More details emerge on the affordable DiveBot underwater HD video platform


posted Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 4:22 PM EDT


A couple of days ago, we told readers about the DiveBot, a new, affordable remote-control underwater vehicle capable of operating at depths of 500 feet below the surface. At the time, maker F5 Innovations had revealed the basic design, but had yet to announce its supplier for the DiveBot's onboard 720p high-def video camera. Today, both supplier and model of the camera have now been detailed.

The DiveBot's video capture needs -- both for a live view feed, and for recording -- will be catered for with a SeaViewer Sea-Drop 950 color camera. According to its maker, the Sea-Drop 950 is rated as safe to a depth of 1,000 feet below sea level, and is factory-tested in a pressure chamber to this depth. The lens is recessed to prevent damage, and fluted for reduced water resistance, while the electronics compartment is filled with an inert gas to prevent condensation.

The same camera model has been used to film TV programs in the past, including including History Channel's "MonsterQuest." You can see an example in the clip below, part of a search for a giant octopus from the 2008 episode titled "Boneless Horror."

The SeaViewer Sea-Drop 950 was used in the History Channel show "MonsterQuest"; jump to 24 minutes, 54 seconds for its first appearance.

According to the manufacturer, the Sea-Drop camera is sensitive to infrared light, meaning that you can film without disturbing your subject if you provide a suitable IR illuminant. The camera also can operate in either color or black-and-white modes. SeaViewer doesn't provide any information on resolution or focal length, although it does describe the Sea-Drop 950 as having a wide-angle lens. F5 Robotics previously described the camera as allowing 720p HD video shooting.

More details on the DiveBot itself can be found in our earlier news item and on the DiveBot page on crowd-funding site IndieGoGo.

The DiveBot will carry its Sea-Drop 950 camera down to depths of 500 feet.