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An underwater experience from the surface

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The Gladius Underwater Drone makes it simple to go below the boat.

By Carly Sisson

A passion for boating means a passion for the water, but as humans, we are unfortunately at a disadvantage when it comes to exploring the world below the surface. Not only is this disappointing to those who wish to venture deep underwater, but it can also present accessibility challenges when your running gear needs to be inspected. The Gladius underwater drone ($1,499-1,799) offers a solution: it can dive up to 328 feet and shoot videos in crystal-clear HD.

Gladius is connected to a towable buoy by a tether, which allows the drone to communicate with the buoy by direct wiring, (as radio waves do not travel well in water). The buoy wirelessly connects to a smartphone remote control by long-range WiFi communications that have a horizontal range of up to 1,640 feet. To control the drone, simply insert your smartphone into a gaming-like controller and experience its four degrees of freedom.

Gladius is powered by polymer lithium batteries, which hold a charge for 3.5 hours and have a 1.5 hour recharge time.

Image optimization provides for 4K-resolution videos without distortion. LED lights on either side of the camera have dimming controls for different shooting conditions. Videos can be streamed directly to your smartphone, and they are also stored on the included SD card. Gladius is naturally buoyant; with a density equal to that of the water, the drone does not sink or float, thereby maintaining stability while shooting both photos and video.


For boaters, the Gladius offers a twofold solution: exploring ocean depths and diagnosing problems that require a unique underwater perspective.