The Drone Data X Conference was held on June 3, 2016 in the Innovation Hangar at the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco. It was one of the biggest expos featuring the hottest drone technology from the top leading drone industry leaders and innovators.
In Drone Data X – Part 1, we introduced three different types of drones (hexacopter, underwater drone, and quadcopter) of varying specifications. Now, we will further explore two different types of free-flying drones and a smart wristband that allows you to control multiple devices presented at the event.
Phantom 4 from DJI is one of the smartest and most innovative drones that fly fast but hardly ever crashes. Phantom 4 Quadcopter is a new model in DJI’s Phantom series with lots of added features, such as 3D camera for advanced 3D vision positioning and more stable flight, HD video streaming to mobile device, TapFly enabling tap on a map-screen and fly system, front facing obstacle avoidance, to name a few.
Autonomous flight features like obstacle avoidance using front-facing camera and advanced computer vision, ActiveTrack, and Sport Mode are what make Phantom 4 so unique compared to other Phantom series. The obstacle sensing system allows Phantom 4 to pull up and stop, rise up, or fly around over any obstacles by constantly scanning the environment in front of the drone. With ActiveTrack mode, Phantom4 can now optically track and follow a moving object. Sport Mode enables Phantom 4 to fly at speeds as fast as 45 mph. Battery capacity has increased from 4480 to 5350 mAh with its increased flight time from 25 to 28 minutes concurrently.
There is also an automatic flight logs function, which saves the details of every Phantom 4’s flight. With saved logs (complete route, distance, duration, location, and speed), one can easily playback a previous flight path and check control stick movements.
Exo360 is one of the world’s first drones with integrated 360 video capture, thanks to a total of five cameras. Four of the cameras are located on the end of the drone’s arm gears and the last one under the main body. Footage taken can be viewed on a virtual reality headset and users can control the drone either manually or autonomously with functions like follow-me, orbit and multi waypoint flight paths. Queen B Robotics offered two versions of Exo360:
In addition to standard modes (Follow Me & Dynamic Return to Home), Exo360 features some interesting flight and image capture modes. Swoop allows Exo360 to swoop in or out. Exo360 first swoops 100m away at a desired height and then proceeds to swoop in 5m away to give an epic shot.
Eagle Eye provides the best bird’s-eye view shots. With this mode, Exo360 can fly directly above a user and record activities to give a “satellite” effect.
Dolly Shot allows Exo360 to maintain the desired altitude and track sideways smoothly. Dolly Shot provides an interesting POI.
Multi Waypoint is for the ultimate virtual reality experience. Exo360 will fly the desired route while streaming back video footage from one of the cameras.
Exo360 has a flight time of 18 minutes on a single charge. It has an ability to navigate and travel in windy weather up to 15 miles per hour. Exo360 weighs 1.8kg (3.97lb) and has a battery capacity of 6,600mAh. Exo360’s remote controller offers a 2.4GHz Wi-Fi connection with coverage up to 3km away. Users can live-stream footage by simply connecting a tablet or any smartphone device via HDMI or VR headset to the controller.
Imagine having the ability to control multiple devices by the wave of a hand without having to learn how to use a complex remote control. New startup, Metron Force has just introduced the world’s smallest-footprint smart wristband that controls multiple devices with a single snap of hand gesture. mForce wristband is currently only a prototype but the startup is working hard to release the model soon. The wristband implements radio control to use wrist gestures for controlling devices, proving an opportunity to displace old, clunky controllers in the market today.
mForce wristband allows the most intuitive and dynamic use of hand gestures to control devices with absolutely no learning curve. It simplifies drone control. A plug & play receiver converts devices to smart devices for RC-control with mForce. Users can get the complete package (a wristband, a flying drone, an R/C car, and an extra brain to attach to any device for control) for a relatively low price of $150. For $100, users can get a DIY kit with just the wristband and brain.
Stay tuned for more information about the mForce wristband. We will be following it.