I’m curious about the business strategy DJI is demonstrating by shipping the remote control of the latest version of the ever popular Phantom series with a built-in (optional) android based tablet. This is the first remote across the entire DJI platform which will incorporate a native screen. Early specs indicate the built-in screen will be brighter than an iPad and have a slightly higher resolution, but comparing the hardware specs in not my goal here. [Read more…]
Company becomes the fully-native, cross-platform solution for drone operators
SAN FRANCISCO — September 14, 2016 — Kittyhawk, the drone fleet management company, is proud to announce the availability of its industry-leading platform on Android. Commercial drone operators can now use Android devices to easily adhere to the recently-introduced FAA Part 107 regulations, and benefit from the same pre-flight intelligence, post-flight insights and in-flight peace of mind that has already served thousands of their peers. With Kittyhawk for Android, the company now becomes the full-featured platform with native applications for iOS, Android, and the web.
Kittyhawk is solving the growing challenge of how to manage commercial drone fleets and their operators. The new Android app allows users to check airspace and weather; create and share checklists; log flights visible to everyone in an organization; and keep track of all their assets like aircraft, locations and battery cycles. For those operating in teams, this means vital group and fleet information can be shared seamlessly across an entire organization and to every pilot in the field—ensuring collaboration and creating a culture of safety.
“After nearly two years of evolving the Kittyhawk experience on other ecosystems and completing a recent financing round, we knew it was time to invest in expanding into Android,” said CEO Jon Hegranes.
“We believe drone software and tools should be as cool, reliable and innovative as the aircraft we fly. Our launch on the Google Play Store is another big step in fulfilling this vision.”
Kittyhawk is rapidly becoming the standard fleet management choice for all drone pilots, including the estimated 600,000 commercial drones coming online this year alone. New regulations for both hobbyists and commercial operators is making intelligent drone management critical for every flight. With more than 10,000 flights logged to date, Kittyhawk is helping pilots of all skill levels quantify their abilities and maintain their craft more accurately than ever before.
“I’ve been flying things large and small for years and I was thrilled when I found Kittyhawk—in many ways, they are doing for drones what software like Foreflight did for traditional aviation,” said Arlo Watkins, a private pilot and one of the first RPIC Certificate holders in the country. “The Android app makes it even easier to collaborate across all my devices, and is a perfect complement to the iOS and web applications we’ve been using for the last year.”
Kittyhawk is a completely free and unlimited platform for pilots with any fleet size. It also offers premium subscriptions for more serious individuals or organizations that need team features and enterprise-grade service.
Download Kittyhawk for Android for free from the Google Play store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=io.kittyhawk.
Kittyhawk is the drone fleet management company. Based in San Francisco, California, the venture-backed company was co-founded by tech entrepreneurs and sUAS experts Jon Hegranes and Josh Ziering. Kittyhawk’s mission is to make it easy for commercial drone operators to create a culture of safety by giving them critical pre-flight information and valuable insights derived from data after their flight. Find out more at https://kittyhawk.io/.
Amazing! Now you can sit indoors by the fireplace and get some idea of what it is like to fly a Parrot AR Drone!
The new app is available both for Android and IOS and costs less than $2.50. This makes it a inexpensive investment for any newbies thinking of getting into quadcopter flying. Although the app is by no means perfect, it does represent a decent value and will at least you some indication of how your real AR can be controlled.
The app offers various scenarios, including indoor (large warehouse) flying and outdoor as well as a mock-up of the official Parrot Race course for the finals in Las Vegas! You can adjust the point of view as being from the ground (on takeoff) or being the front camera or the bottom camera on the AR Drone.
I’d like to see telemetry added so that an on-screen counters show you speed, height, battery life, etc.
A few screen shots are shown below. You can also check out a video of the flying at:
The AR Drone is a four-rotor aircraft which combines many of the new and advanced technologies in R/C Flight. Parrot, the company behind the AR Drone is marketing the AR Drone as a “flying video game” since it combines actual flying of the aircraft, real time video streaming to the controller, and the ability to add real-time gaming with hunter-seeker style gaming. The newest model, 2.0, is a vast improvement on the original and is a great learning platform for those seeking to find out about the new world of multirotor aircraft.
Unlike the current crop of low-budget helicopters, the AR Drone is controlled by your iPhone/iPad/iPod Touch or Android device via the AR Drone’s built-in WiFi system. The plus side of this system is that the cost of including a radio transmitter is eliminated but the downside is you are limited to the range of 802.11G Wifi signal which is about 150 feet. The AR is a “smart” drone and will be relatively easy to fly for beginners as it has advanced controls and software which do not require as much dexterity and practice as with atypical 2.4 GHZ radio controlled aircraft.
The AR Drone ships with an indoor hull that provides foam padding to protect the rotor blades during the inevitable bumping into things when flying indoors. However, in reality, this machine is not designed for indoor flying except in very large rooms. Our suggestion at Droneflyers is to use the AR Drone as an outside quadcopter.
Also included is an outdoor hull which is lighter weight providing faster speeds and slightly longer run times.
The AR Drone features a 3-axis accelerometer as well as a 2-access gyroscope. The sonar provides altitude stabilization up to about 20 feet. Above the range of the ultrasonic sonar, the drone goes into a blind-flight mode that requires more control input to maintain height. Radio range is limited by WiFi communication distance to about 150 feet.
The AR Drone 2.0 is outfitted with two color cameras. The front camera is HD resolution (720P) at 13 frames per second. The downward looking camera is QCIF resolution (176 x 144 pixels) at 60 frames per second.
The AR Drone is available from Brookstone, Amazon and other sources for about $300. This site will continue to provide you with up-to-date information, news, modification, hacks, and more.
Note – if you want to get started in the world of Quadcopters and Multirotors at a much lower price point, consider a model like the Syma X1 or similar sub-$60 models. You certainly will not get the cameras and all the advanced features of the AR Drone, but at the same time you may not cry as loudly when you lose your first quad up in a tall tree!
Below are some links to AR Drone quadcopters and parts at Amazon:
Unfortunately I don’t use an iOS device so I can’t talk about the different apps that are available for iPhones/iPads so if you know of them, please post a small review in the comments. For Android devices there are at least 10 apps available at the time of this writing. I am only going to mention a couple of these as some of the paid versions don’t seem compelling enough to recommend that you shell out money for them when perfectly good free apps are available.
ARDrone Flight by MeavyDev (Market Link) Free
ARDrone Flight is my personal favorite for two reasons. First off, it allows you to record the video from either camera or even both at the same time. Secondly, I can change the tilt control to be an on-screen joystick just like the altitude/rotate controller.
There are a few others that are looking promising and other free apps that have really bad reviews. If you are just starting out, I suggest starting with one or both of these here.
If you are an iOS user, please post some good apps in the comments.