Ziphius May Become the First Toy Aquatic Drone

Kickstarter campaign takes drones from land to sea

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Soon, drones may come in handy at pool parties. Portuguese startup Azorean has launched a Kickstarter campaign to crowdfund what it claims is the first aquatic drone for consumers. If it reaches its funding goal of $125,000, the company promises to create a remote-controlled water toy you can use to take pictures or retrieve lost items at the bottom of the pool.

The first low-cost, personal drone will be remote-controlled through a smartphone or tablet, allowing users to shoot and upload HD images and video to Twitter, Facebook or YouTube, play catch or even help detect marine life. It will also be the first aquatic drone to always stand upright, allowing it to navigate rougher waters.

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With a 300-foot wifi range and a speed of up to 6 mph, the water companion acts as a high-tech remote-control boat, but its makers are also focusing on developing personality traits for the swimming drone. Early donors who shelled out $195 or more will receive the first series of the unmanned robot, but don’t fret, there’s time to score other editions. As of 6 p.m. E.T. on Friday, July 5, the company had raised nearly $50,000 from more than 200 backers. If all goes according to schedule, new gadget will go on sale next March.

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