viernes, 2 de octubre de 2015

PlexiDrone: The Pocket-UAV

As consumer UAVs are becoming more and more popular, we are starting to see more options. In this case we are talking about DreamQii's PlexiDrone.

Designed for aerial photography and videography, the PlexiDrone was born out of feedback from filmmakers and photographers who wanted a portable drone for aerial footage capture.

The four propellers and landing gear can be attached to the main body in about a minute – less than that if you work fast enough. The components are designed to snap in and lock on without any tools, and can be disassembled just as quickly for portability; DreamQii also cleverly designed them so that you can’t accidentally attach a propeller in the wrong section, making assemble foolproof (DreamQii says it’s impossible to put together wrongly).

Attach the proprietary Bluetooth wireless router that communicates with your smartphone or tablet – up to 1 mile – and you’re ready to go. The battery only lasts between 15-35 minutes, so you may need to keep a charger or extra battery handy if you plan to use it for longer than that. For the camera, the PlexiDrone doesn’t come with one built in; instead, the user supplies one. It is compatible with most cameras weighing less than 1 kilogram, or 2.2 pounds. It’ll handle small action cams like those from GoPro and Sony, as well as compact mirrorless cameras, 360-degree panorama cameras, thermal cameras, and LIDAR scanners; you can even attach a claw to use it to hold something light. And unlike other drones, DreamQii says the retractable landing gear and camera’s positioning allow for an unobstructed 360-degree field of view; you won’t have to crop out anything from a scene later. Also, you will not be worried about trespassing onto drone-prohibited territory, as the PlexiDrone has geofencing built in: Without the user input, the PlexiDrone’s software uses known data of where it can and cannot fly, and will avoid (or prohibit you, rather) from flying in those areas.

Klever Freire, DreamQii’s CEO and cofounder, tells that PlexiDrone is designed to be flexible. Want a larger payload? In the near future, you could swap in more powerful propellers and attach a camera gimbal for a DSLR or cinema camcorder. Accidentally crash and break one of the propellers? Instead of replacing the whole unit, you can just replace the part you need. The PlexiDrone is easily controlled through the PlexiGCS software for iOS and Android. You don’t need any expertise to control it. Through GPS and the 3D map on the app, you simply draw a flight path for the drone, and tell it what to do. There’s also a “GPS follow me” feature, where you can have the PlexiDrone automatically follow and film you, without you having to manually control it. The wireless router, called the PlexiHub, also lets you create and control a swarm of PlexiDrones. A single pilot can capture multiple footages. DreamQii says swarm technology also lets you “accomplish goals like following search grid patterns or surveying larger surface areas.”

You can also control the attached camera via the app, so you won’t need to switch between apps or have a second pilot. Ultrasonic on the PlexiDrone will alert the unit if there’s an obstacle in its path while in flight. Users can also pilot the PlexiDrone with remote control unit, if they wish. Instead of LED lights, the PlexiDrone uses customizable voice prompts to give you status reports (you can even add theme music, let you personalize your drone).