Last week was CE Week in New York, and one of the most interesting projects we got the chance to see was the Ziphius aquatic drone.
Ziphius is, for all intents and purposes, a robotic toy that you can place in any body of water, be it a pond at a local park or your backyard swimming pool. Ziphius's most attractive feature is its tilting onbaord camera, which streams 720p video to any iOS or Android device over Wi-Fi (it can record 1080p and store the video for you to watch later).
The rover is also quite a nimble piece of tech, all things considered. The Ziphius can travel up to 6 miles per hour and its battery lasts for about an hour. It is also equipped with a Raspberry Pi and an ATMEGA microcontroller. It has an LED flashlight so it can be seen at night, and its design allows it to stay upright at all times, even in choppy waters.
Edmundo Nobre, CEO of Azorean Aquatic Technologies, he told TechHive that the company originally planned to ship Ziphius by the end of the year, but the production timetable has since been pushed back to early 2014.
We also asked whether or not Ziphius would be open source to allow other developers to create their own software to work with the drone. Although Azorean Aquatic Technologies doesn't plan on including that functionality with the first model, Nobre did sound very interested in releasing the SDK for the second rendition of Ziphius.
For the foreseeable future, though, Azorean will develop the apps for Ziphius, but the clear focus of the conversation is the hardware. Even though the prototype we saw was not quite seaworthy, nearly everything highlighted in the Kickstarter video worked in some fashion. Hopefully we will see even more videos of Ziphius in action as it nears release.