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New mini underwater drone, called the Gladius Mini, was recently announced. The Mini drone is a more attainable of the larger model, Glaudius Advanced Pro.
The company, Chasing Innovations, developed the Mini in succession to the Advanced version. The Mini, however, is lighter, smaller and cheaper than its predecessor. Additionally, it has some extra features.
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Features shared by both models include a 4K/30fps/12-megapixel camera, dual LED spotlights, and a maximum forward speed of 4 knots (2 meters/6.6 ft per second).
Whereas the Advanced measures 432 x 269 x 112 mm (17 x 10.6 x 4.4 inches) and weighs 3.2 kg (7 lb), the Mini sits at 384 x 224 x 137 mm (15.1 x 8.8 x 5.4 inches) and tips the scales at 2.5 kg (5.5 lb). That said, its maximum dive depth still matches the Advanced’s 100 meters (328 ft).
Footage and photos are recorded on an onboard SD card, plus real-time 720p video is streamed up to a shore- or boat-located reel unit through the Mini’s communications cable.
An iOS/Android app on the user’s smartphone wirelessly communicates with that cable reel via Wi-Fi, displaying a real-time video feed on the phone’s screen – a dual-joystick controller also communicates with the reel, sending commands down to the drone.
There are some differences between the two, however. The Mini, differs, for example, (besides in its size), in the number of thrusters. While the Advanced has four – two for horizontal propulsion and two for vertical – the five-thruster Mini has an extra vertical thruster in the rear, which is claimed to result in increased stability.
Unlike the Advanced, the Mini can be locked at a tilt angle of plus or minus 45 degrees. This means that it can move forward to track a moving subject, for example, remaining tilted up or down while doing so.
By contrast, underwater drones without that feature have to level out flat whenever moving forward.
The main advantage the Advanced version holds over the Mini is the battery – while the Mini lasts underwater for up to 2 hours, the Advanced lasts for up to 3 hours, as reported in newatlas.com.