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January 10, 2018

The PowerDolphin underwater drone is every bit as ridiculous as it sounds

by John_A

If the gadget-loving James Bond of the 1970s ever attended CES in search of a water-based drone, he’d almost certainly be drawn to the PowerDolphin. OK, so he’d probably make a few quips about its unusual name, but he’d almost certainly appreciate its oddly disparate smorgasbord of features — which include (deep breath) capturing 4K photos and video, delivering life preservers and a tow cable to struggling swimming, using sonar to create topographical maps of the ocean floor, and detecting fish from a distance of 131 feet and then releasing bait to snare them. Heck, he could even control it with his phone or a dedicated remote control from shore, all while sipping a dry martini — shaken, not stirred!

“The PowerDolphin is a new lifestyle robot that is not only suitable for water sports, photography, fishing, and other enthusiasts or rescue and scientific researchers, but also provides a new perspective of life to adventurous people,” explained Wally Zheng, the founder and CEO of manufacture PowerVision, in a statement.

In terms of tech spec, the “water robotic boat” comes equipped with a 215-degree dual joint rotation camera that can be used for both out of the water and underwater photography and video. It supports 4K high-definition video at 30 frames per second, which is recorded on an onboard MicroSD card, and can also be streamed to the user at 1080p. The nose-mounted camera can be easily rotated, so you can easily switch between above and below the wave angles. (There’s an onboard headlight to help deal with the murky depths.)

Meanwhile, the PowerSeeker intelligent fish finder aims to help anglers accurately determine fishing spots, the craft can release bait to lure said fish, and it can additionally troll for them using an attached line and lure. If your idea of a perfect day’s fishing is watching from the sand as a robot catches fish for you, the PowerDolphin promises to be your new best friend.

Its creators claim that, fully charged, the device can provide up to two hours of battery life. It also comes with a Return Home feature to lessen the chances of it being inadvertently lost. PowerDolphin is set to begin selling in April with a retail price of $749. Before you know it, you’ll be asking how you ever managed without a “lifestyle robot.”

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