A local drone start-up will be the only Canadian company to take part in a prestigious global competition to change the way we discover the ocean.

The company is Envirodrone and it specializes in unmanned aerial systems, but its next challenge will be to combine the drones with autonomous underwater vehicles to map the ocean floor.

“Ours is very focused on the environment, we see that as a large market and it's kind of where we're tackling," says Ryan Cant, founder and CEO of Envirodrone.

His newest endeavor won't be in the sky for long, it will spend most of its time underwater.

Envirodrone will be competing against 20 other teams from around the world at the Shell Ocean Discovery X-Prize Competition this coming fall.

It's a global competition to push boundaries of existing ocean tech to create safer, faster ways of exploring the deep sea.

“This is a kind of unique comp to take a challenging problem, putting together the best tech to solve a problem and create an innovative solution," says Cant.

Envirodrone will deploy a drone from the water's edge, flying over the ocean carrying an autonomous underwater vehicle.

“Once it approaches the survey zone, it will detach in flight and it will drop down to the ocean floor and conduct its survey and map the ocean floor with a survey sensor," says Cant.

It will land 4,000 metres below the surface.

Their AUVs will then map 5,000 square feet of the ocean's floor in high resolution, a space the size of Windsor and Detroit.

A GoFundMe page has been set up ahead of the mission.