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OpenROV Trident underwater drone blows up on Kickstarter

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OpenROV's Kickstarter campaign for the Trident drone still has 45 days left, but it has already raised six times its $50,000 goal. It's not another quadcopter or glider, though, it's a remote-controlled, camera-equipped underwater UAV. The Trident isn't OpenROV's first underwater drone -- in fact, the team raised funds via Kickstarter years ago for another model, as well. However, the Trident has a more hydrodynamic design, a wedge-like body that can move more efficiently and slip through narrow gaps in between rocks or other objects. Plus, it's small enough to carry in a backpack and to fit under a plane seat when traveling.

Like its name implies, the Trident's software is open-source and allows users to add capabilities as they see fit. Out of the box, though, it can already do a lot of things, including running a lawnmower pattern, so it can capture images or videos (1080p at 30fps) of a patch of sea floor and create a 3D model of the area. Unfortunately, the cheapest options are already gone on Kickstarter, and the cheapest amount you can pledge to get a unit, which comes with an 82 feet tether and a topside buoy, is $799.

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