NAB 2016: 3D Robotics – Augmented Reality Features With New Drone Software

solo-rewindBy James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

3DRobotics continues to refine their Solo Drone by giving it a host of new features that included augmented reality and a pair new smart shots for drone pilots to get the shot they need without endangering property, people, or the drone itself.

“We didn’t design Solo as a product, but as an ongoing experience. Instead of pouring our innovation into a whole new drone to sell you, we keep developing on Solo, so the technology in the drone you have today just gets better as time goes on. Solo is a drone that’s evolved ahead of the technology curve and anticipated with what serious pilots and creatives really want in their drone. This release extends the experience you can take to the air, and also makes everyone a more engaged and safer pilot, to help you harness your own creativity, so you can easily and quickly create and capture the incredible shots you want.” – Colin Guinn, Chief Research Officer, 3D Robotics

3drappAccording to 3DR, early generation sense and avoid software made drone operators overconfident in the face of changing conditions. To that end, the smart drone company has updated their Solo drone control software a host of tools that promise to raise a pilot’s awareness of the situation they’re flying in.

These new tools include the use of augmented reality. customizable geo fencing, and flight path rewinding. These tools will give operators “scene awareness” of what the drone is experiencing in the flight envelope.

With Augmented Reality, the drone operator will have an expended heads up overlay which will provide visuals that will show home points, orbit points of focus, and the ability to animate these points in real time. This will give users another dimension to keep their point of origin and other details within the scene while the operator is looking from a first person point of view.

solovirtualfenceMeanwhile, 3DR has added GeoFencing, which will allow for defining a virtual fence around the Solo’s flight path. Users can simply view a satellite image of the area, set the home point, and then draw with their finger to create a fence through which the drone will not fly beyond. The fence can also be adjusted in flight when encountering additional nearby obstacles.

Triggering Flight Path Rewind will cause the Solo drone to backup and refly the last 60 feet of its flight path, or as defined by the operator. This will not only allow users to avoid obstacles, but they can refly a section should they discover a shot they want to get without having to redefine the flight path.

Adding to their quiver of smart shot aided aerial templates, 3DRobotics has also added a both Pano and Zipline smart shots for automated flight while filming. Pano, as you would expect, enables users to craft and capture an aerial panorama by panning and snapping images in sequence according to the design a pilot crafts from the satellite map.

Meanwhile, Zipline, gives users the ability to create a virtual zipline in the sky, that the Solo can then fly up and down in quick succession. Pilots can control speed and direction, as well as the direction that the camera will face while getting the image.

The cool thing is that the zip line doesn’t just have to be horizontal. It can be set to fly at an angle, or even directly up and down. Zipline also has a “spot lock” feature, that will enable the camera operator to lock the camera’s focus on a subject and the camera will stay locked on it, independently of the flight envelope, which Solo will adjust the zipline to maintain the spot lock.

I love the Zipline feature from 3DR. It really does give users the freedom to motion control just about anywhere in the sky, whether it’s flying up the side of a high rise or sailing through a jungle, or even moving up along the gentle slope of a mountain top. And then you can back it up and do it again and again and get the exact same shot.

That’s a smart drone.

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Doddlenews is the news division of the Digital Production Buzz, a leading online resource for filmmakers, covering news, reviews and tutorials for the video and film industry, along with movie and TV news, and podcasting.

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