Japanese construction giant Kajima Corp. announced May 9 that it has developed a waterproof drone which can float on the water to survey underwater ecology and topography. The new UAV, “SWANS” can shoot both aerial and underwater photographs and transmit the data in real-time, which enables to survey a broader area in shorter period of time than a conventional measure by a diver. The company intends to take advantage of the new technology in a research of revitalization of coral colonies near Japanese southern island Okinawa.
860 mm-wide SWANS weighing four kilograms was fabricated based on a Nagoya-based Pro Drone’s small UAV. It can float on water with the buoyant rotors and core, shooting videos and still images by a high-resolution 4K camera as well as ultrasonic sensor measuring depth of water and temperature.
An operation test of the drone was conducted in the sea surrounding Kerama Islands, which proved its capability of identifying species of coral and distribution in the area. It was said to be the first effort to monitor coral colonies by a drone both in the air and on the water. (2018/05/10)