Blueye Robotics Water, Maritime and Submersibles
June 28, 2017

Blueye Pioneer Dives to 150 Meters; Robust, Stable HD Camera Delivers True Colors with Super-Clear Image Quality

The Earth’s last frontier, the ocean, is being revealed to non-scientists for the first time with the introduction of Blueye Pioneer, an underwater drone that can dive eight times deeper than the average scuba enthusiast — up to 150 meters. Developed by Blueye Robotics, the Pioneer has capabilities that were previously found only in expensive professional equipment used by filmmakers, oceanographers and the military, but is priced at consumer levels with a user experience unlike any other underwater drone.

Blueye Pioneer’s HD wide-angle video camera uses special technologies that work in low-light conditions and can communicate true-color images, overcoming the problem of how colors change below 16 feet underwater.

“Red colors start to fade, and the undersea world becomes green or blue. A custom algorithm was developed to add color back in to photos and video captured by the Pioneer. Now the mysterious realm of the ocean will be accessible to anyone with a smartphone, tablet or PC in full HD quality.”

Developed in the extreme conditions of the Arctic Ocean, Blueye Pioneer has a unique combination of compact size (15 lbs.), power (three robust thrusters) and stability. Unlike other underwater drones, it can perform flawlessly in rough currents and low temperatures thanks to its unique hydrodynamic balancing design. Blueye Pioneer travels at a speed of 2.5 meters/second (5 knots).

While aerial drones have been an explosive new market segment, public interest is growing for underwater drones, with a bevy of fun, underwater, toy-like drones announced, but not yet available. Until now, no “prosumer” (amateurs using professional-grade equipment) products have been on the market and no drones for sale or in production can go as deep as Blueye Pioneer.

Headquartered in Norway, which is renowned for its world-leading subsea expertise, Blueye Robotics employs an innovative color filter design created by optics experts and control signal algorithms developed in collaboration with the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Center for Autonomous Marine Operations and Systems (AMOS), which is famous for its unique knowledge.

The live video transmitted by Blueye Pioneer travels through a thin cable to a surface buoy and then wirelessly to the user, who can stay dry and safe on a nearby vessel or onshore. The robot has powerful LED lights below the camera, as well as fittings for an extra payload, with replaceable batteries that can last at least two hours. Pioneer is easy to operate from a smartphone, tablet or PC.

The Pioneer has a wide variety of possible uses. As little as 10 percent of the Ocean is explored, which means Pioneer provides the opportunity for adventurous consumers to become real explorers. Boat owners get a new activity for the whole family and can explore the waters underneath them, and the drone’s lower cost will appeal to companies performing water, harbor or underwater hull inspections. Scientists may use Pioneer for environmental monitoring, and fish farmers, owners of offshore wind parks and other ocean-based enterprises can also utilize the drone’s capabilities to stay in control of their underwater operations. Early customers include The Norwegian Society for Search and Rescue, Redningsselskapet and the World Wildlife Fund, WWF Norway.

At $3,500, Blueye Pioneer has the lowest price point for a professional-grade system. Currently in beta, it will be in production beginning January 2018.

About Blueye Robotics
Blueye Robotics combines innovative ocean technology with user experience knowledge to create professional-grade underwater drones for consumers. The company’s first product is Blueye Pioneer, which can operate far deeper than other drones and is the only one of its kind offering professional-grade technology with consumers in mind. It has a special light-sensitive camera that adds back in true color imaging, and the drone delivers exceptional stability even in adverse ocean conditions. Operated via a smartphone, tablet or PC, the drone is extremely user friendly. Blueye Robotics is based in Trondheim, Norway, and Palo Alto, Calif. Visit www.BlueyeRobotics.com for more details.