Drone News Roundup: Custom FPV Underwater Drone, Super Long Drone Surfing Shot, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
29 September 2022

This week we’re covering a video featuring shots captured in Costa Rica by a custom FPV drone that can go underwater and fly in the air.

We’re also covering a single-shot drone video of a surfer catching a super long wave, a beautiful video of aerial landscape shots captured in the west and southwest, a recent study that finds revenue growing for drone service providers, and a special robotic arm researchers made that attaches to a drone for the collection of rare plant samples on cliffs and other dangerous environments.

Now let’s get to the links!

Custom FPV Drone Flies Underwater in Video Shot in Costa Rica

Snake in the Grass Drone Dailies - from Episode 4

Last week we shared an FPV video from drone pilot Russell Spurlock of Furious Pugs, which featured B-roll footage shot in a junkyard for Top Gear America. This week we’re sharing another video from Spurlock made in Costa Rica. The video opens underwater, with a shot of a sunken treasure chest, before shooting up into the air to reveal a small waterfall. A moment later, the drone dives back into the water and glides up to a sea turtle. The footage was shot for a reality T.V. show Spurlock worked on called Snake in the Grass. The underwater shots were made with a custom rig he built that can go both underwater and in the air. Follow the link below to learn more about the rig and how these shots were captured.


Drone Surfing Video Shows Super Long Wave in Hawaii

Longest Wave Ever Ridden at Uluwatu Bali Indonesia

This drone video shot in Uluwatu, a world-class surf break located off the coast of Bali, features a single shot of a surfer riding an incredibly long wave. If you look closely, you’ll see a jet ski zooming off in the background just as the surfer gets onto the wave, indicating that the wave may be much bigger—and more dangerous—than comes across in the video, possibly due to the height of the drone contorting the perceived height of the wave. According to Mr. Uluwatu, the YouTuber who posted the video, this is the longest wave that’s been ridden at this surfing spot. Whether that’s true or not, it is a pretty impressive ride.


“Forgotten Landscape” Video Features Beautiful Aerial Shots from the American West

Forgotten landscape

This video from content creator Nathan McBride features some really stunning drone footage captured in the American west and southwest with a DJI Mavic 2 Pro and a DJI Mavic Air 2, along with a Mavic 2 Pro polar pro filter. According to McBride, the footage in the video was shot on a recent trip when he went out west “to fly our drones and shoot some stills for some possible prints.” We’d say the trip was a success.


Revenue Growing for Drone Service Providers, Recent Study Finds

Credit: DroneAnalyst

A recent study from the DroneAnalyst finds that revenue for drone service providers is on the rise. The report has annual data going back to 2017. For 2021, it shows a 20% dip in the service providers making under $50K a year with a corresponding 13% rise in those making $50K-$100K a year and a 6% rise in those making over $100K a year. A related trend is that service providers are starting to get larger—while there are still plenty of sole proprietors and teams smaller than five out there providing drone services, large service providers are definitely growing in number.


Drone with Robotic Arm Collects Rare Plant Samples in Kauai

The Cutting Edge of Plant Conservation

Researchers have developed a custom, remotely-operated robotic arm called the Mamba that’s made to be suspended from a drone for collecting rare and endangered plants. The Mamba is about the length of a fishing rod and it has eight propellers and a cutting mechanism. This new arm is revolutionizing the conservation work scientists do on high cliffs and other extreme habitats, including work done on cliffs in Kauai that would otherwise be inaccessible. The Mamba was made in a collaboration between scientists at the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG) in Hawaii, engineers at Outreach Robotics, and researchers from the University of Sherbrooke in Quebec, Canada.


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