This DIY underwater camera drone went to Botswana to film hippos in the Okavango Delta

by Felix Esser

posted Monday, July 28, 2014 at 12:35 PM EDT

These days, it seems like everybody is crazy about camera-equipped aerial drones such as the DJI Phantom series. And while we probably all agree that multicopters are great for achieving beautiful aerial video footage, it seems that the "other direction" on the vertical axis is getting much less attention than it deserves.

Because let's be honest, how often have you read about underwater videography recently? Probably not a lot. That's because there aren't really a lot of remote controlled underwater cameras out there, at least not with price tags that would make them attractive to consumers. So, what to do when you want to go to Botswana to make a video of hippos in the Okavango Delta?

Unless you find a wealthy financier who's willing to invest a lot of money into expensive equipment, you'll have to build your own underwater camera drone from scratch. Which is exactly what the people of Earth Touch did for a recent wildlife documentary on hippos living in Botswana's Okavango Delta.

What do you need to build your own underwater camera drone? According to the BTS video you can watch below, what you need is a great idea, a little computer aided design, some readily available parts and of course the knowledge to put it all together. What you'll be rewarded with is a the underwater equivalent of a multicopter drone.

Earth Touch doesn't reveal the amount of time it took them to build their underwater camera, but looking at the footage that's included in the BTS video, it seems that it's been worth the effort. Even though you don't see a lot of the actual hippos due to the turbid water, a diver couldn't possibly get that close unless he wanted his arms being chewed on.

If you'd like to see more from Earth Touch, you can visit their YouTube channel as well as their website Earth Touch News.

(via Fstoppers)