Jun 3, 2015 | By Alec

It’s hardly a secret that 3D printers and drone technology are an excellent combination; it has come to a point where there are more 3D printed drones and quadcopters out there than you can count, but there’s definitely room for one more: the AguaDrone. Why? Because it has certain qualities that the current ensemble of 3D printed drones and quadcopters are lacking. Not only is it waterproof, but due to a number of functions that include a WiFI signal-based Sonar Fish Finder, it is a fantastic option for fishing enthusiasts and rescue services.

This fascinating machine, which has just launched a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter, has been developed by the San Diego-based fishing veteran Daniel Marion. In many ways, the AguaDrone is the logical result of Daniel’s passions, as he has been fishing and playing with remote controlled planes for more than 51 years. ‘Now it is 2015 and I have had two fishing tackle shops and hold two patents for fishing products, one for a roofing vent and four pending for a drone. (one of my fishing patents landed a state record smallmouth bass In Arizona in 1988),’ he says.

First Prototype with UFO Dome

And now, with the AguaDrone, he has developed the first ever drone specifically for use by fishermen and rescue services working at sea. ‘I have put this drone together with fishermen and hobbyists in mind to have something more than just a drone that flies around and do nothing but ‘’fly around’’,’ he writes on his website. What’s more, this 3D printed drone is already fully functional, but Daniel is turning to Kickstarter to find the funding to bring it to the people.

Of course, Kickstarter campaigns are a little difficult to predict when they kick off, but we have a pretty good feeling about this one. Even though the campaign will run until 16 July, it seems to have all the elements needed to appeal to the fishing community. As Daniel explains, AguaDrone is the first waterproof drone in the world with a number of sea-based functions through a series of interchangeable pods. ‘AguaDrone offers the first and only wireless Sonar Pod that sends a wireless signal to your cell phone or I-Pad and instantly turns your AguaDrone into a Fish Finder!’ he writes.

The Sonar add-on.

This makes it perfect for effective fishing up to a depth of 120 ft, and even for finding out the depth of the water you are traversing. The drone also has an operational range of 320 ft. ‘AguaDrone also offers other Pod Accessories like the Line Flyer Pod which is a payload release. Hook your fishing line in the Pod and fly your bait out past casting range when fishing from the shore and drop your bait remotely in the water.’ Finally, the 3D printed AguaDrone also includes a waterproof HD camera accessory.

The AguaDrone in action.

As Daniel explains, the current drone is 3D printed in a compounded blend of Polycarbonate and ABS. ‘The PC contributes impact and heat distortion resistance, while the ABS contributes process ability and chemical stress resistance. The top clear half rounded dome is made of polycarbonate and is elevated above the quad so once the controller and GPS are mounted to the underside of the clear dome, the parts do not crowd the inside of the quad frame,’ he writes. If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, the development team aims to use the same materials in an injection molding manufacturing process. This specific combination also ensures that the frame remains waterproof, while all the wires are sealed in pockets. Meanwhile, the software for the AguaDrone is compatible with all common operating systems, while it will hold a charge for up to four hours of use.

While drones typically try to differentiate through appearance, the AguaDrone clearly does so through a series of very useful functions for fishing enthusiasts, though rescue services will can also benefit from the waterproof nature of this drone. It would therefore be hardly surprising if the AguaDrone becomes a big success. If you’re thinking about getting your hands on one of these interesting drones, go to their Kickstarter page here. A pledge of just $399 will be enough to get your very on AguaDrone. The only question is: will they succeed in raising the ambitious sum of $150,000?



Posted in 3D Printing Applications


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LongJohn wrote at 8/18/2015 3:19:10 PM:

Looks like a Vexilar T-pod and sonar software to me .... or I should say it looks like my Vexilar T-pod and software ($129.99) to me .....

Tarjei K wrote at 6/18/2015 9:57:44 AM:

$699 will get you the drone and the fish scout pod. $399 only gives you two pods, but no drone.

Scimtar wrote at 6/4/2015 9:53:27 AM:

WOW another copycat waterproof quad. Its' SOOOO easy to see who you copied. Why don't you try to do something original. Too many 3D printers out there wasting PVC wire.

Kirk T wrote at 6/3/2015 6:42:41 PM:

Actually, you need a pledge of at least $699 to get the Aguadrone, and that doesn't even include the SONAR attachment!! GOOD LUCK!!

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