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Underwater Drones

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Drones were part of a lot of news headlines throughout 2013, both in the hunting world and outside of it; and now it looks as though there’s such a thing as underwater drones.

The government’s use of drone strikes in warfare caused major ethical questions and massive public outcry. Amazon revealed plans to design and implement drones for delivery purposes, causing a hunter in Colorado to draft an ordinance for his town that would have created hunting licenses for the sole purpose of shooting drones out of the sky.

Other hunters are interested in utilizing drones for tracking big game animals. Needless to say, none of us should be expecting drones to disappear from the public consciousness any time soon.

But if drones are going to become a futuristic staple of hunting, then shouldn’t anglers get a chance to utilize the technology as well? That’s the thought process behind a new innovation from a company called OpenROV.

OpenROV, a start-up company based out of Cupertino, California – a hometown it shares with Apple Computers – is interested in helping to advance the potential of underwater oceanic exploration. The company is currently selling what it calls “open-source underwater robot kits,” giving buyers the components they need to build underwater exploration tools as they deem fit.

OpenROV is hopeful that they will be able to cultivate a community of underwater enthusiasts with their new product – from “professional ocean engineers to hobbyists, software developers to students.” Since OpenROV’s robots are open-source, the company would encourage buyers to develop new software or other customization options that would effectively enhance the potential of the product. The robots are small and remote control sensitive, making them easy to utilize for all manner of aquatic exploration.

Almost undoubtedly, professional fishing outfits will latch onto OpenROV and figure out a way to use the technology to find prime fishing spots and improve their business profits. Since the robots are small and easy to control, they would be able to enter spaces where other exploration efforts would be ineffective, like caves, for instance.

For commercial fisheries, the possibilities of the OpenROV are endless, as the robots could be used to chart profitable paths for fishing expeditions, locate and help clean up excesses of derelict fishing gear, and much more. The possibilities are pretty wide ranging.

Check out this video detailing the underwater drones:

OpenROV Meets the OpenWATER from Gerty on Vimeo.

As of right now, the OpenROV robots will likely be too expensive for most independent anglers, with the only available kit on the company’s website going for a list price of $850. However, over time, as technology improves and prices decline, the open-source exploration robotics could certainly gain a place in the average fisherman’s arsenal of gear.

The robots could be used for any number of personal uses, from checking around and underneath docks for potential catches to diving into the cold water on an ice fishing trip to determine whether or not any fish are nearby.

With an effective scouting robot, anglers would no longer have to blindly struggle to find where the fish are hiding. Instead, they would be able to locate the most attractive specimens quickly and spend more time actually fishing and catching. Regardless of the controversy surrounding drones and robotics, that’s an advancement most anglers would love to see.

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Underwater Drones