High-End Work Drones Dominate Orlando Dealer Show
High-End Work Drones Dominate Orlando Dealer Show
While consumer drones are grabbing the headlines, the real growth potential will come from drones for business and industry. Here are examples of these work drones.
A Custom-Made Drone for Movie Making
This heavy-duty drone is custom-manufactured at the facilities of Drone Nerds in Miami. The drone itself can weigh as much as 45 pounds, and it can lift items such as the RED digital cinema camera shown here. The drone is designed for serious work, which is why it's constructed from carbon fiber, and it can lift up to 30 pounds. This drone can be outfitted with four 22 amp-hour batteries, which will give it a flight time of an hour. This drone isn't cheap at $21,150, but considering the work it can do, it's worth every penny.
Using the Monster X Camera Without the Drone
This is a handheld camera mount for use in filmmaking that is built to accept the camera designed to fly with the Monster X drone. The camera can be used without the drone while giving the viewer the same feeling. It's designed for interior shots when using something like the Monster X would be unsafe.
Here's a Professional-Grade Drone With Consumer Roots
The Phantom 4 drone, shown here at the Drone Nerds display, from drone maker DJI has its roots in high-end consumer drones, but is used for professional operations, including making videos. This drone has a 4K HD camera for high-quality images. The camera is mounted in an integrated gimbal for steadiness. It includes obstacle-avoidance sensors and can be set to automatically return to its take-off point if it loses connections to its flight controller. This drone sells for $1399.
Xiro Explorer 5 Has a Swappable Camera Mounting
The Xiro Explorer 5 drone is being marketed to real estate companies that want to use airborne photos or videos of the properties they're trying to sell. This line of drones includes a handheld gimbal mounting needed for photos of the interiors of properties, and a swappable camera mount so that the drone can be outfitted with multiple types of cameras. This drone retails for $799.
Drones for Aerial Film Making Were Common
The DJI Inspire 1 Pro includes support for the Zenmuse X5R camera that's designed for use in professional filmmaking. This drone can be configured with separate camera and flight controls, which reduces the workload on the pilot, and helps ensure more consistent photography. Note that the arms that hold the propulsion motors are currently deployed as landing gear. In flight, these arms are raised to provide a clear 360-degree view for the camera. This drone can also be used in law enforcement and supports a FLIR (forward looking infrared) camera. The cost for this drone, shown at the Drone Nerds display, is $4,099.
Yuneec Offers a Complete Drone Kit
The Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K (pronounced "unique") drone is normally sold as part of a kit that includes a ground station, a carrying case, a handheld camera platform, a three-axis gimbal camera and support for geo-fencing. The drone is being marketed to real estate companies, but can also be used for other types of video production. The kit sells for $999.
A Drone That Analyzes Warehouse Activity
Drone SmartX manager Dina Marquez shows the analysis reports from a drone that's monitoring warehouse activity. The company provides drones as a service, and includes a variety of analysis software to display the results of the work that the drone is doing. These devices can be outfitted with a variety of sensors and cameras and can learn what's normal for any area they're monitoring.
Drones Carry Multiple Sensors
This is a look at the drones used by Drone SmartX and the sensors that these devices can use. Here you can see an array of air sensors as well as sensors and markers used by the drone and its analysis software when it's monitoring an area. That pink watch in front is actually designed to be worn by personnel so that the drone analysis software can identify them, and see where they are and what they're doing.
Freefly Alta 6 Performs (Relatively) Heavy Lifts
The Freefly Alta 6 drone can perform a variety of missions. In addition to being used as a camera platform, this six-rotor drone has been used with Lidar (light direction and ranging) for survey work, infrared photography and radiation detection, and it's even taken on tasks such as lifting hoses to workers on a roof. The payload for the Alta 6 is 15 pounds. There's also an Alta 8 drone that will carry 20 pounds. The Alta 6 sells for $11,995.
xFold Spy Carries GoPro Cameras
The xFold Spy is a lightweight, eight-rotor camera drone designed to carry GoPro cameras, or similar size payloads. One of its primary features is the ability to fold compactly for transport. The Spy is part of a much larger family of drones intended for the film and video industries. A fully configured Spy is $3,499, but this drone can be configured in a variety of ways.
The X PlusOne Is a Flying Wing Drone
The Xcraft X PlusOne drone combines the attributes of a quadcopter and an airplane, giving the operator the benefits of both. The ability to take off vertically means it can operate from nearly anywhere, and the flying wing configuration extends its flight time and its payload. This drone can fly at speeds in excess of 60 miles per hour. This drone can carry GoPro or other cameras of similar weight and size. If this drone looks familiar to you, it was featured on the TV show "Shark Tank." It sells for $1,699.
Navi Utility Drone Comes From Down Under
Aeronavics refers to its smallest drone, the Navi, as a utility drone. This drone is designed to be used for surveying, mapping and inspection. It will carry a payload of 2.6 pounds and has a modular design so that the drone can change functions just by adding or removing modules. The Navi has a flight time of more than a half hour. That orange-topped canister on the back of the drone contains what the company calls a recovery system, which means that the drone carries its own parachute. Aeronavics is located in New Zealand. You can buy one of these high-end professional drones for $17,000.