In January 2018 a small $99 drone was announced by DJI. The model was called the Tello from a company called Ryze Robotics, a new startup we had not heard of before. Like many before it the Tello promised a number of intelligent features at a very low price point, small toy drones don’t usually get a lot of attention but this one was different as it has 2 very large names associated with it, DJI and Intel.
So what is Tello ?
At first look its a small $99 FPV camera drone thats designed to be flown indoors or at very low level outdoors, at this price point most would assume its in the “toy’ category however that is really not the case because unlike ones before it its packed with a lot technology and specifically DJI’s intelligent flight control system and Intel Movidius Vision systems.
This is similar to what DJI have on their own larger models and means the Tello is extremely easy and stable to fly because its fitted with a version of DJI’s Vision Positioning System its able to hold its position when flying above a well lit surface and gives GPS Mode like hold performance.
However being a fun flying drone is not Tello’s only purpose, its also an educational tool and Ryze Robotics have opened it up to support programming from Scratch and Drone Blocks, these are simple educational programming platforms that help young people learn coding and programming via number of hardware platforms such as Anki Cozmo, this is a whole new area for young people to explore and it makes the Tello an even more interesting product as a result.
A Closer Look at the Craft
The Tello its self is a hand held size quad, its compact and housed with in plastic body with the main electronics are located in the bottom of the aircraft with the battery sliding into the middle to fill the body,looking underneath you can see the Vision system that consists of a small camera and infrared sensors, these are used to measure distance from the ground as well as hold the crafts position.
Propulsion is handled by four brushed motors with small plastic push on props, these are protected by the included prop guards. [Read more…]