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Ocean Drone Startup Merger Results in a Prime Sea Exploration Drone

Nikola Gemeš

July 13, 2021
Featured image for Ocean Drone Startup Merger Results in a Prime Sea Exploration Drone article

Underwater drone maker OpenROV and sea sensor developer Spoondrift teamed up their 1080p Trident drone and solar-powered Spotter sensor to create a much more capable ocean drone — Sofar Trident.

TechCrunch reports that the upgraded Trident drone shoots awesome video footage, tracks waves and weather, can spot fishing and diving locations, inspect boats and infrastructure for damage, and also helps catch smugglers.

“Aerial drones give us a different perspective of something we know pretty well. Ocean drones give us a view at something we don’t really know at all,” former Spoondrift and now Sofar CEO Tim Janssen tells me. “The Trident drone was created for field usage by scientists and is now usable by anyone. This is pushing the barrier towards the unknown.”

While the new drone has a big ecological potential for DIY ocean exploration, the sea is crawling with the competition.

The main competitors are the more expensive and research-focused devices like Saildrone, DeepTrekker, and SeaOtter-2.

On the other hand, there are plenty of consumer-level drones like the $800 Robosea Biki, $1,000 Fathom ONE, and $5,000 iBubble.

Priced at $1,700 The Sofar Trident is somewhere in the middle. It needs a cord to a surface buoy to power its three hours of dive time and the speed of two meters per second. 

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