3D Robotics has unveiled its previously teased quadcopter, Solo, here at NAB 2015. The company is referring to it as a smart drone and the demo videos it has released thus far lead some credence to that claim.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SP3Dgr9S4pM&w=700]
The Solo is more tightly integrated for GoPro shooting than any other drone to date. 3D Robotics worked directly with GoPro to make Solo optimized for capturing GoPro footage. It offers a HDMI link from the GoPro camera to the transmitter, which allows you to view live HD video from the ground via the transmitter’s HDMI output.
The Solo uses two on-board computers that allow you to easily set up cable cam and orbiting shots, which are programmable from the companion app. You can manually adjust the camera angle from a lever/button on the top of the transmitter or even program camera angle presets.
The press of a single button allows you to automate takeoff and landing. Also, if things get sketchy, you can press the pause button on the transmitter to simply hold where you are at until you regain composure to proceed with your next move. It also has a built-in return to home and will default to manual control if the Solo loses GPS contact.
The Solo’s app can be used to monitor in-flight imagery and data, as well as and control the GoPro camera recording and settings remotely.
3D Robotics says the Solo is a platform that will continue to grow and the built-in accessory bay will be used for features that aren’t yet available.
3DR teased some of these upcoming developments though including an optical flow sensor for precision indoor flying, a parachute as a safety precaution when flying over people or additional LED lighting.
Updates for Solo’s computer, the controller’s computer, the autopilot system and the Solo gimbal will be made available wirelessly through the mobile app with no need to connect the Solo to your computer via USB for updates.
The 3D Robotics Solo will be available in May 2015 for $999. Check it out here at B&H Photo.
The GoPro-compatible gimbal runs $400 and will be sold separately.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PfN9lTp8ma0&w=700]