19. january 2020 – 5 minute read

Drones Of The Future – Most Exciting Drones Of 2020

5 minute read

Drones Of The Future – Most Exciting Drones Of 2020

So advance, they just might make the star of next Terminator movie an evil flying drone.

When it comes to drones, DJI was at the forefront for a solid few years now. The 2016 Mavic Pro is still a workhorse for many drone pilots and the upgraded version in 2018, the Mavic 2 Pro, took the drone world even further. And while DJI did dominate the drone sales for a while now, the competition wasn’t having none of that and that lead to the creation of several very fun drones that will soon hit the market. We are quite excited about the future since we are hardcore drone enthusiasts but it remains to be seen whether all this exciting drone tech will come without hiccups, like the infamous sky falling Karma drones of GoPro (which almost bankrupted the company).

Her: so what do you do for a living? Him: I’m a pilot.

As one of our favorite meme goes, there now exists a profession called drone pilot, which isn’t quite as hard as say an actual airplane pilot. What drone pilots or operators can do however is capture amazing footage without having to pay for a heavy flying beast. Not only is a helicopter a cumbersome and hard to fly aircraft it is also very noisy and well big. And to put into perspective how the world changed in a short amount of time, just 10 years ago you had to hire a helicopter and a camera operator (with a camera that cost well over 100.000$) to film something. Now a drone flies over the same landscape but for a fraction of the price.

But what does the future hold for drones? Well for starters, there will be more regulation but on the other hand there’s this very very exciting technology being made that will allow for even better videos both in smoothness and quality! What are the most exciting consumer video drones in 2020? Let’s get to it!

PowerEgg X

Is it a plane? Is it a bird? No it’s a flying egg!

First on the list is the egg shaped drone called the PowerEgg X. Looking at it, it makes sense that they named it like that. Presented at CES, PowerVision showed us their newest drone, which is not only a drone but also a stationary camera, camcorder AND a drone. Might we say, it’s a multitasking drone. It boasts being waterproof with a somewhat standard flight time of 30 minutes, 4k video at 60 fps and can fly in winds up to 38 kph. One cool feature is that it can take off on water.

The idea about PowerEgg X is that it combines three main ways people shoot using cameras, meaning stationary, handheld and aerial/drone. The camera has a 1/2.8″ sensor capable of 12MP photos and 4K 60 fps video at 75 Mbps.

The PowerVision PowerEgg X can freely used as a handheld camera thanks to it’s removable arms. This mode increases battery life to three and a half hours, has has face detection that automatically tracks a person and keeps them inside the camera view. You can also record your voice over the footage using the mobile app and allows gesture controls, such as one the ones in DJI drones.

During CES, PowerVision had the PowerEgg X in drone mode flying in a waterfall which was really cool to see. Downside to that is that this is only available using the Wizard version of the drone, which comes with a waterproof shell for the drone and pads that allow it to land and take off on water. PowerEgg X has a flight time of 30 minutes, the ability to track subjects, and built-in quick shots such as Dronie, Helix, Rocket Circle, and Ellipse.

You can order the PowerEgg X now for $899 which will get you the camera, drone arms, one battery, remote, extra propellers, camera strap, and a camera bag. If want the waterproof version, two batteries, extra propellers plus the water landing pads, that will cost you $1,249.

Needless to say, it’s on our wishlist.

EVO 2 Series

Spying your neighbors has never been easier

Another cool drone at CES 2020 in Las Vegas, was the Autel Robotics second generation EVO drone, which will be the world’s first 8K foldable consumer drone. If that isn’t cool, nothing is. Autel EVO II has a new foldable design with a bright red body drone body which will come in three different camera modules. While there are certain similarities with DJI Mavic design, which uses a different folding mechanism for the rear and front legs, EVO II folds the rear legs the same way as front legs. All three camera modules will be user-interchangeable, so there’s that.

Autel EVO II Series – Three Camera Versions

Autel EVO II Series will come in three different versions with three different camera modules:

  • Autel EVO II – 8K camera with 1/2-inch CMOS sensor. It offers maximum resolution of 48MP (8,000 x 6,000px) for stills. Video resolution will top at 7720×4320 pixels. According to Autel, this is the world’s first foldable 8K drone. The ISO range of this camera will be 100-3200. The takeoff weight of EVO II will be 1,127g.
  • Autel EVO II Pro – 6K camera with 1-inch CMOS sensor and 29mm (full-frame equivalent) focal length optics with adjustable aperture (f/2.8-f/11). Sensor offers maximum resolution of 20MP (5,472 x 3,648px) for stills. Thanks to larger pixels, the ISO range is 100-12,800. The takeoff weight of EVO II Pro will be 1,174g.
  • Autel EVO II Dual – combines the 8K camera with a thermal camera that offers a resolution of up to 640×512. Takeoff weight will be 1,157g for the EVO II Dual 320 and 1,192g for the EVO II Dual 640. The only difference will most likely be in the quality (resolution) of the thermal camera.

There is no information about framerates these cameras will have. There will most likely be a 30 fps for all cameras, but other than that we have no information. The drones will have an internal 8GB storage with a supported memory cards up to 256 GB.

Videos on these bad boys will be able to record up to a maximum bitrate of 120 Mbps with the manufacturer claiming all cameras will have 10 bit color depth. However we do not know if the cameras will record in h.264 or h.265.

Max speed in standard mode will be 15m/s (54km/h). Autel EVO II drones will also have something called Ludicrous mode, which will increase the maximum speed to 20m/s (72km/h).

Video transmission and drone control signal will reach up to 9km of distance. That means the 2.4GHz signal should be strong enough to also help in crowded urban environments and thick forests. Autel EVO II will come with a remote controller with a built-in screen and will feature 12 optical computer vision sensors plus two sonar sensors on its body. That will help the drone navigate itself in all directions while avoiding obstacles. Dynamic Track 2.0 will track the desired subject with the help of AI-enhanced tracking.

The drone will have a 7100mAh rechargeable battery. According to Autel, it will provide up to 40 minutes of flight time in forwarding motion and up to 35 minutes in hover.

V-Coptr Falcon

Like a V-Tol but smaller.

The Vtol looking foldable bicopter from Zero Zero Robotics is making waves as it promises to stay in the air a lot longer than its quadcopter competition – a whopping 50 minutes flying time. Not to mention it looks really good!

V-Coptr Falcon hits the market in February but you can get it on ZeroZero Robotics site now on a pre-sale, which will let you save $200 on the regular price that will be $999.

The most striking feature of this drone is of course being a bicopter. It has a tilt rotor design that offers two-fold efficiency gain to achieve greater flight time. Such a design is more compact and offers greater efficiency than a quadcopter, while also having much better aerodynamics. Zero Zero Robotics isn’t a new name in the drone market, having already had some success with its first two drones called the Hover Camera Passport and Hover 2.

V-Coptr features low noise propellers that are attached to the drone via tilting arms, allowing the drone to remain stable and fly in the intended direction. The V-Coptr Falcon has a 1/2.3inch 12MP CMOS sensor capable of 4K video stabilized by a 3-axis gimbal. It has front-facing obstacle avoidance sensors and is capable of tracking objects, similar to DJI’s ActiveTrack. The V-Coptr can also take cinematic shots with its built-in flight modes.

The drone is lightweight as it weighs 730 grams with a 4500mAh battery giving it its 50 minute flight time, while the controller has a 2.5 hour flight time. The V-Coptr takes JPEG and RAW photos at 12MP while it is able to take video in 4K @ 30 fps, 2.7K @ 60 fps, 1080p @ 120 fps and 720p @ 120 fps. You can view the full specs on Zero Zero Robotics’ website.

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