The Trident underwater drone in action. Photo: Trident

In the past few years, drones have totally revolutionised action sports filming. Aerial shots which used to require a helicopter, a skilled pilot and a production budget equal to a small African nation's GDP have become affordable, and are now commonplace even in amateur edits.

Now two Berkley-based entrepreneurs are hoping their latest invention will do the same for underwater shots. They've built on the early prototypes they launched four years ago to create a commercially available underwater drone, the Trident.

The Trident drone in action. Photo: Trident

Launched on Kickstarter just a few days ago, it's safe to say the Trident has generated a lot of buzz - the project reached its modest $50,000 (£32,000) funding goals in the first five minutes. It's since gone on to raise more than 10 times that amount and counting.

It's easy to see why people are excited - imagine the kind of surfing or diving shots you could get with one of these? And what about the potential for searching out fish, inspecting damaged boat hulls or exploring shipwrecks without even having to go underwater?

After all the earliest prototypes were (as they explain in this TED Talk) in fact designed for treasure hunting.

But it's not just the function of the drone that's getting people excited, it's the way it does things - the designers are putting a lot of emphasis on how fun the thing is to fly.

"Flying really is the best term," they say, "because that's exactly what it feels like when you're piloting."

Certainly the video footage they've released so far makes it look like the machine can travel at a fair old clip and do some pretty jazzy moves.

The Trident drone breaks the surface. Photo: Trident

While they're not going to be ridiculously cheap right away (the first Tridents shipping in November 2016 will cost $1,199) it looks like there's already a load of people who can't wait to get their hands on one.

So I'm sure we can expect to see incredible through the wave follow-cam shots of surfers cropping up in videos very soon.

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