If you've ever wanted a Parrot AR Drone that feels more at home in the water than in the air, you'll want to check out the Ziphius Kickstarter campaign. This remote-controlled floating drone just passed its $125,000 goal with less than a day and a half remaining, and is scheduled to go into mass production later this year with backer units shipping in March 2014.
Ziphius is a floating drone, a Raspberry Pi control board, twin propellers, and a 1080p video camera with an LED flashlight, shoved into a lightweight waterproof chassis. It doesn't dive, but the camera sits on a 160-degree rotating axel that can be pointed both above and below the water. The 16GB of on-board storage on the standard model is not removable, but should allow for users to record quite a bit of video during the 1-hour battery life. According to the Kickstarter description, the drone can be controlled from an Android or iOS device via WiFi up to 300 feet away. In case you're wondering, Ziphius takes its name from the scientific designation for the goose-beaked whale.
Like the Sphero, the Ziphius team plans more than just a control app for their little gadget. In addition to the control and recording app, an API for augmented reality games is planned using the Unity 3D engine. Just remember that you phone or tablet probably isn't waterproof - it would be a shame for the drone to watch its owner's gadget (and means of control) sink to the bottom of the ocean in high-definition video.
Hardware backing starts at $199 for the light edition, which has only 4GB of storage and no LED flashlight. Full versions start at $225, with more expensive packages being offered up to $1,450 for a trip to meet the creators on the Azores islands. As usual with crowdfunded campaigns, remember that it's an investment, not a purchase - these things have a nasty habit of coming in very late and not as described.
Source: Ziphius Kickstarter