World’s First Underwater Drone Available for Ocean Lovers and Explorers

By Doug Williams
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World’s First Underwater Drone Available for Ocean Lovers and Explorers

Doug Williams
 
 
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Underwater treasure hunting and archaeology have always been a challenging area for explorers and researchers because of the dangers and limitations it poses. But treasure hunter and explorer duo Eric Stackpole and David Lang have successfully undertaken the task to build a low cost and highly efficient underwater drone.

In 2012, David and Eric thought they had an opportunity of a lifetime when Eric broke the news to David about a massive treasure of gold lost inside a cave in California which was simply waiting, or literally begging, to be discovered. The only problem at the time was that the cave was completely submerged.

However, the two eventually set out on their goal of becoming millionaires and started weighing their options by scheming various ways of locating and then attaining the hidden treasure.

 

With almost no experience of diving, not at those depths at least, David and Eric quickly abandoned the idea of diving themselves. For this purpose they decided to use a remotely operated vehicle, or ROV for short. But once they searched the market they were astonished to see the price of that little vehicle which was way outside their budget.

So, Eric and David decided to let go the idea of buying an ROV and set out to build one for themselves.

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TED Fellows Retreat - August 26-30, 2015, Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA. Photo: Bret Hartman/TED
TED Fellows Retreat – August 26-30, 2015, Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, CA. Photo: Bret Hartman/TED

First of all, they took a radical step of setting up an open community forum for like-minded enthusiasts called OpenROV. The aim was to share all their ideas and doodles with other people around the world and benefit from their constructive criticism and advice. This enabled David and Eric to further refine their initial ideas and quickly got to the final design they had to construct.

Fast forward to the present day and the duo have struck gold with two massively successful Kickstarter campaigns and have already sold over 3,000 robots to explorers from all over the world.

The low-cost underwater drone that David and Eric have built is called Trident and has quickly gained popularity worldwide.

 

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Speaking about their innovation, David Lang told the reporters that “Trident is not your high-powered super robot, it is rather a very simple yet affordable way of diving deep into the uncharted territory of oceans.” He asserted that with 95 percent of world’s oceans still undiscovered, opportunities for amateur explorers are endless both for scientific research and serious exploration.

The Trident can be used both by expert explorers and amateur enthusiasts; controlled by a smartphone app the robot can also be configured with a laptop or joystick.

The most recent Trident models can even be fitted with VR headsets, taking the idea of virtual reality to new heights (or depths in this case).

 
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