Hydroswarm’s Drones Could Solve Our Ignorance Of The Oceans

The earth consists of 70% ocean and 30% land. And yet, famously, we know more about the surface of the moon than what lies beneath the waves, because only 5% of the world’s oceans have been explored. This, despite the fact that 95% of the world’s life, energy and resources lies in the sea.

Currently our way of exploring this is by loading a bunch of electronics into something resembling a torpedo (an AUV) which must then explore the vast ocean ranges in a pretty solitary manner. These AUVs are deployed to monitor oil spills and do environmental monitoring, but are pretty expensive, lumbering things which don’t have much intelligence.

What would be much smarter would be a swarm of small, autonomous underwater drones that could live almost constantly underwater, roaming the oceans and performing all these duties practically all the time. Like an Internet of Things for the oceans.

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Enter Hydroswarm, created by MIT PHD student Sampriti Bhattacharyya, who pitched the idea on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF today after being selected from Hardware Alley.

Hydroswarm is an adaptable, smart drone platform for under water explanation. The platforms works with an autonomous drone which lives underwater, dubbed Eve, which can work with multiple other Eve drones to collect data. Eve could operate as a consumer device, a little like an AirDog drone which follows a diver around, which can also upload data to the cloud once it’s on the surface.

Of course, used en mass in a swarm, the applications for Hydroswarm combined with Eve drones could be huge, from the monitoring in oil and gas industry, to environmental monitoring, to defense applications. There are several billion dollar markets right there.

For now Hydroswarm would like to test the product by producing a consumer version, and then move into industrial and commercial versions later.

The startup is still in the early stages, but you can contact them on info@hydroswarm.com