It’s official: Robotic fish are in. How do we know this? Well, the one above has been on Kickstarter for less than a week, and it has already surpassed its $20,000 goal more than five times over. Meet BIKI: The planet’s first bionic wireless underwater fish drone.
So what does your $599 (Early Bird!) get you? First, as unlikely as it sounds, it swims like a fish, flapping its big rear tail to propel itself along at a very fish-like 1.12mph. Built-in obstacle avoidance means it doesn’t crash into things (too much) and it always stays upright owing to its ability to balance itself automatically. On board you’ll find a fully stabilized 4K camera, with a lens boasting a 150° field of view, plus a couple of built-in lights (114 lumens!). Finally, it comes with a controller that allows you to operate the drone “in any water-medium, from the pool to the ocean” from up to 30 feet away. Oh, and the cuteness factor is through the roof.
The enthusiastic backing has already “unlocked” various “stretch goals” set by the team of Chinese boffins behind the project (who count Peking University, MIT, and the Max Planck Institute among their affiliations): Apparently, they’ll be making a yellow version and a red version of BIKI, and adding filters, and who knows what else as the dollars keep rolling in. The seafloor’s the limit!
So, forget your quadcopters and aerial gimbals—they’re so passé. The future of drones lies—as we always knew—underwater.
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