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DJI Unveils the Mavic Pro, a Foldable and Ultra-Portable Camera Drone (petapixel.com) 55

It didn't take long for DJI to respond to GoPro's voice-controlled Karma drone. Today, the company has unveiled the Mavic Pro, an ultra-portable drone that can fold up into roughly the "size of a standard water bottle," DJI says. Of course, it also features a high-resolution camera and several autonomous software tricks. PetaPixel reports: Despite its petite form factor, the drone packs a punch: there's a 4K camera on the front, a visual navigation system, a 4.3-mile (7km) range, and a 27-minute flight time. By comparison, the Karma has a range of 0.62 miles (1km) and a flight time of 20 minutes. The Mavic Pro can be operated with a remote controller for long-range uses, or simply with your smartphone if you're not planning to fly it far. For the latter, the drone can go from folded up to in flight in less than a minute. In the Mavic Pro is a new FlightAutonomy system, which uses 5 cameras, GPS and GLONASS navigation, 2 ultrasonic rangefinders, redundant sensors, and 24 computing cores to serve as the drone's "brain and nervous system." Using FlightAutonomy, the Mavic Pro can follow positions and routes while avoiding obstacles at 22mph (36kph), allowing you to create advanced flights with minimal input and flying skills. What's more, the drone can even be controlled with your physical gestures, making it easy to shoot an aerial selfie if you so desire. A new compact remote controller has been designed for the Mavic Pro, and it features an LCD screen with essential data, dedicated buttons (e.g. Return-to-Home, Intelligent Flight pause), and a OcuSync video link system that provides live view at 1080p resolution. DJI is also announcing DJI Goggles to go along with the Mavic Pro. Wearing the goggles allows you to fly the drone with an immersive 85-degree view in full 1080p, viewing the world through the eyes of the drone. The DJI Mavic Pro will be available starting October 15th, 2016, with a price tag of $749 for just the drone and $999 with a remote controller bundled in. The DJI Mavic introduction video can be viewed here.
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DJI Unveils the Mavic Pro, a Foldable and Ultra-Portable Camera Drone

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  • Once. Most just don't work so well after that.

  • by zephvark ( 1812804 ) on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @02:27AM (#52974731)

    I think Slashdot would be raking in more of that sweet advertising revenue if it posted these ads at the same time as the rest of the internet, instead of a day or two later.

    'Can fold up into roughly the "size of a standard water bottle," DJI says.' For the benefit of us rich people who have running water in their houses, what is the size of a standard water bottle in (A) inches, (B) centimeters, (C) beer bottles, (D) Libraries of Congress, (E), football fields, (F) car analogies, or (G) Cowboy Neil? You know. Standard measurements.

  • Wake me up when they manage to achieve 1-2 hours of flight time.
    • When was the last time you took 20 minutes of video or photos over 20 minutes? 2 hrs of flight time? that is a lot of looking up! somehow I doubt you *need* 2 hours of flight time.
      • Well.. actually I do. At the moment I have to have 2-4 battery packs for some jobs, which is a hassle I would not mind getting rid of. It might be suitable for someone who wants to record sliding down a snowy mountain or a short jog on the beach... but if you want to _use_ it, that 20 minutes is not much. The best I can make out of that 20 minutes regarding useful imagery is around 12-14 minutes, and that is the best case scenario. So, bottom line, I would love if they put that much effort in battery longev
        • the same technology going into better longer lasting car batteries is also applicable for drones. There is a lot of effort to improve both motor efficiency and battery storage capability. Current record for quadcopter drone endurance flight is around 2.5 hours, of course, it won't carry your Red Epic.
        • somehow I doubt you *need* 2 hours of flight time.

          Well.. actually I do. At the moment I have to have 2-4 battery packs for some jobs, which is a hassle I would not mind getting rid of. It might be suitable for someone who wants to record sliding down a snowy mountain or a short jog on the beach... but if you want to _use_ it, that 20 minutes is not much. The best I can make out of that 20 minutes regarding useful imagery is around 12-14 minutes, and that is the best case scenario. So, bottom line, I would love if they put that much effort in battery longevity they are putting into other areas.

          I'd like to use drones for live video shots of bands performing on stage for both a 'jumbotron' style live feed for the venue and for recording purposes, but actual practical flight endurance times are still too short, particularly when loaded down with a good camera and the extra battery weight needed for it as well.

          Much better than a bunch of guys in black running around with bulky steady-cams and blocking the live audience's view and being a distraction a

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 28, 2016 @02:42AM (#52974797)

    That Karma drone from GoPro is dead on arrival then. Karma is small, and has a camera that can be used with a handle on the ground. BUT it missed a lot of the collision avoidance and expert features like tracking objects visually.

    Mavic is *smaller*, *cheaper*, has all the smarter modes and collision avoidance stuff. It's from the market leader, another plus. Flight time is longer for the Mavik, and flight distance is further I think. GoPro didn't talk about the range, so I assume its pretty crap. Oh and Mavik supports VR headsets.

    That leaves the removable gimbal. You can unclip it on the Karma and attach it to a handle and use it on the ground. *BUT* since the Mavik is small enough to be carried in one hand, then its only a firmware upgrade for DJI to turn the folded drone into a hand held gimbal. Since you could simply use the drone as a handle its so small.

    Incidentally, if you have an older Phantom 3, just buy the Litchi app, and it adds visual tracking and a bunch of other smart stuff to the drone, instead of upgrading. That's another thing, the DJI has both a little screen AND uses a smartphone, the GoPro uses its own system. But that means you can use your better faster smartphone and use third party software like Litchi to upgrade it.

    • and expert features like tracking objects visually.

      Sounds like missile homing! That should be fun.

    • With those foldable propellors it looks a lot more portable too: not just small, but safe to carry around in a backpack or bag without breaking. The price is pretty good too... $749 without remote; less than I've paid for mini RC helicopters (of the hobby variety rather than the toy ones) and this thing can do a hell of a lot more.
      • With those foldable propellors it looks a lot more portable too: not just small, but safe to carry around in a backpack or bag without breaking.

        Those are the most interesting part of the whole design, and I look forward to being able to buy something similar in a 10 inch prop for not too much money. Right now folding props are expensive.

  • OK it looks great, but that's a lot of dough for something the average Joe will probably smash within a week.
    Or get shot out of the sky...

  • It'll impress me when it can follow me like a pet in WoW. Until then, I'd still need a friend to fly it for a third-person aerial view...
    • Well, actually it can follow you, check the youtube video.
    • It does have person/object tracking. I am not sure of it's reliability, but can select a "target" through the display on the controls and follow in 3 modes.
      1) It can follow behind the person.
      2) "Profile" mode allows it to move parallel to the person with the drone roughly 90 degrees to the right or left side.
      3) 'Spotlight' mode (which I think is circling above a target).

      The Mavic also has forward collision avoidance which will help when following behind a person.
      • The problem is that it needs to be told what it's supposed to track and it homes for where it launched. Following someone walking is very different from following someone when they're moving quickly. None of their video showed the latter, which tells me that they couldn't show it (after all, it'd be impressive).

        Don't get me wrong, it looks like it'd be handy for a lot of purposes and they're moving in the right direction, but the pet analogy is really what I want to see for action shots. If I am bothering t

  • Although I'm only putting one camera on mine.

    Friend of mine made some carbon folding 250 quad frames. I'm really down to just soldering motor leads, renumbering ESCdirect pins, and software setup. I've never done pixhawk before, and this is based around a minipx4...

  • I'll keep on waiting for the fist-sized, ultrasound-enabled, electroshock-emitter, mosquitoes hunt-and-destroy, nocturnal-guardian drone. When it arrives, I'll have a couple dozens, please.

  • A drone that does selfies eh?

    Just when you though selfie sticks were annoying...

    • A drone that does selfies eh?

      Just when you though selfie sticks were annoying...

      This is nothing new. The only difference is that now people don't have to make their friends fly the quadcopter while they surf/skate/rock climb/try to look cool. I can't get over how compact this one folds down. That's some serious James Bond level stuff.

  • The FCC and EC regulations about the power of a transmitter are the same for all. Hover, the range of DJI quads is much higher then usual. I flew DJI Phantom 3 Advanced up to 2.4 km away and back.

    What do DJI OcuSync Transmission System or DJI Lightbridge mean exactly? And why do they provide a higher range?

    Do these FCC and EC regulations make sense? Transmitter Power (EIRP) FCC - 26 dBm, CE - 20 dBm. Why cannot we use say 200 dBm and have a range of a hundred kilometers. Certainly for such long range

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