Meet the Splash Drone 3, the latest drone from SwellPro. It’s fully waterproof, and while it can’t quite swim, it can float, which is pretty neat. It’s actually an updated edition of the original Splash Drone, which the company released two years ago, but this model adds a redesigned gimbal with a new 4K camera, stronger motors, and an improved flight controller. SwellPro launched a Kickstarter campaign for the device launched this week, and it’s already raked in quite a few orders.
The Splash Drone 3 comes in two models — the Auto, which can be controlled by a mobile app, offers a “follow me” feature, and the aforementioned gimbal system with a 4K camera; and the Fisherman, which has a fixed camera, but offers the ability to carry an item up to 2.5 pounds and release it remotely. (In a fishing setting, SwellPro imagines using it to drop bait or fly a life vest to someone.)
While the bright orange color scheme may give the Splash Drone 3 a toy-like appearance, it’s meant to be serious hardware with an equally serious price tag: early-bird pricing starts at at $1,149 for the Fisherman (estimated to ship in August) and $1,399 for the Auto (estimated to ship in July). Despite the crowdfunded nature of the project, SwellPro is an existing company with a history of actually selling drones, which should help assuage Kickstarter doubts. That said, always use your best judgement when backing.