For the past three years our favorite drone has consistently been produced by one company, DJI. There have been lots of interesting challenges from other startups in the US and China, but so far no one has produced a unit that delivers the same quality, consistency, and ease of use. In our most recent round of tests, however, we praised the basic capabilities of the Typhoon 500 drone from Yuneec. And today at CES Yuneec unveiled a new unit, the Typhoon H, the promises to deliver a high-end, Hollywood-caliber drone, but at just two-thirds of the price of DJI’s Inspire 1.
The Typhoon H, like the Inspire 1, has retractable landing gear and a camera which can pan a full 360 degrees. Unlike the Inspire and the previous version of the Typhoon, the new unit has six rotors instead of four. Yuneec says this will allow the craft to remain stable and land in the event it loses one or two motors. DJI also has a six-rotor craft aimed at Hollywood professionals, the S900, which sells for $3,400 when fully equipped with a HD camera. The Typhoon H is expected to retail for $1,799, while the Inspire 1 goes for $2,600.
The new Typhoon H is also promising the full suite of autonomous features, something which has become table stakes for drones these days. It has Orbit, Point of Interest, Curved Cable, and something called Journey. It has basic sense and avoid technology on board, using “ultrasonic proximity detection” to automatically dodge large obstacles. In theory it should also give the aircraft more lift, allowing for heavier and more sophisticated camera equipment to be attached, as you can with the S900.
All of this is a very attractive offering against the initial value proposition of the Inspire 1, but DJI has evolved that unit, along with accessories and autonomous software, in the year since it was released. The Typhoon H shoots 4K video and 12 megapixel stills, just like the original camera on the Inspire. But DJI now sells the Zenmuse, which can be attached to the Inspire, shoots micro 4/3 and RAW footage, and allows for more fine-grained tuning of color and focus while in the air. Pretty soon you’ll even be able to do thermal imaging.
IT HAS THE AUTONOMOUS FEATURES IT NEEDS, BUT NOT THE HIGH-END CAMERA
In terms of autonomous flight, the Inspire launched with very little. But DJI pushed a firmware update in the summer of 2015 that added point of interest, orbit cam, and Follow Me mode. In our testing we found DJI’s autonomous features were not quite as refined as what Yuneec and 3D Robotics are currently offering, but it also seems clear they will improve with time and can be updated over the air.
Yuneec’s biggest advantage here might be price and the ability to sense and avoid. A fully equipped Solo from 3D Robotics currently costs $1,799 and is roughly $800 less than a new Inspire 1. “A central part of our mission is to bring new and advanced creative possibilities within the reach of everyone,” said Yu Tian, chief executive officer of Yuneec International. “We’ve engineered the Typhoon H to redefine what customers should expect to pay for a drone with such an array of professional features. At this price point, no other drone comes close to the Typhoon H in terms capability and value.”
The second half of this value proposition, the ability to see obstacles and prevent crashes, is something we’re looking forward to testing once we get our hands on a review unit. In addition to its ultrasonic proximity sensor, Yuneec said the Typhoon H was built to allow for additional components, such as Intel’s RealSense camera, to expand its capabilities in the future. If this tech works well, that would be a very compelling reason for any pilot, beginner or professional, to pick this drone over the current competition, none of which offer anything like robust sense and avoid.
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Original Source: Fast Company By DANIEL TERDIMAN | no date
Qualcomm, the world’s leading developer of chips for smartphones, today unveiled a platform for consumer drones that it says can make the flying vehicles lighter and less complex while supporting the camera functionality of the most sophisticated offerings on the market today.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight (which gets its name from Qualcomm’s premium tier Snapdragon 801 processor) is the reference platform developed over the last six months by the San Diego-based chip giant’s research and development lab, and features support for a 4K camera for video, two cameras for depth, and a fourth camera for indoor stabilization, Fast Company has learned.
In short, Qualcomm says it has created the basis for the world’s smallest flying 4K cameras, capable of 1080p video at 60 frames per second, drones that are in their entirety lighter than the gimbals on many existing drones with 4K cameras.
This post is part of the Newswire of this site. None of the content is my own, but just a repost of an article that I found interesting and worth archiving to my own site. For more info check this blog post or contact me via this from.
Intel Corp. has poured more than $60 million into Yuneec International Co., a Shanghai-based drone and aerospace company, as a broad range of technology companies investigate the possible commercial uses of unmanned aircraft. Continue reading