SwellPro’s waterproof “splash drones” were designed primarily for fishermen, but ambitious filmmakers and at least a few clumsy photographers could all benefit from a drone that can shoot above and below the waves.
The SwellPro splash drones come in two different versions: Fisherman and Auto. The entry-level Fisherman was designed for “long fishing line delivery and bait dropping,” and comes equipped with an SAR fishing line release mechanism, waterproof camera, video transmitter, and FPV monitor.
The more expensive Auto version is a bit more filmmaker friendly, and includes a waterproof GoPro gimbal, a fishing line release rig, a ground station, and that same FPV monitor. It was designed, according to SwellPro, “for stabilized aerial filming over the water or in the rain,” and can perform some automatic functions like “mission planning” and “follow-me” via the ground station.
Whichever you pick, what you’re getting looks a little bit like the offspring of a drone and buoy:
For fishermen, this is probably old news. There are, after all, other similar drones you can use for that. But watching the drone transition from shooting below to above water in this review (top) by YouTuber Dustin Dunnill is really impressive.
Even more impressive is the bit at 12:08, where he slams the drone into the ocean surface at full speed. The drone goes underwater, rights itself, and after a quick reset it flies right out.
If you’re a drone enthusiast who is either (a) scared of losing your drone in a lake and not prone to theatrics to save it, or (b) see tons of potential in the ability to transition seamlessly from shooting above to below the water, then you may want to give SwellPro a look.