Underwater drones or at least drones that can land and take off from water have become quite a thing over the last couple of years. Most true underwater drones can only operate underwater and don’t fly. Most airborne drones that can land on the water can’t exactly swim underneath it. FPV pilot Blaster, however, has figured out how he can film both in the air and underwater the same flight.
Two drones were used in this video. DroneXL says that the Dex Models Dex Hydro H was the one used for the underwater shots and the Deep Designs Deep6 is what we see flying into the waterfall. But the film’s creator, Blastr, says that these are custom quads that “are difficult to build and took lots of trial and error to get right”. Some behind-the-scenes b-roll later in the video gives clues as to how it was done.
Unfortunately, the drone itself does not “fly” underwater. It has a GoPro action camera suspended beneath it, as we see at around 3:45 in the video. The GoPro is dipped into the water while the drone flies above the water’s surface. Admittedly, it’s still a pretty wet environment in the air above the kinds of rivers and waterfalls we’re seeing in the video, but the Dex Hydro H housing is mostly carbon fibre and looks to repel most potential water attacks. In fact, several of the photos on the company’s product listing even show it sitting on the water’s surface.
The Deep6 frame kit used for the waterfall shots also comes in a waterproof kit combo package, which allows it to fly through the spray of those waterfalls without taking on damage. Both frames come in at around $200 with waterproof options. You’ll still need to buy all the extras like a flight controller, motors, etc. But $200 isn’t bad for something waterproof when decent FPV frames cost around $100 anyway.
It seems that hitting the water is no longer the limit for FPV drones. I really hope this style of FPV shooting takes off (pun fully intended) and we start to see more videos like this. Don’t go trying this with your shiny new DJI Avata, though!