Blueye Robotics has announced the introduction of the Pioneer, an underwater drone that can dive up to 150 meters – eight times deeper than the average scuba enthusiast. The Pioneer has capabilities that are usually found in professional equipment used by filmmakers, oceanographers and the military, but is aimed at the consumer market.
Blueye Pioneer’s HD wide-angle video camera uses special technologies that work in low-light conditions and can communicate true-color images, overcoming the problem of how colors change below 16 feet underwater.
“Red colors start to fade, and the undersea world becomes green or blue,” explained Christine Spiten, Co-founder and Strategy Director of Blueye Robotics. “A custom algorithm was developed to add color back in to photos and video captured by the Pioneer. Now the mysterious realm of the ocean will be accessible to anyone with a smartphone, tablet or PC in full HD quality.”
Developed in the extreme conditions of the Arctic Ocean, Blueye Pioneer has a unique combination of compact size (15 lbs.), power (three robust thrusters) and stability. It can perform in rough currents and low temperatures thanks to its hydrodynamic balancing design. Blueye Pioneer travels at a speed of 2.5 meters/second (5 knots).
Scientists may use Pioneer for environmental monitoring, and fish farmers, owners of offshore wind parks and other ocean-based enterprises can also utilize the drone’s capabilities to stay in control of their underwater operations. Early customers include The Norwegian Society for Search and Rescue, Redningsselskapet and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).