Chasing M2 could be your personal ROV
When it comes to remote-control “underwater robots,” there are consumer drones at one end of the spectrum, and full-on industrial ROVs (remotely operated vehicles) at the other. The new Chasing M2 ROV, however, appears to fall somewhere between the two.
Made by Chinese firm Chasing Innovation, the aluminum alloy-bodied M2 sits at the top of the company’s lineup. Previous models included the Gladius underwater drone, followed by the smaller and cheaper Gladius Mini, followed in turn by the even smaller and cheaper Dory.
Whereas consumer underwater drones tend to have no more than six vertical/horizontal thrusters, the M2 packs in eight. This provides it with 360-degree maneuverability, allowing it to roll, tilt or turn in any direction, on the spot. Additionally, those thrusters are designed not to suck in debris such as sand or weeds.
The M2 has a top speed of 1.5 meters per second (4.9 ft/s), reportedly runs for 2 to 4 hours per 2.5-hour charge of its removable 2,500-mAh lithium battery, and can dive to a maximum depth of 100 m (328 ft). An included power/communications cable links the ROV to its shore- or boat-based operator – buyers can choose between cable lengths of 100 or 200 meters (656 ft).
Using a smartphone or tablet mounted on the included joystick remote, users can see what the M2 is seeing via its integrated 4K/30fps camera. That camera has an F1.8 152-degree wide-angle lens, a 1/2.3-inch Sony CMOS sensor, and an EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) system. And because things can get pretty dim 100 meters down, the M2 also has two 2,000-lumen LED spotlights – one on either side of the camera.
Video or 12-megapixel photos are recorded onboard the ROV, on a removable SD card.
And for specialized tasks, up to 1.5 kg (3.3 lb) of tools such as additional cameras or lights can be mounted beneath the camera. Chasing even offers an optional grasping arm, for an extra 499 bucks.
The Chasing M2 ROV is available now via the link below, priced at US$2,699 for the 100-m package and $2,899 for the 200-m version.
Dr. Hans C. Mumm