FAQ: Fathom One | The Affordable, Modular, HD Underwater Drone
For the most up-to-date information about the status of our project, check our project updates on Kickstarter!

Why is the Fathom One so much cheaper than existing systems?

The Fathom One’s price is a result of streamlined design, re-engineered components, and new methods for manufacturing underwater robotics systems. When these factors are combined, it allowed the Fathom team to produce a low cost, yet robust system that the average consumer could afford. Streamlined Design - We cut out all the fat of existing systems and only included what you need to get a great piloting experience: A high-def camera module, sensors for depth and heading, custom control board, onboard lithium polymer battery, powerful LED headlights, as well as powerful motors. That being said, because our system is completely modular you have the option to deck-out your system with accessories if you choose to! New Manufacturing Process - For most underwater ROVs, the assembly process is quite labor-intensive. We knew that we had to change this to deliver an affordable product that would also remain incredibly robust. The Fathom One’s reinforced clamshell hull, compact internal electronics stack, and simple modular thrusters ensure the product is one of the easiest to assemble, cutting down on labor costs that go into production. Re-engineered Components - Hobbyist components can be expensive. We knew from the beginning that to give people a reliable and affordable experience, we’d have to develop our own drone hardware. Everything inside the Fathom One is there for a reason, and optimized for underwater performance. Although this hardware isn’t open source, we can’t wait to see what kind of thrusters and accessories you design to make the Fathom One fit your specific application. Last updated: Tue, Aug 30 2016 12:35 am EDT

Why does the Fathom One’s battery last so much longer than aerial drones?

Unlike aerial drones, the Fathom One can take advantage of the water column - instead of constantly running four to six motors to stay suspended, the Fathom One simply floats in place, using only slight motor adjustment to maintain its heading and depth. Last updated: Tue, Aug 30 2016 12:39 am EDT

Why does the Fathom One have to use a wired connection - what’s the tether all about?

The Fathom One has to use a tether because - quite frankly - wireless communication and video transmission through water (at least the depths we’re going to) doesn’t exist yet. However, we see the tether as a huge benefit. If anything happens to your drone at depth, you can simply pull it up by the tether so you don’t lose your $600 investment. We’re also working on tether containment systems that will make it easier than ever to handle all that wire. Stay tuned for more updates on that! Last updated: Tue, Aug 30 2016 12:39 am EDT

How do I get involved with your beta program? I think I’m a good candidate to test the Fathom One pre-release.

We’re happy you’re interested! We’ll be sending out beta applications to interested backers as we close in on launching the beta program in November. We’ll be able to see who’s interested in applying via a backer survey once we close the campaign at the end of September. Last updated: Tue, Aug 30 2016 12:39 am EDT

Shipping Costs

Shipping costs have not been included in your backer pledge. Unfortunately there’s no elegant solution to determining shipping costs before the packaging design is complete. Once complete, you’ll be notified as to how much is owed to ship to your specific location. Thankfully the drone is light and compact, so we’re able to minimize shipping expenses. Last updated: Tue, Aug 30 2016 12:39 am EDT

Why do you need $150,000?

Simply put, starting up a production line for a complex consumer product like this takes significant financial capital. We aren’t going to be assembling these devices in our garage - that’s for sure. Our product design and automation partners have state-of-the-art facilities in which we’ll be manufacturing and assembling each Fathom One, with strict quality standards to ensure each drone will stand up to whatever you have to throw at it. Additionally, we need to complete the final design phase to ensure our products meet industry standards and certification approvals. Last updated: Tue, Aug 30 2016 12:49 am EDT

Why aren't you shipping "Anywhere in the world"?

As a young startup, we need to be cautious in what we can handle. As we've seen with other Kickstarter campaigns, shipping to anywhere in the world is quite the challenge and can cause a lot of problems for fulfillment. These problems being shipping, local laws, customer service, and other logistics. We apologize for the inconvenience, but we're helping to ensure we fulfill our orders successfully. As we grow as a company, we'll be opening up orders to the rest of the world. Last updated: Tue, Sep 6 2016 11:27 am EDT

Shipping Updates

Current Estimated Shipping Date: July 2017

Last Updated At: 09/28/16
BackerKit FAQ

What is BackerKit?

BackerKit is a service that crowdfunded project creators use to keep track of hundreds to tens of thousands of backers—from shipping details, pledge levels, preferences and quantities, whether they have paid or had their card declined, special notes, and everything in between!

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How does BackerKit work?

After the campaign ends, the project creator will send you an email with a unique link to your survey. You can check out a walkthrough of the process here.

How do I update my shipping address?

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I completed the survey, but haven't received my rewards yet. When will they arrive?

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I never received my invitation. How do I complete the survey?

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When will my pledge will be shipped, charged or locked down?

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Can I upgrade or get multiple copies of my pledge?

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