The PowerRay UUV comes from Beijing-based drone manufacturer PowerVision, makers of the PowerEgg UAV that we saw last August. While the Ray officially debuted back at CES in January, a technical issue with their display (read: their tank sprung a leak) prevented the company from showing off the device in its natural environment.

However, at the company’s launch party at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco this week, we were afforded a close up view of the new drones. While I didn’t get to operate one myself, the Rays looked to be quite seaworthy. They quietly moved through the aquarium exhibit without leaving much of a wake or perturbing the occupants, who seemed to take little notice.

My primary concern with the PowerRay is its 50 – 70 meter umbilical control cord, which seems like it could easily tangle itself around underwater obstacles. I asked PowerVision USA CEO, Chih-Che Tsai, about the potential hazard and he explained that the company is already working on a solution for the issue. Tsai suggests one solution is to remotely disconnect the cord, allowing the drone to float back up to the surface, but there’s no current timeline for its release. Continue reading about the PowerRay.

(Source: Andrew Tarantola,  via Engadget)