@droneinc, if you look at our Kickstarter video, the majority of that was filmed in Lake Michigan! Regarding the Trident comparison, the same question has been fielded in our comments on Kickstarter. Here's the rundown: First, I think it's wise to acknowledge that the Trident is a great product, produced by a great team. Also, it’s important to list some things that Trident can do that the F1 can't, and why we decided to design for our corresponding specs instead of matching theirs: 100m depth rating - The Trident ROV is said to be able to reach a depth of 100m out of the box. This is great - for a small percentage of users. You would need a pretty specific reason to dive to these depths, and we simply found (through thousands of interviews with varying potential customer segments) that no one intended to dive that deep. So we decided to design for a max depth rating of 150 feet, which still allows users to explore wrecks and natural features that go beyond the capability of the average recreational scuba diver. 3 hour battery life - Because the Trident is larger than the F1, they can cram more batteries into the hull. Because of this, they say that you can get 3 hours of run time off a single charge. We decided that it would be more important to make the F1 extremely portable, while still allowing dive durations to go far beyond flight times of what even some of the best aerial drones can accomplish. We also knew that there would be certain users that would like to have increased dive times, which is why we're working towards enabling trickle-charge functions to increase dive durations further. 4 knot top speed - It has a faster top speed than the F1, which has been tested to top out at 3 knots. Through our initial testing process, we realized there's such thing as being able to go "too fast" underwater. A few things happen when you try to go really fast underwater - most noticeably, drag forces increase exponentially. This means that if you try to put a forward facing action camera on the bottom of the Trident, piloting will become extremely difficult due to the new drag force created by the action camera (or any other attachment) at these high speeds. We wanted to minimize these effects, while still offering the option to "go fast". Here are a few things that we're designing into the F1 system that Trident doesn't offer: Tether containment system - Tether management is extremely important, and it seems the team at OpenROV has overlooked it entirely. They do include a sleek little WiFi buoy, but leave it up to the end user as to how they want to manage all the included tether. We wanted to make it incredibly easy to deploy your drone, so we're designing the buoy to have the tether management system built in. iOS and Android app - The Trident uses a web interface instead of a dedicated application. It seems like a bit of a “clunky” way to interface with the drone (open a web browser, enter the drone’s IP address, and connect to it that way). We’re willing to put in additional resources to develop dedicated applications to streamline the piloting process. Modularity - The F1 has detachable thrusters which increase both its portability and customization potential. The thrusters can be removed for storage or transport, or swapped out for different thrusters which may be better suited for a particular application. Additionally, if a thruster malfunctions on the Trident, (from little I know about it) you would have to send it in for repairs. On the F1, the thrusters are much more accessible for DIY repairs, or you could simply send the single thruster in to us for repairs if need be, instead of sending the entire device. Enhanced Portability - The F1 has a smaller physical footprint than the Trident when you detach its thrusters. This makes it easier to pack and transport, or throw in a backpack if you need to take it on the go. And yes, the F1 is half the price of the Trident. Hopefully that helps answer your questions! - John
Appreciate the thorough and honest feedback. I didn't realize they weren't using an app. That's sorta a deal breaker for me. The modularity is genius if you ask me. Is there a way to record video/pics on sd card without having to attach a GoPro? Additional lights? I do like the fact you're in GR. I'm in Michigan too. Down the coast a bit so I'm sure I could get good support ;-) If you need a tester ever I'd be happy to help out. I'm probably onboard for getting one ordered up soon. Thanks.
I'm glad that helped! And thank you, we're extremely proud of the work we've put in up to this point. To answer your question, you can absolutely record video to the drone's onboard memory, and then save it to either your smart device or laptop! It's good to hear you're in Michigan as well! Once we have our beta assembly completed, we'd love to have you take one out for a spin to get your feedback!
John thanks for the offer. Would love to do some beta testing for you. I'm looking to add one to my drone business offerings for various client needs to include SAR. I just noticed on your website that Edgewater Automation is a partner of yours. They are located behind the neighborhood I live in! Small World! Please reach out to me when you're ready to get some feedback and thanks again!
Sounds great @droneinc! Such a small world! We'll stay in touch once we're ready to gather feedback. We're currently waiting on beta components, so once those arrive we'll hit the ground running!