Underwater drones


Drones in the sea can make for smarter, more efficient fish farming.

That's the premise behind SeaDrone, an underwater robot from startup O-Robotix.

Right now, farmers rely on commercially-trained divers to inspect fish raised on their farms. The divers are expensive (farmers have to employ at least two at a time for safety reasons) and have to record information on paper, which farm managers then have to transcribe.

The drones -- which weigh just 5 kilograms -- are able to capture stable video footage and include sensors that can test for things like pressure, temperature and leaks. They contain a digital logbook so farmers can digitize their operations. The drones can be controlled via tablet and by nonspecialists.

There's a big market, since 50% of the fish that people consume are raised on farms, according to O-Robotix cofounder O-Robotix Eduardo Moreno.

The starting price is $2,699 -- and the first ones are expected to deliver in six months.

First published May 13, 2016: 10:47 AM ET

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