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New Kickstarter Funded Underwater Drone From Hong Kong-Based Navatics

Navatics Mito Underwater Drone

Navatics, a team of engineers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has launched a Kickstarter-funded project for it's new Mito underwater drone.

Less than a week since its campaign began on 31 May, Navatics has more than doubled its initial $30,000 funding goal, which was reached in under five hours. The Mito is capable of filming in 4K and 1080p and takes high resolution, 8MP still photographs, with Navatics claiming that its 'advanced active stabilization technology' can keep the drone motionless even in complex currents, thanks to its four independent thrusters.

Control is through a surface mounted buoy with a 50m tether, allowing the drone to reach its maximum operating depth of 40m. The wireless remote controller has a range of up to 500m and a smartphone mounting grip, allowing the user full control through its associated iOS or Android mobile app. The app also features built-in tools for colour correction, and the ability to livestream or share video through social media.

mito interface 1000

Control of the drone is via a wireless controller with integrated smartphone mount and mobile app

The surface floatation device has a battery run-time of four hours plus an integrated solar panel to boost duration. The drone itself can run continuously for two hours with an easily interchangeable battery pack and has a maximum speed of 2 knots.

Navatics state the drone is highly manoeuvrable and able to pitch and remain steady at a tilt angle of 45 degrees while maintaining its depth. Two 1,000 lumen LED lights allow for excellent underwater illumination. The drone weighs in at 3kg/6.6lbs and is small enough to meet airline cabin baggage restrictions.

'With Navatics MITO, our goal is to create an underwater drone with the ability to stream high-quality video and manoeuvre with maximum stability to get the best footage.' said Andreas Widy, CEO of Navatics. 'We want to provide this professional level experience, so that anyone from the hobbyist consumer to the professional videographer can experience the marine world without limitation.'

The drone is being marketed at underwater videographers, divers and conservationists as an area survey tool, and boat owners as a hull inspection device. 

mito diver 1000

The MITO is able to hover motionless and tilt at 45° without losing depth

Technical Specifications

  • Components: Navatics MITO, a tether floatation and a remote controller
  • Stability: Advanced four-axis active stabilization algorithm
  • Weight: 3 kg/6.6 lbs. (including battery)
  • Dimensions: 360mm x 300mm x 135mm / 14” x 12” x 5”
  • Mobility: Equipped with four thrusters enabling it to tilt up and down to 45° angles while holding its depth, heading and orientation
  • Recording / Images: 4K video recording up to 30 fps (mp4) and 8 MP still images (JPEG)
  • Video Transmission: 1080 HD at 30 fps live video within 500 m / 1640 ft. (powered by Senseplay)
  • Storage: 64GB Micro SD card
  • Depth: maximum 40 m / 135 ft.
  • Tether Length: 50 m / 165 ft.
  • Tether floatation: 4-hours runtime, equipped with solar panel to extend the duration of usage
  • Speed: Up to 2 meters per second / 4 knots
  • Interchangeable batteries: 80Wh, providing a minimum 2 hour run time
  • Lighting: 2 1000 lumen LED lights
  • App: Available for both iOS and Android
  • Colour Correction: Integrated into smartphone app
  • Social Sharing: Share directly to Instagram, Facebook and WeChat

The Mito is currently priced for pre-order from Kickstarter at $1,199, with delivery expected in September 2018. More information can be found at www.navatics.com and on the Navatics Kickstarter funding page.

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