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Drone Giant DJI’s New Headquarters | You Won’t Believe Your Eyes

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Car companies have test tracks, airplane companies have airfields, and drone companies have.. Well.. something completely different. And one of the best drone companies at the moment, DJI, have just revealed plans of a new headquarters; one that would feature a skybridge. “A skybridge!? Why?” Well, there’s a pretty good reason behind this.

New DJI headquarters

See, DJI is very focused on building high-quality drones that would stand the test of time, at least regarding the foreseeable future, hence the need to have an advanced, state-of-the-art headquarters. Their new headquarters is supposed to be built in Shenzhen, China. And, they’ve picked a highly qualified architectural firm to build this monstrosity – Foster & Partners. Now, back to the skybridge. What purpose will it serve and why even include it when you can just walk from one tower to the next? DJI has an answer – they need the skybridge to show off their ‘fresh-out-of-the-oven’ drones. The other reason is connecting the two towers (guess which is more important to them).

The headquarters is set to act as a “floating community in the sky” with virtually everything for the employees and drones. Oh, there’s also supposed to be a new theater which would serve as a location for new product launches. According to the Head of Studio at Foster & Partners, Grant Brooker, the firm is happy to be a part of DJI’s new world. He said, “Our aim is to create a unique environment that embodies the spirit of invention and innovation that has allowed DJI to lead the world in robotics and technology”. There’s no doubt that this veteran architecture firm will deliver everything that DJI asked for, and probably even more… up to the point of amazing the entire globe.

DJI Who?

For those who are just now getting their heads into the world of drones, DJI is one of the biggest, if not the biggest drone companies in the world. Global Consumer Insights have reported that the drone market will be worth over $17 billion by the end of 2023. On the other hand, according to Reuters, DJI controls around 70% of the drone market.

One of their most recent projects and releases is the DJI Mavic Air, one of the most advanced drones in the world right now. It’s fairly evident that they’re looking to expand even further and improve their departments so the drones in plan for the future will be of the highest quality possible.

Commercial Drones Heading to Urban Skies in the US

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It’s going to be some time before you will be able to order a family pizza that will get delivered to your house via drone, but small steps are all it takes to make this dream a reality in the near future. Most people would love an opportunity to do just that; order something that would come by drone, but current regulations in the USA don’t allow that.

The good news is that drones are allowed to do some small work, such as checking on cell-phone towers and even wind turbines. Basically, anything that’d involve surveying is allowed. Besides, people mainly use drones for aerial photography or filming so it’s understandable that smaller activities such as these are allowed. Real Estate industry is the perfect example of how to optimally use drones for commercially viable business purposes.

Commercial Drones

Goldman Sachs has revealed that the global market is expected to reach a staggering $13 billion by 2020; which is just two years away. This expected jump in value has already started attracting entrepreneurs and businesspeople that are looking to expand their business into the drone world.

 The downside is that, right now, commercial drones don’t rack in a lot of money for companies using them commercially. Only 15% receive more than $50,000 yearly which isn’t anything special. But, the future is looking bright and the current regulations will change that for the better!

 

LAANC | What is it?

The first step towards changing the way things work is LAANC. The main issue people had with how the government dealt with commercial drone requests is time. It usually took months and sometimes even a full year to approve or decline a request, and you’d agree that after waiting for such a long time, one would lose interest and hope. It all led up to the point of entrepeneurs flying their drones without permissions which is against the law and can result in hefty fines.

Luckily, LAANC is supposed to drastically reduce wait times to mere seconds. LAANC stands for Low Altitude Authorization and Notification Capability and is supposed to influence the way the government reacts to commercial drone requests.

With LAANC, you’re able to select the areas you want to fly your drone in and in a couple of seconds get an answer. The one thing you will have to take extra care of is that the altitude limit near runways is zero – and not a foot above. There’s also the federal limit regarding drones that stands at 400 feet.

 

What kind of future is in front of drones and drone-based regulations?

Even though this might sound like a huge step forward, it’s actually only a small one. Nonetheless, the usefulness of LAANC will contribute to potential legislation changes regarding commercial drones. Right now, you aren’t exactly allowed to use the airspace around airports. With LAANC, over 2,000 square miles of previously unavailable airspace becomes available.

The Federal Aviation Administration is on board and has switched LAANC on in a couple of regions such as Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas. The plan is to include over 500 airports across the entire country, through a total of 6 waves. The deadline for complete inclusion is September 13, which is rather soon.

There’s no doubt that LAANC will have a major impact on the drone world. One interesting piece of info regarding LAANC is that it has, to date, processed over 8,500 requests. Companies that focus their business on drones have already seen an increase in revenue and this will just keep improving as time passes.

Maybe our dreams of flying taxis and delivery drones will soon become reality. In any case, the signs are positive and all we have to do now is wait. We have LAANC to thank for that!

 

EU Changes Their Airspace Laws Regarding Drones

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If you’ve been an avid drone fan for years now, you know how twisty and turny the rules and legislation about drone flying are. There’s no concrete rulebook on how you are allowed to fly your drone and where, except for a couple of basic ones (such as the restriction on flying a drone that weighs less than a kilo at more than 10 meters up, without a camera).

European Union Changes Drone Laws

All that this accomplishes is confusion and lack of knowledge. However, things seem to be changing as the EU is supposed to start voting on new drone rules that should regulate certain issues. The main reason this is happening isn’t that the parliament is worried about what people think and how they understand the rules; instead, this is done for safety reasons.

You see, when you fly your drone in your backyard, there’s not a lot that can go wrong (except in some extreme cases). However, as soon as you leave that area, everything (and I really do mean everything) can go wrong. For starters, you might end up accidentally flying your drone above your neighbor and the battery dies. The drone will fall into his backyard and then what? It might hit him in the head, it might fall beside him. Are you ready to take that risk?

Well, yes… we are exaggerating here a bit since I’m sure you all know high-end (and nowadays even medium-end) models have some sort of a protective mechanism that lowers the chance of this happening. But it still can happen, so drone operators need to take every safety step possible to ensure it doesn’t!

 

What are the changes?

Regarding the proposals themselves, they aren’t going to completely gut the drone market in Europe. If you’re a sensible person, you won’t have issues with what might get accepted in parliament. Some of these changes include introducing a maximum height limit for drones, registrations and even restrictions for flying. Although, when it comes to restrictions, they’re most likely going to be imposed in ‘sensitive’ areas such as embassies, nuclear sites, airports, and others.

One more issue that the parliament wants to resolve is noise pollution. See, non-drone people don’t necessarily take kindly to the whizzing of drone engines. And we all know how loud drones can get (there are some silent models but not everyone cares about noise). Therefore, we might see some noise restrictions as well, which would not necessarily be such a bad thing. Just think about what it could do for the drone market in general…

This can go one or two ways – The first being that people will have to start purchasing models that are quieter than others (which isn’t good for the market, come to think of it). The second, presumably better than the first, would mean that drone companies will start producing quieter models for the long run, trying to keep noise levels at bay.

This is, of course, just speculation since we don’t know how everything will pan out. In any case, in a short period of time, we will definitely see new rules for drone flying, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing either. Take car driving as the perfect example – you pass your drivers test and receive a license, but this license doesn’t stop you from breaking the rules. But, when rules are in place, more people will start following them. There will always be those who don’t really care about safety or rules, but that’s a bridge that we’ll cross when we come to it. So, at the end of the day – the matter is looking like it could develop in a great way for drones… I for one am definitely up for safer, better protected but not overly-agressive drone regulations in EU.

 

DJI Mavic Air – The best of DJI Spark and Mavic Pro in one device!!!

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And there we have it guys – DJI has finally unveiled the brand new Mavic Air! True – that’s not the drone everyone was expecting. Remember their ad for DJI Goggles RE? Well, that thing featured an easter egg teasing Phantom R… But we got Mavic Air instead! Is it a good tradeoff? Well, we are talking about two completely different drones so there’s not too much point in comparing them. But one thing is for sure – DJI Mavic Air definitely has everything a top-tier drone needs!mavic-air-in-action-gif

It’s a logical move by DJI

It’s not a secret – DJI Mavic Pro is the most successful drone DJI has ever created! DJI Spark, still with growing sales, hasn’t been a disappointment either. By stepping away from their usual Phantom series, DJI has successfully created a real craze for miniature high-end drones. And while everyone expected DJI Mavic Pro’s successor to be called DJI Mavic Pro 2… we basically got the exact same thing in DJI Mavic Air!

Needless to say, it is a completely logical move by DJI – increasing their presence in a niche they were already heavy favorites. Plus, by adding an option in the middle of their 2 newest models, DJI basically created a monopoly as far as miniature high-end drones are concerned.

 

DJI Mavic Air – What’s New?

There are plenty of new things to be said about DJI Mavic Air… but let’s start off with the 3 most important ones! Before that, it needs to be said that Mavic Air falls comfortably right in the middle of Mavic Pro and Spark. Price-wise and size-wise, these 3 models fit next to each other like real champs. Plus, the general appearance of Mavic Air resembles the mix of the 2 above-mentioned drones. With that being said – it is safe to call it a mixture of the two. Now that we got that out of our way, let’s see what are the 3 most interesting facts about this little birdie!

 

Foldable design

DJI Spark is slightly smaller than Mavic Air when both of them are ready for takeoff. However, due to the presence of a foldable design on the latter, it is actually smaller than DJI Spark in its folded form. The takeoff weight is right in the middle too – still lightweight at 430 grams. With slightly more than 210 mm in diagonal and 168x184x64mm when unfolded, DJI Mavic Air is quite a fancy little treat.

DJI Mavic Air Folded Unfolded

The range far exceeds both DJI Spark packages

We all know that the standard range of DJI Spark without its dedicated controller is outright rubbish and not even worthy of comparison. But even if we take those 2 kilometers when operated by the controller, Spark still has double (and more) that number to reach Mavic Air. Yup – this all-new birdie’s range can reach 4 and even 5 kilometers in clear and unobstructed areas. It’s pretty sick if you ask me…

Flight duration will set new standards in the niche

In the smallest of bottles hides the deadliest of poison… That’s indeed true for DJI Mavic Air which sports an impressive 3S LiPo with 2375mAh. It weights quite a bit too – 140 grams… But it makes up for it by producing up to 21 minutes of flight time per charge. You read that correctly – 21 freaking minutes! Needless to say, that number alone sweeps the floor with all other similarly sized competition.

DJI Mavic Air battery

 

The brilliant camera is a massive selling point!

Clearly, the best thing about DJI Mavic Air is its impressive 12MPX camera with 85-degree FOV. When it comes to all those numerous technical gimmicks, this camera is actually on point with that of DJI Mavic Pro. Not surprising considering the fact it’s mounted on the world’s smallest 3-axis mechanical gimbal.  In fact, in most of the aspects, this miniature camera is actually superior than the one on Pro. However, There’s a whole section dedicated to camera comparison so I’ll let that be it for now. With that in mind, let’s head onto the most exciting feature this camera has to offer!

DJI Mavic Air Camera

HDR For the masses

Of course, I am talking about High Dynamic Range – a feature that we’re seeing everywhere nowadays, from smartphone displays, TVs, and even drone cameras. With a respectable color palette and brand new HDR algorithms, DJI Mavic Air will provide you with the right exposure no matter what lighting condition you record at. All of your images will look natural, allowing you to take all the bragging rights when showing them off.

DJI Mavic Air HDR feature

DJI Mavic Air vs DJI Mavic Pro vs DJI Spark Camera Comparison

DJI Spark

4K: no

2.7K: no

1080p: 30fps

DJI Mavic Air

DJI Mavic Air Table

4K: 30fps

2.7K: 60fps

1080p: 120fps

DJI Mavic Pro

4K: 30fps

2.7K: 30fps

1080p: 96fps

On paper, DJI Mavic Air should indeed have a better camera than the one on DJI Mavic Pro. It’s not only because it has higher frames in lower resolutions but because it also sports higher video bitrate as well. DJI Mavic Pro records in 60mbps while DJI Mavic Air records in 100mbps. That’s a huge quality gap meaning this little camera birdie is definitely worth the money at least when it comes to its aerial photography solution.

 

Features galore

When it comes to the features, DJI Mavic Air really is something! On a scale of Spark to Mavic Pro, I’d say it’s somewhat on point with the latter. Heck, it even has some more advanced features than the Pro. The nomenclature of certain ones has slightly been slightly altered but it’s still relatively close to everything else DJI offers.

SmartCapture

SmartCapture allows you to capture aerial footage in fun, simple and highly intuitive ways. There is absolutely nothing complicated as far as SmartCapture is concerned. You learn hand gestures for launching the Mavic Air and you learn hand gestures for controlling it in the air. And that’s it – you will quick astonish your friends with awesome gesture controlled drone movements!

QuickShots

QuickShots features a whopping 6 different types of shots – Rocket, Asteroid, Boomerang, Circle, and Helix. Each of these modes gets you a unique photography mode. When combined, QuickShots are capable of making short aerial photography masterpieces. The Asteroid is my personal favorite – the effect it creates is simply breathtaking! Here is how it looks like in action:

The-new-Mavic-Air-Asteroid-mode-illustrated

ActiveTrack/TapFly

Of course, there are the usual features that come on virtually all DJI drones. Among them are the fan favorite ActiveTrack and TapFly features which we are all already gotten accustomed to. The latter enables you to tap on where you’d like to go while the former makes Mavic Pro autonomously follow you or up to 15 of your friends everywhere you go…

FlightAutonomy 2.0

Thanks to advanced VIO technology, DJI Mavic Air doesn’t just stop when it encounters an obstacle but it works its way around it. This is further achieved by backward, forward and downward sensors, IMU redundancies and several computing cores. It’s a brilliantly comprehensive obstacle avoidance that’s bound to keep your drone out of trouble at all times.

content_Boomerang_GIF

Summary

After everything that’s been said above, one thing is certain – DJI Mavic Air could be the drone of 2018… the same way Mavic Pro conquered 2017. With an impressive camera, even smaller form factor and foldable design, there’s nothing stopping this fella in its pursuit of perfection!

I’d also like to add that this will probably be the turning point of the entire selfie drone niche. We can expect several other micro drones with 3-axis gimbal not only capable of producing great selfies but generally excellent aerial videos. Both casual and commercial users will have to keep an eye out for this one – its mixture of compactness and raw power should not be taken for granted!

SolidEnergy Brings Forth a Possible Revolution In Drone Batteries

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Lithium Polymer (commonly referred to as LiPo) batteries have been around for decades. More precisely, they date back to the 1970’s and are the most common battery type in drones. They have solid energy density but it’s still a bit lower than that of Lithium Ion… leading to heavier quads that generally tend to move slower and waste more energy.

Let’s face it guys – all of our technology is moving forward at a rapid rate except for our batteries. We’ve been using the same 50-year-old technology to this date which makes our devices (including drones) greatly suffer.

However, it seems as though there’s finally been a breakthrough in battery technology… A breakthrough that could completely shape up the drone industry…

 

Meet SolidEnergy

SolidEnergy Systems LogoSolidEnergy is a Massachusetts-based startup company that’s trying to reshape our entire battery tech. With their newest type of Lithium-metal batteries, they have managed to do something absolutely amazing – find a commercial use for them in drones.

At the moment, they’re more expensive to produce than LiPo batteries but there are signs that will change once they’re produced on a larger scale. Currently, they are sold to drone manufacturers in low volumes but are planning on expanding to wearables and electric vehicles in the near future… But what makes their batteries so good and are they simply too good to be true?

 

What’s so special about these batteries?

Their main advantage over traditional Lithium-Ion and Lithium-Polymer batteries is their energy density. More precisely, they have double the energy density of modern-day Lithium-Ion batteries. In reality, this means that a Lithium-Metal battery with the same amount of energy as a Lithium-Ion one is only half the weight. Another point of view – Lithium-Ion of the same size as a Lithium-Metal battery would contain only half the amount of energy as the Lithium-Metal one.

SolidEnergy Lithium-Metal Battery

For drones, this means prolonged flight times and less weight. It’s a win-win situation if I’ve ever seen one. However, there are still questions about charging cycles and discharge rates which are hopefully going to be resolved in the foreseeable future.

 

Are they too good to be true?

At the moment, Lithium-Metal batteries stand a good chance of overthrowing Lipos from their throne. But there will definitely be more improvements. If they don’t live up in the drone industry, I’m sure wearables or EV will be better havens for them.

Plus, rumor has it that they are focusing on creating the perfect Lithium-metal battery for all markets while their “good enough” ones are already being sold to drone manufacturers. Fingers crossed that we see new drones coming out with drastically prolonged flight times due to these bats!

 

When can we expect these batteries to hit the market?

Like it was stated earlier, these batteries are already being sold to drone manufacturers. Although, we are talking about very small numbers so bear that in mind. SoldEnergy Systems CEO (and founder) Qichao Hu recently estimated that his company’s wearable battery will be available in 2019 while its electric car battery will arrive 1 or 2 years afterward.

If they can manage to polish it a bit more before scaling up the manufacturing process, I believe they will have a shot at revolutionizing the industry!

DroneShield Aims To Get Rid of Suspicious Drones From Our Skies

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Drone population, not just in the USA but globally as well, is continuing its rapid growth for the last couple of years. From casual toys to worldwide industrial phenomenon, drones have definitely come a long way… but so have the bad people trying to use them for their mischiefs.

DroneGun Tactical By DroneShield

For instance, drone smuggling (weapons, drugs, and whatnot) has experienced an exponential growth for the 3rd year in a row, and we are only taking USA smuggling in our equation. So yes, drones (operated by criminals) are becoming a bigger and bigger problem…

Luckily, the hardworking people at DroneShield have come up with a brilliant product that aims to make the world a better place by disrupting criminals using drones!

 

The original model has one big problem

Over the course of the last couple of years, DroneShield was showing off their DroneGun – a device equipped with a high-gain antenna capable of interfering with drone’s signal and thus making it automatically land as if had encountered a full signal loss. The idea was absolutely amazing but the product itself had some issues. The effectiveness was on point but what was not was its weight and size.

However, there is still a lot of work to be done regarding this device. Plus, after the original received heavy praises from the public, they are now experimenting with a brand new one… So, with that being said, let’s see what is it all about!

 

Meet DroneGun Tactical!

DroneGun Tactical By DroneShield 2Just recently, Australian company DroneShield announced a brand new model of their drone-battling rifle called DroneGun Tactical. It is much smaller than the original, clocking in at 56 inches long, 8 inches wide and 18 inches tall. It’s also much lighter than its predecessor, weighing in at slightly more than 30 pounds.

Now equipped with a GPS blocker, DroneGun Tactical can jam signal from a drone more than a kilometer away, ensuring it doesn’t just fly back to its initial takeoff location but start landing down from where it got jammed. Of course, for successful operating with this device, you will need a serious amount of training which is not available anywhere in the USA.

 

When will DroneGun Tactical be available for purchase?

Unfortunately for those of you wanting to get rid of your annoying neighbor’s children and their drones buzzing around your backyard – DroneGun Tactical is illegal and will not be available for purchase… at least for the civilian public. Instead, this marvelous device will be available only to authorized government agents who will use it to combat criminals, terrorists and all sorts of ill-minded people using drones for their vile endeavors. As a matter of fact, DroneGun Tactical was developed following international military end-user trials meaning it will probably never be available for the civilian public.

Yup, this means your neighbor’s children get to keep their drones… yikes.

 

Winter Olympics will have a different drone-capturing method

South Korea is one of the world’s leading technology havens so it’s not that surprising to see they are taking great (and technologically advanced) safety precautions for the Winter Olympics that are going to be held in Pyeongchang starting less than 2 weeks from the time of writing this article.

Of course, I am talking about none other than the previously announced drone-catching drones which will be readily available even before the official start date. What they will do is track and disrupt (with their specialized nets) any suspicious unmanned aerial vehicles that come close to the Olympic grounds in Pyeongchang.

Winter Olympics 2018 aside, South Korea already has a ton of experience when it comes to anti-drone measures, solely due to the fact their closest neighbors are their worst enemies – North Korea led by Lil Kim… uhm, I meant to say, Kim Jong Un, of course.

In the past, there were reports of North Korean drones passing the border with some of them even being recovered by South Koreans. However, the threat is far from gone since it’s presumed that the North has around 1,000 drones ready for all sorts of airborne attacks including those based on chemical or even biological weapons.

South Korean Drone Catching Drones

 

Conclusion

In today’s world, it is only logical to see criminals and ill-minded people using advanced technological gadgets to their advantage. It all started with drug smugglings but newer reports confirm our worst fears – terrorists are learning to use drones in order to drop explosive devices on their targets. However, thanks to hardworking companies, we now have something to defend our communities and countries against vile drones and their operators.

Of course, DroneGun is still illegal meaning we will have to wait for a while until it becomes readily available. A different approach was taken by the organizers of the Winter Olympics 2018 which included specialized drone-capturing drones. Whichever method works the best, I believe criminals will soon realize that drones aren’t really meant for illegal activities…

Thank you for reading…

until next time…

Happy flying!

DronesGlobe Staff

DJI Tello – Things you need to know about this $99 drone

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DJI managed to surprise all of us yet again… Not long ago, they’ve made a video announcement for DJI Goggles RE and gave us a sneak peek at what everyone thought is the Phantom R. Needless to say, there was a whole lot of hype going on as people suspected this to be DJI’s next drone. However, just a couple of hours ago, on CES 2018, DJI announced a special partnership with Ryze in the form of a brand new drone.

DJI Tello Photo

Well, Ryze is technically the drone’s main creator with DJI and Intel being merely partners. Still, this collaboration managed to yield a pretty interesting drone. It doesn’t look like something for DJI’s high-end standards… but it’s not aiming for those heights either. Meet Tello – a $100 mini brushed drone!

Design

At the very moment you feast your eyes on Tello you will immediately notice that DJI cham to its design. It’s small, has a white canopy and dark gray body with decently sized brushed motors. From what I can tell by looking at the videos and images, I think those are 8520 brushed motors. I could be wrong though so don’t take my word for it.

As for the rest of Tello’s design, it kind of resembles DJI Spark. The 2 are relatively similar in both aesthetics and size. Of course, DJI Spark is a completely different type of a drone so any other comparison apart from design is not relevant at all…

Tello specifications

The specifications of this little fella are impressive, to say the least. You see, with the majority of similarly priced drones can do 7 to 10 minutes of flight time per charge, Tello takes things to a whole new level. Even though we are talking about a miniature drone, Tello can endure up to 13 minutes in the air. That’s only cca 3 minutes shorter than DJI Spark flight time… and the price gap is more than ridiculous.

Operating range is a bit more down to Earth but it’s still a great number considering both the price and size of Tello. If you are intending to buy this little bugger, you will have to be satisfied with roughly 100 meters of operating range. This is somewhat of a standard at this price point (a bit above the average, if we are to be more precise) but is a praiseworthy number by all means… Don’t you agree?!

Other than that, it’s also important to add the fact this little bugger comes with a built-in camera. Yup, for $100 you are getting a camera drone with such high specifications. But what sort of a camera is it? Well, more on that down below!

 

What kind of features can we expect?

Here’s a glimpse of all the features you can expect from Tello:

  • Stunts
    Given the fact we have a miniature drone on our hands here, it’s not surprising to find out it can do all sorts of stunts. Tello is quite fast and agile too, making it an absolutely awesome acrobatic birdie.
  • Selfies
    Thanks to the built-in 720p camera, Tello can take breathtaking selfies whenever you want it to. Also, it supports live video transmission that will push the immersion to a whole new level.
  • SDK
    Software Development Kit for Tello has already been announced. Both children and adults will be able to tamper around with their drone using the popular programming system Scratch.
  • Physical Controller
    Even though Tello will be strictly a smartphone-controlled drone, Ryze’s plans are to incorporated third-party controllers in the near future. When exactly? I guess we have to wait and see…

 

Tello release date – what do we know so far?

Tello available in MarchUnfortunately, you will not be able to get your hands on this drone that soon. Well, that actually depends on what you think soon is. If you think soon is in the next month or so then I’m afraid you will have to wait a little bit longer. Ryze is a company based in China and they’ve announced Tello will only be available in China at first. This will be unveiled in the next couple of days from what I can tell at the moment.

As far as the United States are concerned, March is most likely the month in which Tello is going to be available. Still, this is in no way an official statement so further changes might happen. Fingers crossed they don’t!

 

Final words on the hottest brushed drone in 2018

Now that you’ve read everything there is to know about Tello at this point in time, I’m sure you will agree with me that this is a magnificent little drone. It definitely has that DJI charm to it… but it also makes clear that it’s not a premium model. Still, it sports that sleek DJIish style making it (by far) the best-looking drone in this price range.

Specifications and features are looking sharp too. If they can really live up to the official numbers, I expect another huge price drop in the entry-level drone market led by this affordable masterpiece.

Typhoon H Plus – What’s been upgraded?

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This year’s CES brought a ton of brand new high-end drones including the one we’ll be focusing on today. As the title suggests, we will be diving into Yuneec Typhoon H Plus to see whether or not it sports some real improvements over the original which came out back in 2016.

As for the actual drone, it’s basically the same design just like Yuneec H520 but it’s designated to be much less expensive? Why is that so? Well, Yuneec Typhoon H Plus doesn’t come with a comprehensive software as the H520. Let me remind you – H520 comes with specialized software for industrial tasks such as 3D modeling, mapping, search and rescue, inspections and so on.

yuneec-typhoon-h-plus

On the other hand, Typhoon H doesn’t have all that. Nope! Instead, it is catered primarily towards professional photographers hence the biggest upgrade is the camera…

 

Biggest upgrade over the original

Yuneec E90 cameraAs you could read above, the biggest upgrade the Plus version has got over the original Yuneec Typhoon H is the camera. In fact, the current CGO3+ camera was part of a previous upgrade that ended the run of CGO 4K. However, the current 12MPX CMOS sensor capable of recording 4K at 30fps just can’t cut it anymore, especially once you take a closer look at other similarly priced competitors.

That’s why Yuneec Typhoon H Plus announces a brand new E90 integrated camera and 3-axis gimbal combination which we already had the chance to see with their industrial H520 model. We are talking about a mighty 1-inch CMOS sensor with 20 effective megapixels that’s sure to put an exclamation mark on all of your aerial footage.

Furthermore, the best thing about this new upgraded camera is the fact it records 4K at 60fps with a bitrate of 1000Mbps. That’s basically the same bitrate and video quality as the likes of DJI Phantom 4 Pro models. If that’s not impressive enough for you, then you’re a lost cause…

 

Hardware has been completely revamped

PX4 Flight ControllerAnother notable upgrade for Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is its completely revamped internal hardware. This includes not only the flight controller but motors and their respective ESCs as well. So, let’s take a closer look at the new Flight Controller board which aims to make a world of difference.

The newly implemented flight controller is Pixhawk Flight Management Unit. More precisely, the PX4 which has been specifically catered to the needs of Yuneec Typhoon H Plus. It brings forth improved power efficiency and, together with redesigned ESCs, allows for digital communication with all 6 motors.

Talking about motors, there are several changes in this department too. First of all, these new motors seem slightly bigger and are equipped with propellers that have a more aggressive pitch allowing for more lifting power. Yuneec Typhoon H Plus is also roughly 40% quieter than the original, even though I never considered it to be an overly noisy hexacopter. Arms have been slightly extended too and the frame generally seems beefier than the original one.

Last but not least, the battery life has remained roughly the same with minimal improvements thanks to new hardware that’s less power hungry than the original one. With this in mind, you can expect slight boosts in your operating time… but don’t expect anything above 26 or 27 minutes.

 

Intel RealSense is still here

Intel RealSense

One great thing about the original versions of Yuneec Typhoon H was the collaboration with Intel. As some of you already know, there were Typhoon H models that sported Intel RealSense technology and they were slightly more expensive than the standard packages. For those of you who don’t know what Intel RealSense is, here’s some useful information.

Intel RealSense is basically a highly sophisticated obstacle avoidance system that gets data not only from sensors but cameras as well. It basically allows the drone to see the space around itself in real time making sure it effectively avoids any obstacles that might get in its way, even if they are barely visible (such as nets, branches, and other similar things).

 

Does a new ST16 transmitter mean longer operating range?

Yuneec ST16 New TransmitterAs for the transmitter, Yuneec Typhoon H Plus comes with ST16 transmitter which is the same one as with the original… or is it? Nope – this here is the redesigned ST16 S transmitter featuring 16 channels and having a 7-inch LCD display. Actually, it’s an Android-powered tablet that is used to view live stream downlink in HD for up to 1.5 kilometers.

This means that both operating and video transmission range are pretty much the same as the original since Yuneec still uses WiFi. Of course, this is not a budget cut but a method of staying compliant with countries which don’t allow their residents to buy drones flying over 7 kilometers.

 

Most notable features

As it was already mentioned above, H520 and Yuneec H Plus are pretty much identical drones in terms of outer appearance. However, the former is more oriented towards fully-fledged industrial scenarios while H Plus is more catered towards aerial photography.

With that being said, the most notable features with this one are definitely its autonomous flight modes that allow for easy aerial footage recording. Mainly, I am referring to the same ones that are present with the original Typhoon H model – Journey and Orbit. These modes are a vital part of every premium grade aerial photography platform.

In addition to that, it’s also praiseworthy to add that the provided 3-axis gimbal sports full 360 range of motion ensuring you get the optimal scenes for recordings. Altitude hold, GPS, and similar backbone features are here as well… but considering the price tag this bugger goes for, their presence is not really questionable.

 

Yuneec Typhoon H Plus Release Date and Price Tag

Now that you know a great deal of useful information about the all-new Yuneec Typhoon H Plus, the majority of you must be wondering about its price tag and release date. No worries guys, all info has been officially announced and you won’t have to wait a long time to get your hands on this baddie.

First things first, the standard version of Yuneec Typhoon H Plus will go for roughly $1500 while the version equipped with Intel RealSense technology will set you back for additional cca $300. However, the latter won’t just give you Intel RealSense but there have also been rumors about extra batteries. Still, at the time of writing this articles the extra batteries information remains a rumor.

As for the release date, both versions will be available at the same time. CES 2018 interviews show that this will be somewhere in June or May of 2018. Unfortunately, we don’t know the exact dates so we can’t be more precise…

 

Other Yuneec models announced on CES 2018

Firebird FPV

Yuneec Firebird FPV

Firebird FPV is Yuneec’s official entrance to the world of fixed-wing aircraft. It looks absolutely dashing with its sleek white and gray finished coupled together with a sturdy frame. And don’t you think this is a toy grade fixed wing model! In fact, Yuneec made sure all such claims fall into the water by adding a 4K ready camera that records footage directly to the onboard SD card. Plus, the top speed goes all the way up to 83km/h which is freaking awesome!

As its name suggests, Firebird FPV sports… well… FPV, meaning it will provide you with full immersion and make you think you’re flying a real airplane. When it comes to specifications, the exact operating range has not been announced just yet. Luckily, the battery has been! We are talking about a powerful 3S LiPo containing 2800mAh. Such a capacity is enough for around 30 minutes of flight time which is not bad for a fixed wing aircraft.

 

HD Racer

Yuneec HD Racer

Just like Firebird FPV is Yuneec’s entrance to fixed-wing aircraft, HD Racer is their entrance to the drone racing market. More precisely, to the beginners’ drone racing market. After all, we are talking about a brushed mini racer that doesn’t even come equipped with a 5.8Ghz vtx and camera setup. Instead, it opts for digital video downlink and sports a pretty solid HD camera.

Of course, it is capable of recording your footage which you can later use to show off skillful flights to your friends. When it comes to its specifications, there is not a lot of things we know about it. For instance, operating range hasn’t even been announced yet and neither has been the flight duration. However, the price tag has been mentioned a few times and it will go for cca $170.

 

Conclusion

After a huge pack of information regarding Yuneec Typhoon H Plus as well as some brief info surrounding other 2 Yuneec models announced on CES 2018, I am afraid we’ve reached the end of this article. It’s been an enjoyable ride for you, as it always is with news from CES and similar events.

So, what do you guys think about these 3 awesome looking drones? Let us know in the comments section below!

Thank you all for reading this article and we hope to see you again soon…

Vito Dronelli, Content Editor @DronesGlobe

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