Whether you are searching for an enormous cache of gold, or just a good spot to dig for some, the ocean floor is a notoriously challenging and expensive place to explore. However, that could change later this year with the Trident – which is being called “the world’s first low-cost underwater drone.”
While searching for gold off the California coast, engineers Eric Stackpole and David Lang were disappointed when they couldn’t dive deep enough to explore an underwater cave. They wanted to use a remotely operated vehicle (ROV), but there was nothing affordable and accessible on the market. This inspired them to start their company, OpenROV, and sell an underwater drone of their own design. Since the company’s inception, OpenROV has sold more than 3,000 ROV kits that contain parts and open source software that customers can use to build a functioning underwater drone.
This year, OpenROV plans to launch the Trident – a prebuilt drone that is more affordable and simpler to use out-of-the-box. It goes on sale this summer for $1,499. Although the cost is much higher than most metal detectors, the Trident opens up a whole new frontier for prospectors to explore. We won’t be surprised to see an uptick in underwater gold discoveries peppering the news this year!