OpenROV’s Kickstarter campaign for its new Trident underwater drone is now live, and the early sales are impressive. The campaign has absolutely exploded on Kickstarter, reaching its goal within five minutes of launch. With 44 days still left to go, the consumer-oriented underwater vehicle has raised $370,000, exceeding its original goal of $50,000 by a factor of six. According to OpenROV, the Trident has the versatility of a ROV (remote operated vehicle) and combines it with the efficient operation of an AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle). And with a starting price of $599 for the Kickstarter “Super Early Bird Special”, it’s no surprise the drone is selling like mad.
The Trident isn’t OpenROV’s first drone.The company kickstarted another model, the OpenROV – Open Source Underwater Robot, back in 2012. The original OpenROV drone was sold a kit that contained all the parts necessary to build the underwater vessel. Using their experience and feedback from the enthusiast community, the OpenROV team went to work on Trident. Trident features a hydrodynamic design that is efficient at flying through in the water in long, straight runs, yet maneuverable enough to slide in between underwater rocks and crevices. It’s also smaller than its predecessor with a form factor that allows the drone to fit in a backpack.
The Trident is packed to the max with features that make flying in the water fun. The ROV can fly in long, straight lines when surveying an area or perform delicate maneuvers when needed to navigate in tight spaces. The drone also includes LED lights for underwater viewing and a built-in HD camera capable of capturing images or videos that can be used to create a 3D model of the ocean floor. Similar to OpenROV’s earlier drone, the software that powers the Trident is open source, allowing enthusiasts to add new features.
Right now the Trident is selling out quickly, with the $599 and $799 packages no longer available. Interested buyers can still grab the discounted $949 or full price $1,199 bundle that includes the drone, as as well as a neutrally-buoyant tether for sending telemetry data back to the surface and a wireless topside buoy.