Robots are going to scour the seas for aquatic life, thanks to a breakthrough new drone announced Tuesday. The PowerRay, a drone with a 4K camera targeted at both professionals and casual users, is able to transmit its findings back to an iOS or Android smartphone, diving as deep as 98 feet to detect fish up to 131 feet below its underside using its sonar system.
“Recreational fishing is one of the lifestyle areas that has not seen major technology breakthroughs,” Wally Zheng, CEO of PowerVision Technology Group, said in a statement. “By introducing PowerRay, PowerVision is completely changing the way we have been fishing in the past 7,000 years.”
Users can control the device during its four hours of operation through a number of methods. They can use the smartphone app to move around, or to get a more immersive experience they can use the virtual reality app to look around the deep sea and gesture towards where they want the robot to go.
It’s not the first time a team has sent robots to sail the seven seas. In the Pacific Ocean, Saildrone is making waves with its autonomous boats that float around collecting data on climate changes. Similarly, drone boats in Amsterdam’s canals are planned to form part of an interweaving network of bridges and waterways for commuters to get around.
Other tech industry figures have bigger plans for sea-based ventures. Peter Thiel has expressed interest in building a floating libertarian island, free from government interference. It’s on a whole other scale for fish catching, but sea-based drone development will help contribute to more ambitious projects further down the line.
Unfortunately, price for the PowerRay has yet to be revealed, but the PowerRay will go on sale February 27. “Recreational fishing will never be the same again,” said Zheng.