Jet propelled underwater drone


I found this amazing project:

The guys are going to start production in 2016 and it will cost below $500. It has potential to be a game changer in underwater exploration.


I’m afraid they look like a bunch of well meaning amateurs to me. Will it have a huge multi core tether? How do you open it quickly in the field, to replace the batteries? How will the payload affect hydrodynamics? I could go on.
OpenRov is extremely well thought out and produced. It is a very sophisticated device. I would like to know more about Fathom before calling it a “game changer”.


I respect them because they are just starting and their idea is brilliant. They claim that they already have contracts with manufacturers, so they are getting somewhere. Did Eric and Dave look like professionals to you 4 years ago? :slight_smile:
I think that this solution will make underwater exploration more affordable. It doesn’t need to be sophisticated to do the job. Consider 3D Robotics and Parrot. Who is making more sales? (Parrot)
It’s about what you need and how much you want to pay for it.
Are you a maker? Do you need to attach a payload? Do you need open source? Then go for OpenROV.
Do you need something more robust? Go for Trident.
Do you want to add your own electronics? Go for BlueROV.
Do you want something simple and robust for less than $1000? Go for Fathom.


I think you’re right. I think in the next few years we’ll see at least 10 more low-cost ROVs. Similar to what happened with drones. The tools for amateur experimentation are getting too good. And I’m really excited to see them all! At the end of the day, this is going to be a great thing for people who want to explore beneath the surface.


I agree. There is also the Their concept is interesting, and they have a powerful allie. They have to sort out a few difiicult tecnical issues though, wireless transmissions are very very very complex underwater, and it may take them a while to sort it. I have a tank pressure emitter for my scuba computer, but the signal only have to transmit for a meter or so, and the data rate is obviously very low.


I’ve been following Fathom Drone off and on for a few months, but at this point in time I have to agree with @e4andy. It looks underpowered for anything larger than a swimming pool or small pond. I haven’t seen any of their technical data or what the internals look like. They still have a long way to go and the updates are pretty slow.

I’ll be the cynic here and say that I think unmanned systems (air, surface, subsurface) need to be developed far more than they currently are before people start asking for money. I’m not talking about OpenROV or Trident, because these had very vigorous R&D on them, so much so that Trident got a whole makeover from what it started out as. Look at PocketDrone(defunct), Zano (defunct) or even Airdog and Hexo+ which took far longer to get out to consumers than was planned and I have yet to read a recent unbiased review on either. Too many failures lately with “concepts only” designs.

It takes a lot to convince me, I don’t believe in throwing money at concepts, show me a working prototype doing what you say it will do.