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The Seasam drone autonomously follows divers and performs underwater tasks

The Seasam drone autonomously follows divers and performs underwater tasks

The Seasam by Notilo Plus can function as an autonomous underwater drone or as a semi-autonomous remote-controlled vehicle.

Manufactured by the French company Notilo Plus dealing with marine technologies, an underwater drone Seasam first appeared on the market in 2019. He recently gained attention when he appeared in the horror movie The Deep House, in which a pair of scuba divers explore an underwater haunted house … and yeah, that’s a cool premise for the movie.

Seasam is able to wirelessly track and record HD video material of its diving user. It does this through a combination of acoustic technology and computer vision.

From a distance of even several dozen meters, it is able to track the acoustic signals emitted by the control unit carried by the user. This allows you to find a person even at night or in conditions of poor visibility. When it gets close enough, the drone uses the built-in 1080p (30fps) camera and visual recognition system to actually detect the diver. During this time, it uses its own sonar system to detect and avoid obstacles.

Video material and other data recorded by Seasam are automatically sent to the Notilo Cloud platform

The control unit is also used to send commands / acoustic signals to Seasam. Although the user cannot control the aircraft properly, they can adjust the distance / angle, turn on the headlights, and start or stop recording. Additionally, it can be positioned to move in front of it (to follow it), circle around divers when they stop, stay stationary, emerge on its own or approach divers so they can grab it and manually point it at what they want to film.

Like iBubble, the Seasam can be remotely operated from the surface. This can be done by connecting it to a long coiled communication cable. The user then uses a tablet-equipped handheld remote to control it and watch his video in real time. Using the same visual recognition technology it uses to track divers, Seasam (but not iBubble) can then be instructed to hold targets such as ship hull sections, docks, or underwater structures to move around – or with them. if they are mobile.

In the case of Seasam, another remote control option is to use a motorized miniature surface vessel known as the Navigator. It is connected to the drone with a shorter cable and wirelessly communicates with the operator via Wi-Fi. This means that the cable only needs to be slightly longer than the required diving depth of the drone.

Additionally, since the Navigator is able to determine Seasam’s underwater location relative to itself, it is able to provide GPS coordinates for anything the drone detects. While iBubble needs to record user-supplied GoPro footage, Seasam uses an integrated camera for both navigation and video recording.

Seasam specification

Basic technical specification of the Seasam underwater drone:

Unlike iBubble, most of its hardware and software are upgradeable – for example, it can be equipped with a 4-hour battery, a 4K camera or 10,000 lumen lights, and has a holder at the top for third-party sensors and other devices.

Prices for the Seasam start at € 12,000 (approximately $ 13,623).

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source: Notilo Plus | edgeROV | New Atlas