As a drone pilot, sometimes you get a little bit or more adventurous and take your drone flying out on a sea or lake. It is quite normal to get a jittery heart when you go on such adventures. Your heart gets shaky and you get scared. It is quite possible too that your drone might crash, and in most cases, when that happens, what you do is go back to your car without your drone. It is not the wisest thing to do to plunge into an ocean or body of water to retrieve a drone that is probably sinking faster than the Titanic. This can make for a very sad outcome because you end up leaving it behind.
How Can Drones Land on Water?
For the sake of peace of mind and saving of our drones and to also enable safe landings of our drones, Indiana startup DroneRafts has deviced a means called the WaterStrider, which is a lightweight flotation device especially designed for the DJI Phantom 3 machine (though more DJI copters may be included soon.) This will go a long way in making sure your drone can land on its feet and float on water.
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The device is named after the water insect that has the ability to walk on water and it weighs 300 grams and is made with a frame that has buoyant landing pods at the end of its four splayed legs.
The design team is aware that “some of the most beautiful places to film have the worst options for takeoff and landing,” the design team is creating awareness of the device as not only a drone flotation device but also as an accessory that enables “fearless landings anywhere.”
When you try to see the difference between the WaterStrider and the Phantom’s not-so-large landing gear, you will see how much help it would be in helping your aircraft with better touchdowns on very rugged terrains or even sudden landing on any kind of surface.
The additional weight might be the reason for the slow speed your machine is going or why it is unstable in windy conditions, but as long as going at very high speed isn’t top priority, in good conditions suitable for flying, the WaterStrider will be a reliable option to settle for in cases like flying over water bodies or if you have the intentions to land on very rough grounds.
It is also possible for you to be out with your drone doing a shoot of your gorgeous environment or beautiful footage of nature—without one of those bulbous pods to appear in shot. According to DroneRafts, this is likely to only happen in “particularly aggressive maneuvers,” so you shouldn’t have any issues and also have pod-free shots as long as you’re a smooth operator with a steady hand.
The WaterStrider is looking to raise funds on Kickstarter, and if you desire one of those kits, you would have to pledge $179, which is cheaper than the expected retail price by $60. If in the next 30 days, the goal of raising $22,500 is achieved, global shipping would commence this summer.