Their drone crashed 2 hours before filming for TV
When the drone prototype lifted off the ground, it hovered for a few seconds before it flipped over and crashed.
Its propellers broke and wood splintered all over the floor in their lab.
This was two hours before the drone was to be filmed for a news segment.
Mr Danial Sufinyan Shaiful, 23, who was controlling the drone, was shocked.
The final-year student at the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) said: "It was working fine when I tested it the night before."
He frantically attached new propellers, reconfigured the system and eventually managed to fix it.
Mr Danial and his friends belong to SUTD's multi-rotor society.
Made up of students studying engineering product development, they design, build and fly their own unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, all from scratch.
A group of six students was involved in the creation of a drone they named Maritime Capable Multi-Rotor Craft, which is being exhibited at the Singapore Maritime Week.
Weighing 4.5kg, it is able to take off and land on water.
The drone is still in the testing phase, but the team hopes that it will one day contribute to maritime environmental and animal research.
They plan to embed a syringe inside the drone to draw and collect oil samples from the sea during oil spills as well as attach a gas sensor to detect chemical pollutants when the drone flies through the exhaust of ships and other vessels.
The drone will also have three built-in hydrophones to detect underwater sound waves made by sea creatures such as dolphins.
These signals will be transmitted back to the base control laptop immediately to track the mammals' movements, while the camera attached will allow them to take photos.
Their drone and NUS's submarine have impressed the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
Its spokesman said that SUTD's drone has the potential to enhance situational awareness out at sea and complement maritime operations.
NUS' Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV), Bumblebee, can be used to monitor marine habitats, inspect marine structures and support search-and-rescue operations and deep sea projects.
The spokesman added: "If these drones are proven in their respective fields of application to be cost-effective, MPA would consider deploying them."