After Spending Months Submerged, This Drone Can Launch From the Ocean

Michele Debczak

From remote villages to the tops of skyscrapers, there aren't many places a drone can't reach. Now, there's a chance you may even run into one while scuba diving in the ocean.

As reported by Popular Science, the CRACUN drone (pronounced Kraken) is a "Corrosion Resistant Aerial Covert Unmanned Nautical System” developed by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. The 3D-printed, watertight craft is designed to stay submerged hundreds of feet beneath the sea for months at a time before eventually breaking through the surface and taking flight.

To keep it protected from the corrosive effects of salt water, parts of the body are coated with a commercial sealant that's commonly used in marine applications. The prototype was able to fly through the air successfully after spending two months underwater.

The research team has yet to reveal the intended applications for such a device, but they say the low production costs “makes it expendable, allowing for the use of large numbers of vehicles for high-risk scenarios.” According to Motherboard, the U.S. secretary of the Navy even went out of his way to praise the project. You can watch the CRACUN launch from the water in the video above.

[h/t Popular Science]

Banner/header images courtesy of JHU Applied Physics Laboratory via YouTube.