Chasing Dory Underwater Drone Review

Underwater drones? Yes, there are. The Far Eastern manufacturer Chasing has launched its newest “Chasing Dory underwater drone.” Our test shows what this inexpensive underwater drone, which was primarily developed for individual users, can do. And of course: If you want to watch a real shark swimming, you should probably do so in the zoo. But, with the latest drone from Chasing you can definitely film up-close such a specimen.

There are some flying camera drones for sale. What these flying quadcopters have in common is that you can take really breathtaking videos or photos from a bird’s eye view. Thanks to numerous sensors, assistance systems, and artificial intelligence, even without any special skills in handling RC models. In the industrial complex, these aircraft enable an almost unbelievable number of applications such as reconnaissance, maintenance, surveying, and even rescue missions – cost-effectively, efficiently, and quickly. The possibilities are numerous and have undreamt-of potential.

But did you know that there are also drones that perform similar tasks in the water?

Chasing-Innovation – manufacturer of underwater drones

Since April 2016, the Far Eastern manufacturer Chasing has also been tapping into the element of water with its innovative products. The company was founded in Shenzhen, China. This with the declared goal of being a leading company in the production of underwater drones. In addition to research and development, production and sales also belong to the young company’s competencies, which in the meantime already employs around 100 people.

By winning the Red Dot Product Design Award in 2019, the company has moved into technology enthusiasts’ focus. The product “Gladius Mini” which has been considered a milestone in this product line ever since.

In September 2019, the Chasing Dory Underwater Drone was launched. A comparatively inexpensive underwater drone, which primarily aims to motivate individual users for the underwater world. Because we like the product so much, we are happy to present it here.

Chasing Dory underwater drone – Package contents and requirements.

The Chasing Dory underwater drone comes elegantly packed. But as is well known, it is the inner values that count. The Chasing Dory underwater drone comes with the actual diving equipment with its permanently installed lithium polymer battery. With its capacity of 4800 mAh, dives of up to one hour can be realized. This will give you a lot of time to discover the underwater world. The maximum diving depth is 15 m. That is much deeper than the “normal” diver usually dives.

The drone can be recharged in a few easy steps with the included power supply unit without any additional accessories. At 1.8 amps this takes a maximum of three hours. A simple LED indicates with green color when the battery is fully charged. A 25-meter cable and a WiFi buoy are also included.

The Chasing Dory underwater drone is connected to the buoy via cable. The buoy transmits the image via WiFi signal to the smartphone, and the control commands back to the drone. Simple and correspondingly reliable. The control and the display of the video transmission are, as already mentioned, either via a Smartphone or a tablet. Or more precisely: via an app that has to be downloaded to a smartphone or tablet. There is both an iOS app for iPhones/iPads (iOS 9.0 and later) and Android devices (Android 5.0 and later). The installation is – as usual for smartphone apps – accessible and works really very intuitively.

The Chasing Dory Underwater Drone is ready to go really fast: Connect the underwater drone to the floating buoy with a cable, connect the drone to the cell phone via WLAN, start the chasing app, and a trip of discovery can begin.

But now off into the water.

We made our first diving attempts with the Chasing Dory Underwater Drone in a quiet section of the Columbia River. The response when diving down is a little sluggish at first. Still, as soon as the whole drone is under the water surface, the steering becomes more agile, and the small “submarine” can be steered easily.

However, the existing residual current was disturbing, mostly if you wanted to shot a video or just take a photo. As soon as you take your finger off the controls, the drone is driven away. This disturbs a little when discovering the underwater world. It also requires a bit of practice to operate the device with the virtual sticks. You must not take your left thumb off the smartphone for a moment. Otherwise, the stick position may shift. The optionally available game stick for the smartphone can help here.

The first test in a quiet section of the Columbia River. Everything is ready for the first dive. The pulse rises a bit! Let’s go …

If you want to invest a little more money, you will be pleased with the handheld transmitter. Real sticks allow a more sensitive control experience. This was already the case with many other drones.

Not really recommendable, by the way, is diving through accumulations of mud and diving near plants. Both can block the steering motors, which forces you to come to the surface. Not much can happen unless the drone is in a strong flow at that time. In such a case, it could drift off.

Basically, however, it is easy to take precautions for such cases. We simply secured the buoy additionally with a rope. This way, the diving equipment can be retrieved manually at any time, and you do not have to go swimming to retrieve the unmaneuverable drone. Depending on the outside temperature, this would not be too bad.

The optional handheld transmitter connects to the smartphone via Bluetooth. It can be marked in the app and thus used. It could not be simpler.

We chose stagnant water for the second dive and included the optional hand transmitter in the test equipment. This can be easily connected to the smartphone via Bluetooth. It only needs to be activated in the app and is then ready for use.

Important: The device must be selected in the app. This makes the control system much more precise, and the diving equipment is more comfortable to pilot. This makes the Chasing Dory Underwater Drone maximum fun. During our second test in Weston Lake, Dory was able to demonstrate its full potential.

Chasing Dory Underwater Drone: our conclusion

There are really many exciting and unexpected things to discover in the water. The battery life of one hour turns into an entertaining trip into an undreamt-of versatile underwater world. The existing LED spotlights provide more light even at great depths. 

All in all, the Chasing Dory Underwater Drone is an exciting piece of technology for hobby divers who do not want to or cannot dive with fins and oxygen containers. The smartphone app offers exciting additional functions to edit videos and pictures and share them via social media. In this way, family and friends can be kept up to date on research results and exciting discoveries at all times. A really cool device for entertaining hours at the lake.

And if you’re already heading to the lake: Don’t forget your swimming trunks! Then you’ll still be cool when the drone has to go back to the charging station.

Speaking of cool: It is certainly not cool to operate the Dory in protected areas and nature reserves. As with all drones, this is not allowed.

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