At CES, a whole new flock of fly-high, fly-fast, fly-bad drones were introduced and now the category is suddenly destined to be the next monstrous consumer category. Some were so small they fit in the palm of your hand. In fact, I think I stepped on one in the show’s crowded aisles … but it might have been popcorn. I couldn’t see with all the folks mobbing the show floor, but I distinctly heard a crunch. Speaking of crunch, just in case you missed the “hot” news, Bezos’ Amazon drone delivered some guy a box of popcorn and suddenly the postal and every delivery services are facing extinction? [Read more…]
Drone Report from the Consumer Electronics Show 2016
In our 2 1/2 days at CES, I walked over 30 miles! It certainly is a big show and, as with 2015, drones were a large part of the buzz this year. Here is our “executive summary” of drones at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). It contains a number of opinions and predictions. At Droneflyers we dislike parroting PR statements or cheerleading for the entire drone industry…rather we look at the trends, accomplishments and market as a whole and try to distill it down for our readers.
Our report will focus on the consumer drone market although some mention will be made of commercial uses.
2016 will likely be a year where the evolution of consumer drones continues. Drones have become extremely complex and it’s very unlikely that brand new technology is going to arise…rather we are seeing a maturing of the industry as well as integration of existing technologies into lower priced consumer drones.
In order to give some method to our madness, we will run through the drones in order of “types” laid out in our recent article.
3. Consumer Camera Drones
4. Prosumer Camera Drones
NOTE: Yuneec has since come out with an upgraded 4K model of this quadcopter with better specs. A complete package with case, two batteries, handheld gimbal attachment and more is currently available at Amazon. The camera in this model is far superior to the original.
The electric aviation company Yuneec has released the RTF (Ready to Fly) Q500 Typhoon quadcopter – their first entry into the video/photo category. Despite all of the interest in drones, there are very few models currently on the market which are purpose made for best performance in APV (Aerial Photography and Video. A short list would include these:
1. DJI Phantom 2 Vision+ – This model is – by far – the most popular in the Yuneec Q500 – Yuneec makes them for Horizon (owner of the Blade brand). It holds a small part of the market compared to the DJI model and, while it sells for about $200 less, does seem to provide less in terms of a reliable and stable video platform (short flight times, some reliability questions, etc.).
3. This model – the new Yuneec q500 Typhoon.
About Yuneec – The Company [Read more…]
I got a chance to sit down with the folks from Parrot at CES and ask them about the AR Drone 2.0. Unfortunately, for existing AR Drone users, there isn’t a whole lot of good news to report. Virtually everything on the AR Drone 2.0 is brand new and is NOT, I repeat NOT compatible for the original AR Drone. The only thing that seems to remain the same is the main drive gear and the propellers, although they did say there is a change to the propellers as well.
The cross member is all new and will not fit into the original AR Drone nor will any of the electronics boards. Even the motors are new.
So what should you do with your original AR Drone? Well…keep flying it. The new AR FreeFlight 2.0 software WILL be compatible with the AR Drone 1.0. Expect the new software to arrive when the AR DRone 2.0 ships which is “sometime in Q2” which translated to “sometime between April and June”. Given that it is only January right now, don’t expect to see the AR Drone 2.0 flying near you for another 4 – 5 months.
Until then, here is some video I shot during CES and no, you cannot do flips and rolls with the AR Freeflight 2.0 software. ust like the current software if the AR Drone has too much of a tilt, the Drone’s motors will shut off. These demos are done with custom firmware designed for the shows.
With the official announcement of the Parrot AR Drone 2.0 there is more information starting to flow out as well as some videos that are available. Here is some of the info and videos we have managed to find so far.
- Camera: 720p
- Barometer to aid in higher altitude flight
- Compass mode for intuitive flight
- Better position holding to resist wind
- New application for control
- Record video and take pictures
- New flight modes designed for video production