SwellProUSA recently announced The Spry: which is a waterproof drone that can go underwater like a submarine, float on the surface like a boat, and fly in the air at over 43 mph. Clearly focused on the marine market on the consumer side, it contains a 4K camera that can capture video at 30 frames per second, with a 12 megapixel camera.
It also comes with a waterproof remote control.
Clearly focused on the sun and surf crowd, the Spry hit it’s Kickstarter target in 10 minutes and at is currently about 10 times the nearly 30K that they set as their goal. The discounted price on Kickstarter runs between $769 for the basic configuration and $1778 for one with all the bells and whistles including glasses.
The kickstarter page is well done, very slick with features, video and testimonials included.
The recent press release states, “Drone enthusiasts can activate the Spry’s GPS from the remote control to access its advanced flight features like Hold Position, Auto Follow, Object Orbit and Return to Pilot’s Position. When activated, the Return To Pilot Position returns the Spry to the position of the pilot even if he or she is on a moving boat. By turning off the GPS from the remote control, users are able to pilot the Spry completely freestyle allowing them to fly at speeds of over 43mhp (70km/h) while flipping and turning tight corners just like a racing drone.”
“The Spry’s ability to submerge under water and fly in the air makes it the most versatile drone ever created. We’ve only seen this in science fiction movies,” said Alex Rodriguez, Urban Drones’ CEO. A drone technology company located in Florida and SwellPro’s partner in the Spry project. “Watersport enthusiasts have always liked drones, but the fear of losing their drone in the water has always been an obstacle that affects their creativity and we’re happy to say that with the Spry, we’ve removed that barrier.”
The Spry’s mobile app allows pilots to set up way points on a map and fly a predetermined path while the operator remains hands-free.
The ability to return to a moving boat is a cool feature and shows that they spent some time thinking through the feature set. Underwater drones are not new but as a consumer product that is waterproof it is a step forward. The marketing materials show that it is initially focused on the sun and surf set, where the waterproof feature is clearly important. Kickstarter is tried and try platform for funding new drones. Just think about how careful one needs to be with a non-waterproof phone and losing ones drone over the water is a recurring sad story.