The BIKI swimming drone has launched on Kickstarter and will be available for delivery in September. The underwater drone has a fish like design and is able to reach a depth of 196ft.
Created by Chinese firm Robosea, the BIKI drone is apparently the first bionic fish that can be guided wirelessly through water.
The drone features a balance mechanism to make it swim intelligently, avoiding obstacles using an object avoidance system working alongside sensors. The developers think this will make it perfect for exploring underwater environments such as shipwrecks.
The BIKI drone can be controlled in two ways – either using an app on your smartphone or tablet running iOS or Android or via a controller using sonic waves. The app also allows you to dive a lot deeper, personalising its route and choosing the depth. It connects to the drone using Wi-Fi (which obviously means you need to be in the vicinity of a Wi-Fi network, ruling out its use in remote areas).
The controller includes commands to submerge, slow down, accelerate and also photograph and record video using BIKI’s onboard ultra-high-definition 4K camera.
BIKI can stay underwater for two hours using its onboard battery. Other useful features built into the underwater drone include lumen lights that improve visibility when diving deep in the ocean and GPS. GPS allows the drone to automatically return to its starting position and makes it impossible to lose it as it also sends its location to your smart device, mapping the route as it swims along.
BIKI will set you back $599 (£466) if you buy it through the Kickstarter early bird, and after the promotional period has ended, its normal price will be $1,024 (£797).