When we think of drones, we automatically imagine surveillance quadcopters flying above our homes capturing aerial photos. Over the past year, there’s been an influx of underwater drones (BIKI, PowerRay, etc) designed to explore our local waterways. Using state-of-the-art navigational and video capturing technology, the latest underwater drone comes from Norway’s Blueye Robotics and it’s awesome.

Blueye’s Intelligent Design

Introducing Blueye’s Pioneer drone – a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) that can explore down to 150m (492-ft) depths. With most underwater drones only capable of submerging down 100m (328-ft), the Pioneer is more like a mini-sub exploring unchartered waters. Ideal for Marine Biologists, Engineers, Underwater Welders, Scuba Divers, Fishermen and even die-hard hobbyists, Blueye’s powerful drone comes equipped with a 1080p/30fps HD camera that captures crystal clear images from the abyss below.


The 15-lb (6.8 kg) ROV is equipped with three thrusters and by all accounts, is a super durable drone tested in the rough seas of the Arctic Ocean. With a max speed of 8.2 feet per second (5 knots) and capable of 2 hours of use with one full charge, the Pioneer can perform underwater inspections in some of the most challenging conditions. Whether it’s shark diving, ice fishing, exploring an underwater barge, or simply capturing the most compelling vacation footage, Blueye Robotics created one of the most versatile drones hitting the production line in January (2019).

Innovative Technology

Ideal for bottom diving, the Pioneer uses a combination of powerful thrusters, self-stabilizing design features, and hydrodynamics to arrive at its underwater destination. Once you set the course and get there with its intuitive navigational system, you can control the drone in real time using the iOS/Android compatible app.

As with most state-of-the-art drones, the magic happens through the lens of the camera. Armed with an onboard LED spotlight that includes a color-corrected filter, users can capture high-res stills and real-time video from the depths of the ocean. If you want to upgrade the experience even further, the Pioneer works with a digital dive mask head mounted screen – making your underwater footage a fully immersive 3D experience.


Controlling the drone can be done through a smartphone or via touch screen navigation – making the Pioneer companion app one of the most user-friendly drone apps. Blueye Robotics even created a revolutionary passenger interface giving viewers access to real-time footage where they can point to interesting stuff – guiding the drone operator to new and interesting spots under the water.

Blueye’s Pioneer ROV comes with a 75-meter drone-to-buoy cable – this is pretty much your connectivity umbilical cord – giving you a range of 30 meters/98 feet away from the buoy for an optimal smartphone to drone communications. If your underwater adventures leads you to the full 150-meter depths, you can easily upgrade to the longer cable.

Bottom Line

Blueye’s underwater drone has been engineered to tackle some of the toughest seas and comes equipped with camera technology that illuminates the murkiest of waters. With a 15% discount offered to early adopters, the $3,000 price tag will get you a durable mini-sub that can thrust itself down to 150 meters (492 feet). Ideal for the professional that wants to conduct an underwater inspection without hiring a diver and super fun for the drone hobbyist/fisherman who wants to explore the environment below their favorite fishing spot.

Source: Blueye Robotics