Understanding our oceans is critical to understanding our planet, yet underwater exploration has traditionally been a costly, time-consuming endeavor. Hydrus democratizes oceanic exploration the same way drones democratized flight. The autonomous underwater vehicle (starts at $45,000), which comes with powerful lights, 4k cameras, and an AI image processing system, can descend to a depth of 9,842 feet (3,000 meters), all in a package less than 15 pounds and small enough to fit in carry-on luggage. With no need to rent a special vessel to lower Hydrus overboard, amateurs (with some funding) can easily enter the fray, planning missions from a laptop in minutes.
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