Feature Focus: iBubble’s acoustic technology

Feature Focus: iBubble’s acoustic technology

“iBubble is the first autonomous submarine wireless drone”

This sentence is what really defines iBubble! We are often asked this question from our community: how can it be wireless under water?

Wireless does not mean that iBubble randomly floats in the water. It’s quite the contrary! iBubble is able to keep a set distance and to perform complex maneuvers without losing track of the diver it follows. One of the secrets of this technical feat is the acoustic technology of iBubble.

The hydrophones

If you have seen iBubble from up close, you probably noticed the four small black protuberances around the drone. These parts actually hide the acoustic sensors of iBubble, called hydrophones. These are at the heart of iBubble’s acoustic technology. They are receivers allowing our underwater drone to capture the acoustic signal emitted by the transmitter at the end of the remote – and to locate it.

In less technical terms, iBubble’s hydrophones are his ears! Thanks to the sound emitted by the remote, the drone is able to know where the diver is and to orientate itself in relation to the latter. It’s like playing hide-and-seek blindfolded: using the sounds around you to find the others!


Acoustic tracking

Having 4 sensors allows iBubble to better track sounds underwater in comparison to a diver. With these, it computes both the distance and direction of the acoustic signal to accurately determine the area where the diver is. Repeat that several times a second!

But of course, iBubble’s technology does not rely entirely on acoustics. We will explain all of this in our next Focus on Friday!