Trident remote-controlled, camera-equipped underwater drone – and it is the fastest machine since the start of underwater robotics OpenROV


Trident can go “as fast as Michael Phelps,” according to co-founder David Lang and Eric Stackpole. For the record, Phelps clock 4.4 miles per hour, unless you consider his record of 50.77 seconds in the 100 meters. It is faster than the goldfish, but not as fast as one would think. It’s still pretty fast as underwater vehicles, or drones, some go, though.

The other cool thing about Trident is the ability for precise maneuvers. Trident can swim in long, straight lines, called “cuts”, but also to stop on a dime and follow the steps in tight spaces, using a game controller (we tried it with a Playstation controller connected to the PC monitor).

This kind of speed and accuracy is useful for traversing under the sea. Trident can hover over objects or change of depth or direction without rolling at high or low speed. Added ability to stop exactly where you want to further explore the sunken ship (possibly with the treasure) is a boon to underwater exploration.

Trident and other vehicles OpenROV can also go too far down into some of the deepest depths of the ocean, much further than most people researchers. Trident can collect up to 100 meters below the surface -. The technical limit for a person in deep diving submarine

Underwater drone can stream video on the monitor during the research, and the team at OpenROV currently studying VR as those who play with one of these workers may feel that they are right there, in the depths of their vehicle.

People come with all sorts of uses for VR, but the Trident would make a perfect case for the classroom. “Imagine a teacher in the future with the help of the class, and all children can wear headphones Google VR and see different things around the ocean,” said Lang.

OpenROV began as a project among friends, to get to the bottom of an underwater mystery. Legend was a group of Native Americans dumped a pile of gold at the bottom of the well, in the depths of the cave hall in Forks, California back in the 1800s. I first wrote about this OpenROV and underwater activities for this USA Today in November 2013

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set OpenROV DIY Trident meets the sea.

The founders even to get to the bottom of the well (they tell me that they went as deep as they could go with their rovers and still can not reach the bottom), but started to get the company, because of the a couple of years ago, that would make a simple, cheaper water hum DIY kit available to all. OpenROV picked up a tidy sum of one million dollars of venture capital, so as to explore new projects, including the Trident.

OpenROV in the last days of his Kickstarter campaign Trident (closing tomorrow at midnight). So far, the campaign has raised nearly $ 800,000 to date -. Much more than the original $ 50,000 co-founders originally sought

I recently went to the headquarters of OpenROV in Berkeley, California, where the team designs, manufactures, ships and supports the robots. Stackpole gave me a tour of his open garage in the center of the industrial park, and let me play with a trident in the water tank, the team set up for testing. Check out this interview above to learn more.