About this project
At Fathom, we're a group of outdoor enthusiasts, scuba divers, filmmakers, and tech nerds who are passionate about underwater exploration. To share that passion with others, we developed the Fathom One—an HD underwater drone that’s easy to use, highly portable, and fully modular, all for under $600. That's less than half the price of its closest competition.
Here are just a few of Fathom One's features:
Ease of use is something we obsess over at Fathom. You can build the most capable product in the world, but unless everyone can easily pick it up and use it, it's not worth much in our eyes. That's why we promise you'll be able to become a pro at piloting the Fathom One the first time you take it out.
It's simple, but it's also versatile. At the heart of the Fathom One lies its modular thruster attachment system. All three of the Fathom One's thrusters (two on the sides + one on the rear) clip on and off, allowing you to easily customize, upgrade, or pack your device. This also means you don't have to limit yourself to the thrusters we provide. If you want to develop custom thrust modules, go ahead and design them for a completely unique experience. We plan to roll out an entire line of thrusters and accessories, but we know the real innovation happens when you, the explorer, build your own.
The Fathom One also features an integrated rail system that allows you to attach action cameras, extra lights, and additional sensors with ease. We can't wait to see some of the setups you create using our platform as a foundation. No matter what the application, the Fathom One can be tailored to fit your needs.
Fathom One comes with a 100-foot line that tethers it to a custom floating buoy, allowing for easy retrieval. Our buoy creates its own WiFi network, enabling wireless piloting and live HD video streaming to any Android or iOS smart device via our app within a 100 foot radius. That's down to 100 feet deep from up to 100 feet away, standard.
Additionally, the Fathom One’s onboard battery enables up to one full hour of run time on a single charge, helped by the underwater drone’s ability to suspend itself with neutral buoyancy (unlike aerial drones which need much more power to hover). Simply connect the provided power cable to the drone’s tether port and plug it in to recharge. The battery is non-removable, ensuring the Fathom One's water-tight seal isn't compromised by swapping batteries.
One of the best parts of using the Fathom One is sharing what you see with your friends. Simply record and upload your underwater footage to social media using the Fathom app so no matter where you go, your friends won't miss out on the action.
We also realize that many of you may prefer using a physical controller (rather than touchscreen piloting via the Fathom mobile app), which is why our app enables integration of Bluetooth gaming controllers to provide a high precision piloting experience.
With thrusters removed, the Fathom One's hull measures only 8'' x 6'' x 4'', making it the most portable underwater remotely operated vehicle (ROV) in the world. Easily pack it in a backpack for a day hike, or tuck it in a carry-on to take on vacation. By removing the thrusters, there's nothing to snag or break in transit.
Although we plan to offer special carrying cases in the near future, the Fathom One is designed to be thrown in bags you already have, making it easier than ever to transport your drone. Its small size also means you have more room for the things you need for your expedition, whether that's a day on the boat or a trek through the Amazon.
If you're still not sold on the Fathom One's portability, check out this handy comparison chart to put things in perspective:
Because Fathom One is so customizable, it can be used for just about any application you can imagine. Here are just a few ideas to get you inspired:
We knew from the beginning that we wanted to make an underwater drone that anyone could afford. That's why — after two years of research and development — we're proud to announce the full retail price of a Fathom One drone will be $599. Because of this, the Fathom One sets a new standard in bang for your buck. Here's how we did it:
A Streamlined Design - Something we noticed over and over was that every consumer ROV on the market today is completely over-engineered for the average individual. We give you the ability to add the accessories you want without paying for them in the base unit if you don't want or need them.
A New Manufacturing Process - We designed the Fathom One drone to be incredibly simple to manufacture and assemble, cutting down on labor costs associated with the device.
Re-engineered Components - To ensure we deliver an extremely reliable yet inexpensive product, we've ditched the hobbyist components and developed our own. This means that everything that goes into the Fathom One has been optimized for reliability and underwater performance.
We need your help to bring underwater exploration to the masses, so here are a variety of rewards to choose from when you back the Fathom One:
Stay in the Loop ($1) - Stay up to date on the latest happenings at Fathom. You'll get exclusive newsletter and backer updates, first-hand news about product discounts, and a big thank you from the Fathom team.
Fathom T-Shirt ($25) - Just because we're a high tech brand doesn't mean we have bad style. For $25 you can choose between a timeless classic - the basic logo tee - or our limited edition "Embrace the Deep" tee. No matter which you pick, you'll be looking good.
Super Early Bird Fathom One ($399) - Includes a Fathom One underwater drone, WiFi buoy, and 100 feet of tether for $200 below retail price. (Limit 200 backers)
Early Bird Fathom One ($499) - Includes a Fathom One underwater drone, WiFi buoy, and 100 feet of tether for $100 below retail price. (Limit 200 Backers)
The Fathom One ($599) - Includes a Fathom One underwater drone, WiFi buoy, and 100 feet of tether.
Buddy Set ($1,099) - Buddy Set backers will receive two Fathom One drones, two WiFi buoys, and two 100 foot spools of tether for $100 off retail price. Trust us when we say that underwater exploration is incredibly fun, but it's even better with a friend.
Fathom One Swarm ($2,499) - This tier is for those that intend to do some serious exploring. For less than you can purchase one of our competitor's units, you can have five Fathom One drone sets for $500 off retail. With five drones investigating the same area, you won't miss much.
Putting your trust in us is a big step. We know that. So let us introduce ourselves, the co-founders of Fathom.
John Boss (Center) - John is the lead designer of the Fathom One. For two years he's dedicated himself to making underwater exploration easier than ever. With a degree in biomechanical engineering, he has years of experience as a scuba diver, boater, STEM education advocate, and entrepreneur. John brings a unique skill set to the team, helping bridge the gap between product innovation and business development.
Danny Vessells (Left) - Danny heads up marketing and customer outreach at Fathom. After coming up with the original concept for the Fathom One, he brought John and Matt on board to help make his dream a reality. To effectively market such a unique product, he combines his creative and analytical skill set to create promotional material that truly separates Fathom from the competition. He also plays a key role in developing partnerships that will help the company grow in the future.
Matt Gira (Right) - Matt is a jack of all trades when it comes to entrepreneurship. He handles business development, financials, partnerships, and operations. Whatever it is with Fathom, Matt knows what's going on. He finds ways to improve the business before we even get there, helping to prepare us for the future.
Because we know we can't go it alone, we've aligned ourselves with world-class partners to bring the Fathom One to life:
Edgewater Automation and Development - With a focus on electro-mechanical devices, Edgewater Development’s team specializes in taking ideas from concept to market as well as improving process and products. Their ability to build and test prototypes, alpha and beta test units, and start-up production lines enables them to provide solutions specific to our needs. Edgewater engineers also have specific experience building deep-ocean ROVs, as well as having experience on projects like the Deep Flight Super Falcon.
GR Current Xcelerate Program - We knew we could build a great product, but to be successful on Kickstarter, we knew we also had to have a rock-solid business model. The crew at GR Current helped us take a fledgling idea and turn it into a sustainable business. Without them, we wouldn't be where we are today.
We live on a planet that’s 71% water, yet we’ve only explored 10% of it. That’s why we created the Fathom One — to make underwater exploration accessible and affordable for everyone. We're so excited that we have the opportunity to share the Fathom One with you, the Kickstarter community, to help us make this dream a reality.
Thank you for your support!
Risks and challenges
Developing any hardware product is hard work, especially one that's designed to handle some of the harshest environments on Earth. Similarly, we've seen over and over how crowdfunding campaigns with even the best intentions end up not delivering on time - or even at all. That's why we've not only brought on experts in manufacturing, mechanical and electrical design, and software development to facilitate smooth transitions from design to manufacturing to fulfillment, but also interviewed various Kickstarter backed companies, learning the biggest challenges in fulfilling your orders.
By partnering with Edgewater Design and Automation, we're able to finish not only the design of the Fathom One drone, but also begin production locally in St. Joseph, Michigan to ensure we deliver the quality you expect, on schedule.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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