The latest in the Drones and Small Unmanned Aerial Systems Special Series, in which Kike profiles interesting information, research and thoughts on using drones, UAVs and remotely piloted vehicles for journalism and photography.
New York – Yesterday DJI launched the new Mavic Pro, a compact yet powerful drone. It incorporates 24 high-performance computing cores, an all-new transmission system with a 4.3mi (7km) range, 5 vision sensors, and a 4K camera stabilized by a 3-axis mechanical gimbal. This could probably be the most sophisticated flying cameras ever.
As the Mavic flies, dual forward and downward vision sensors measure the distance between itself and obstacles by taking photos from all four cameras and using the information to create a 3D map that tells it exactly where obstacles are. The dual forward and downward vision sensors require visible light to function, and can see as far as 49ft (15m) in front in bright light. Indoor flying is extremely accurate. The Mavic uses dual forward vision sensors. This setup allows the quadcopter to see obstacles in 3-dimensions up to 15 meters in front and hovering at up to 10 meters without satellite positioning.
Mavic’s efficient propulsion system allows it to fly for up to 27 minutes and reach speeds of 40mph (64kph). I am really surprised by its portability. Its design really saves space when fully folded up. The Mavic has 2 pairs of 8.3 inch foldable propellers with each covering nearly half the length of the aircraft. When you are flying over changing terrain, the Mavic’s Terrain Follow function uses height information gathered by the onboard ultrasonic system, and its downward facing cameras to keep you flying at the same height above the ground even as the ground moves.
The 4K camera ( equivalent focal length of 28mm) is equipped with a 1/2.3 inch CMOS image sensor mounted on the smallest high-precision 3-axis gimbal that DJI has ever made. With brushless motors on all three axes, the gimbal can control the camera with precision, adjusting it to eliminate shake caused by the movements of the Mavic. The camera films smooth 4K video at 30fps, 1080P video at 96fps and takes 12 megapixel photos.
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