Chinese scientists have created a prototype drone that can move both in the air and underwater. The TJ-FlyingFish is fully autonomous and will be able to operate without human intervention.
Currently in functional prototype form, the TJ-FlyingFish was developed by a team of scientists from China's Shanghai Research Institute for Intelligent Autonomous Systems, Tongji University, and the Unmanned Systems Research Group at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
The 1.63-kg TJ-FlyingFish can hover in the air for six minutes per battery-charge, or move underwater for 40 minutes.
It consists of a central domed body and four arms, each one of which has a propulsion unit at the end. However, each propulsion unit incorporates a special dual-speed gearbox, plus the arm on which it's mounted can independently rotate relative to the rest of the drone.
When the aircraft is in flight, all four of the units are facing upwards and spinning their props at the higher of the two speeds. Once it lands on the water, the units rotate to face downward and then spin at a lower speed, pulling the drone beneath the surface.