So far, most of the funding for the Naviator has come from the U.S. Navy, which hopes to use the technology for search-and-rescue operations, locating underwater mines, and conducting at-sea fleet inspections.
But the Naviator team also sees commercial applications, such as bridge inspections, data collection, and mapping. The team is currently working on a new design that will have a seven-foot wingspan and be able to carry payloads more than three pounds. Benyo predicts the Naviator will hit the commercial market less than a year.
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