do the trick and act as a good tether.
Lastly, testing is critical. Before chucking it into the ocean, you could try to make your drone go below the surface of a swimming pool. You can add lead weights to the machine if it refuses to beat the buoyancy of the water.
How do underwater drones communicate?
The simple answer is – Wires. As mentioned above, all ROVs have to be tethered to their controller. While making sure that the drone does not get lost, these tethers also ensure safe communication. The tethers of an ROV include long Ethernet cables, which facilitate a transparent exchange of data.
An ROV can carry lights, cameras, sonars, magnetometers, and other scientific equipment to gather data about the water they are in. All this data is reported to the controller via the Ethernet cable.
In addition to this, ROVs often use a Tether Management System (TMS) that adjusts the tether length. This system reduces the underwater effect of cable drag.
Does RF work underwater?
RF, radiofrequency, does not work in deep water but does the job when it is tens of meters under the surface. Radio signals which travel easily through the air, break down very fast in the water.
Very Low Frequency (VLF) Radio waves, which have a frequency of 3-30 kHz, can work in shallow water. A large submarine can also use a buoy on the surface to communicate using radiofrequency.
Underwater signals are generally sent using acoustic waves – sonar. This phenomenon had no regulation until recently, when NATO found and regulated it.
Now, underwater vessels will use a single frequency – 11.5 kHz – under NATO’s JANUS program, making underwater communication easier. Once two parties connect on this frequency, they can shift to other frequencies of their choice.
Now that you have a clear idea about the best underwater drones, you can buy one that is best for you. You can choose an underwater drone with a camera or a camera mount.
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Whether you want to dive into the water or control your drone from outside, you have one option for everything! So pick a drone that fits your need and start your underwater exploration!