Berkeley, California (EastBayDaily) — 3D Robotics, the leading North American drone company across both consumer and enterprise channels, today announced the launch of the X8+, a tough, ready-to-fly personal drone that extends the capability of 3DR’s fully-automated flight platform into the professional realm. In addition, 3DR also introduced the company’s new plug-and-play first-person view (FPV) kit, providing everything a user needs to start live streaming a video feed from the camera on the X8+ or IRIS+ drones.
Personal drones at these consumer price points are usually designed to carry a lightweight action camera through the air. The X8+ can do that—and can also carry larger pro-line cameras—but it’s more than a flying camera. It’s really the first drone at a consumer price point that could be called an intelligent tool.
Basically, 3DR has taken care of making a tough robot that can fly—consumers can now build on that platform and make of it what they can. Maybe it’s easiest to think of the X8+ as a power drill that users can outfit with different bits. Beyond photography and videography, for instance, it can be used to generate highly precise maps and 3D models, collect aerial data in automated and infinitely repeatable flight paths, carry different sensors for gathering data beyond the visible spectrum, generate point clouds for accurate ground survey, and can even be outfitted with magnets for real delivery potential. The aluminum frame can take the elements, but it’s also light enough to maximize aerial mobility; it folds into a compact and easily transportable form perfect for on-site use in areas like mining, construction, search & rescue, agriculture and professional cinematography. And like all 3DR drones, the X8+ comes with free mission planning software, 3DR’s world-leading open source flight platform and a remote controller.
The X8+ also now features 3DR’s world-first 3PVâ¢ Follow Me mode, meaning the copter can track any GPS-enabled Android device with a variety of changeable angle and distance presets that will keep consumers in the center of creative videos. Or, if used industrially, that will keep whatever a user needs to track in the center of the copter’s field of vision.
As a flying camera, the lifting power of the X8+ (max takeoff weight of over 2 kg, recommended payload 800g battery and 800g payload) offers users options for attaching an array of gimbals, cameras and sensors. This means that instead of only being able to carry a GoPro with a wide-angle lens, the X8+ can also carry gimbals that support a professional quality mirrorless video camera, such as the Black Magic Pocket Cinema Camera, or a pro point-and-shoot like the Panasonic LX100 or Canon S110. This carrying capacity unlocks options: you can choose different lenses for video with the Black Magic, and the different focal length settings for the LX100 allow aerial photographers to set a zoom for tight and focused shots while flying at a distance; when flying with a tiny wide-angle lens users would have to get the copter physically closer to a subject. Pair the X8+ with 3DR’s FPV kit and consumers now have everything needed to scout, monitor and shoot professional-grade aerials.
The X8+ includes automated mission planning right out of the box, open source software platforms compatible with Mac, Windows, Android, and Linux systems. With free DroidPlanner 2 software, X8+ users can plan flights by simply drawing a flight path on any Android tablet or phone, which allows for hands-free flight control. The X8+ drone will go where you tell it to go, and can even keep its camera pointed at the same location via a Region of Interest (ROI) waypoint throughout the entire flight. This enables autonomous journeys and automatically stabilized photo, video and data capture.
Features of the 3DR X8+ Lifting power to carry an array of customizable professional payloads Redundant propeller system for reliability and flight protection Max takeoff weight of over 2 kg, with flight times up to 15 minutes depending on payload. Robust design for on-site and repeatable real world use Intelligent tool enabling mapping, survey, 3D modeling, delivery of small goods Fully-automated flight control
The X8+ is now available for purchase at http://www.3DR.com, for only $1,350. 3DR’s FPV kit is also available now at $349.99.
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About 3DR 3D Robotics develops innovative, flexible and reliable personal drones and UAV technology for everyday exploration and business applications. 3DR’s UAV platforms capture breathtaking aerial imagery for consumer enjoyment and data analysis, enabling mapping, surveying, 3D modeling and more. Our technology is currently used across multiple industries around the world, including agriculture, photography, construction, search and rescue and ecological study. 3DR is committed to bringing the power of UAV technology to the mainstream market. They are best known for their open-sourced platform and the Pixhawk: the most accessible, widely-used autopilot hardware on the market. Founded in 2009 by Chris Anderson, founder of DIYDrones.com, and Jordi Munoz, 3D Robotics is a VC-backed startup with over 180 employees in North America and more than 28,000 customers worldwide. Headquartered in Berkeley, CA, 3DR operates engineering facilities in San Diego, CA; manufacturing in Tijuana, Mexico; and marketing in Austin, TX.