Remotely operated underwater vehicles are gradually becoming more affordable, even for divers.
Take Underwater robotics maker Navatics, for example. The company today announced the pre-sale of the MITO, an ROV equipped with advanced active stabilization technology that provides new levels of underwater video steadiness in an affordable, 6.6 lbs./3 kg underwater drone.
The MITO is designed to fit airline specifications for carry-on luggage for easy transport, while also being highly maneuverable in any corner of the ocean. It’s attached to a floating tether to transmit controls precisely and accurately to the drone deep underwater, where normal wireless controller signals can’t reach. The MITO can capture 4K video at 30 fps and can be used to explore depths of up to 135 feet/40 meters.
Navatics CEO Andreas Widy says:
“With Navatics MITO, our goal is to create an underwater drone with the ability to stream high-quality video and maneuver with maximum stability to get the best footage. We want to provide this professional-level experience, so that anyone from the hobbyist consumer to the professional videographer can experience the marine world without limitation.”
The company says the MITO can hover and keep its orientation even in complex underwater currents for up to four hours. Its four thrusters make it highly maneuverable and allow it to tilt up and down to 45-degree angles while maintaining its depth, heading and orientation at speeds of up to two meters per second (around 4 knots). Two 1000 lumen LED lights also give excellent vision and illumination underwater, providing better colors on video and images. The MITO is piloted by a remote controller which also has a grip for a smartphone. Through the accompanying mobile app available for both iOS and Android, users have flexibility to stream video up to 500 meters (1,640 ft.) away at 1080p resolution. In addition, the app has built-in tools for color correction and the ability to share images and video directly to social media.
But the MITO is more than just a filming device. Before venturing into a new area, the MITO can survey areas to identify the layout of a reef, cave or lake to identify potentials dangers or points of interest, saving both time and preventing potential risks when exploring underwater.
The MITO is available via Kickstarter at the super-early-bird price of US$1,199/~1028 Euros, which includes the drone with 4K camera, one battery, a remote controller that attaches to a smartphone, and a 50-meter (165 ft.) tether. It will begin shipping in September 2018.