Modern Trends in Drone Design and Innovation

We always endeavor to inspire innovative drone technology that will make drones more secure and intelligent. The modern day drones are attempting to utilize the sense and avoid technology to the fullest. This technology has unleashed new vistas of opportunities for drone manufacturers across the globe.

A number of drone developers are planning to bring about a massive revolution in the current drone industry by incorporating autonomous flight features and sophisticated hardware in their new designs. You must be familiar with the popular drone icons such as DJI, Parrot and Yuneec.

Here are some of the latest drone designs and innovations that are currently available or will soon be a part of drones of the future.

Diodon

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The Diodon comes with a patented inflatable frame and perforation resistant fabric that makes it hard and foldable for easy transportation. The drone is completely waterproof and the compressed gas of the inflatable frame makes it easy to land and take off on water. The frame can be inflated either manually or with the included compact electric pump. The drone can also be integrated with plenty of sensors for pursuing search and rescue missions, industrial inspection and military missions.

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DJI Spark

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The sophisticated features and functions of the higher end drones are bundled together in a small, user-friendly gizmo known as DJI Spark. The drone can be maneuvered with the help of either a handheld mobile device or gesture controls. The manufacturer has ensured that the machine is easy to handle while the obstacle avoidance technology that has been incorporated in this state of the art aircraft was not included in a gizmo of this size ever before. The drone offers a flight time of 16 minutes along with a 12MP camera attached to a dual axis gimbal. It features intelligent flight modes such as TapFly and ActiveTrack and is also compatible with the DJI Goggles.

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Cleo

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The Cleo is the smallest drone in its category while its versatile donuts shaped design makes it easily portable. It can be controlled via smartphone application and offers 15 minutes of flight duration. It is equipped with a 13MP camera which is able to capture 1080p video. The drone is lightweight as it weighs less than 3 ounces. Cleo is a great example of the latest trend that portrays that the industry is endeavoring to introduce smaller and feature-rich drones.

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MOLA-UFO

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It is a selfie drone that comes with a versatile design and an imaginative frame that makes it suitable to fit in the palm of your hand. It is loaded with stabilization technology that ensures that the images are captured seamlessly without any jitters despite the windy conditions. It has the ability to identify objects with its camera and lock it in its frame to follow the target object and capture their images and videos via its 4K resolution camera.

We are still not sure about the pricing of the drone and when it will be available for the consumers.

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Yuneec Breeze

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This is a versatile, affordable, compact sized drone that has been designed for the common consumers and is able to capture 4K UHD videos using varying modes of flight. It is compatible with Android and iOS powered smartphone apps and lets the pilot view the real time video feed from the drone’s camera and capture images and videos with a single tap. The smartphone app also makes it easier to share images on the social media. The drone is priced at $500 and is easy to use and transport.

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PD6B-AW-ARM

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This exquisite drone has been developed by PRODRONE Co. Ltd. which is headquartered in Japan. This is essentially a large-format drone with a couple of robotic arms that enable it to carry out tons of different tasks. The drone has the capacity to carry a payload of 20Kg and offers a flight time of about half an hour.

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Teal Drone

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Touted as the world’s fastest drone, the Teal Drone can attain speeds in excess of 75mph out of the box and has the unique ability to withstand winds up to 40mph. It is waterproof and sustains precipitation in the form of rain, snow and hail without any issues. It boasts a modular design which makes it easier for the pilots to tailor it to their requirements and substitute components as and when required. The drone can be maneuvered with the help of an iPhone or Android powered smartphone app and lets it capture 4K UHD video. It incorporates the autonomous Follow Me mode, geo-fencing and several other state of the art modes of flight. The company is taking pre-orders for $1,299 apiece.

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DOBBY Pocket Drone

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Developed by the Chinese manufacturer, Zerotech, the DOBBY Pocket Drone is a selfie drone that has been engineered for the consumers with very little experience with regard to aerial photography and cinematography. It is loaded with a 13MP HD camera and costs $400. It can be maneuvered with the aid of a iOS and Android powered smartphone app. This wonderful drone boasts foldable propellers which allow it to be easily transported simply by pocketing it. Other features include gesture based interaction, face recognition, follow me mode and voice control functions.

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PhoneDrone

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This versatile product by XCRAFT transforms your smartphone into a quadcopter. The company furnishes the mechanical components including the four propellers and the shell. The remaining software features are provided by the Android and iOS powered apps. The body is shock resistant, water resistant and floatable that prevents the smartphone for getting damaged. The drone has the ability to attain speeds in excess of 35mph and offers a flight time of 15 to 20 minutes on a single charge. The drone was shipped for the first time in September, 2016 and costs $300.

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Wingsland S6 RC Drone

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The Wingsland S6 RC Drone is being touted as the smartphone of the drone world which is the sleekest 4K UHD drone around and comes loaded with state of the art drone technology. It is one of the first flat and collapsible designs that offers numerous functionalities such as a search light, mini toy gun, emoji display screen and obstacle avoidance. It can be maneuvered with the help of a smartphone application and is equipped with a toy gun that can be used to fire projectiles at the target objects.

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PowerEgg

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Developed by Power Vision, headquartered in China, the PowerEgg drone boasts an appearance that is similar to an egg and can be maneuvered with the help of gesture recognition technology.

The drone can be purchased for just $1,288 as the original packaging includes both the radio controllers, base station, battery, necessary cables for charging and a trendy backpack for easy portability. The drone was shipped for the first time towards the end of 2016.

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Hover Camera

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The burgeoning startup Zero Zero Robotics has come up with this high end innovative drone that simply needs to be launched into the air where it starts hovering automatically. The drone can be used to capture 13MP still shots, 4K UHD video footages and 360o panorama shots. The propellers can be housed in a carbon fiber enclosure which lets the user easily transport the drone from one place to another. The Hover Camera is available at the Apple Store.

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Fleye

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The Fleye is regarded as the safest drone in the weight owing to its spherical shape. It is about the same size and weight as that of a football and can be configuredz to carry out smart flights and accomplish computer vision tasks.

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ONAGOfly

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The ONAGOfly is a low cost and yet high performing drone that is loaded with GPS and a high resolution video camera alongside the Follow Me autonomous flight mode.

Despite its small size and low price, the ONAGOfly boasts the same features and specifications that are typically found in higher end and larger sized drones. It can be had for just $199 plus the shipping charges.

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FLYBi

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This is a drone that intends to put together the sophisticated features and incredible drone that will make your jaws drop. It promises to offer splendid user experience while the user can share the real time video feed from the drone via the FLYBi VR app. The Virtual Reality application and goggles let the pilot see from the eyes of the drone. The drone costs between $495 and $999 depending on the bundle you prefer.

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Flyability

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The manufacturer is coming up Gimball that is being touted as the first collision-resistant flying robot in the world and has the ability to maintain its composure despite collisions. It is safe to fly around in places thick with people as it makes use of obstacles to find its path rather than avoiding them.

The firm is on the lookout for potential partners with business environments that are conducive to testing this imaginative product. The company is still working on the price aspect but at the moment, the starting price is estimated at $20,000.

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The Snap

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The Snap Drone by Vantage Robotics has been engineered to remain safe and in case of a collision, to break apart. The main components stay together by strong magnets while the unique design of the machine keeps the propellers safe from harm. It is maneuvered with the help of an iPhone or Android powered app and can be collapsed for easy portability. It is equipped with a gimbal stabilized 4K UHD camera and offers a flight duration of 20 minutes.

The drone can be ordered from the company’s website at $895. Its price is likely to rise to $1,295.

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Lily

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Lily is an intelligent drone that features autonomous flight as no radio controller is required to control its flight. The GPS tracking device that is put on the wrist of the user enables the drone to start following the user as soon as it is launched into the air. The drone and the GPS tracking device are waterproof which means that it can be used in wet or rainy weather conditions. It is claimed as the first throw and shoot camera in the world and has the ability to capture high definition images and videos.

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Easy Drone

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This is another drone that boasts a modular design and comes up as an affordable and yet powerful option for cinematographers. It is easily portable and comes ready to fly right out of the box. It has wireless video and camera gimbal control integrated as standard features. It is available in the price range between $985 and $1,995.

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EXOM

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This versatile drone has been engineered to ensure secure inspection of buildings and other setups. It has five sensor modules that are located around the frame of the drone and include a navcam and an ultrasonic sensor. Driven by high end computer vision algorithms, these sensors provide situational awareness and object avoidance intelligence to the drone that are essentially needed by the machine for its efficient working. The company is owned by the French tech giant PARROT.

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PlexiDrone

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DreamQii are a startup headquartered in Toronto, Canada and they have come up with PlexiDrone which can be accommodated into a backpack with ease after being disassembled. The larger sized version comes equipped with state of the art features such as the function that draws up the trajectory of the flight, collision detection and parts that can be swapped with each other. It boasts a modular design that can be customized and transported from one place to another thanks to its simple framework. It does not come with an integrated camera but it lets the users mount one on it such as the GoPro action camera.

The PlexiDrone Pro Pack is priced at $769 and includes a gimbal in the original packaging.

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HEXO+

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This is a lightweight flying camera drone that follows the user autonomously and records the video footage. It is user-friendly as a user simply has to connect a GoPro action camera to the device, configure the framing on the smartphone application and let the aircraft do its job.

It comes with a collapsible frame and legs that allow easy portability. It is supported by Director’s Cut, which is an app similar to Garageband that offers plenty of options for capturing video footages. The drone offers a flight duration of 15 minutes and comes bundled with a GoPro action camera, 3S battery and a gimbal.

It is priced between $299 and $999 depending on whether you opt to purchase the GoPro action camera or if you want to 3D print the drone.

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AirDog

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This drone does not require a radio controller as the user simply has to put on an armband with a tiny box and a control pad on it. This armband is referred to as the Air Leash that employs the long range Bluetooth to wirelessly tether the drone to the armband so that the drone follows you wherever you go and whatever you do. The original packaging includes the drone, an Air Leash, a gyro stabilized gimbal to attach the camera to, a battery and a charger. It can be had on Amazon.

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Spiri

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It is a unique quadcopter that comes equipped with intelligent obstacle avoidance, visual configuration and a user-friendly smartphone controller. It is extremely easy to use and offers high performance thanks to its state of the art features including a 9-axis IMU, optical and acoustic sensors, a camera facing downwards, a couple of stereoscopic cameras facing the forward direction, GPS and an expansion USB slot. Priced at $1,400, the Spiri drone is a phenomenal device for those looking to explore, be creative and try new things out.

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Splash Drone

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It is a completely waterproof drone that is loaded with exquisite features and has the enviable ability to land and float on the surface of water. The drone has been designed for the outdoor adventure enthusiasts who want to mount their GoPro action cameras as they indulge themselves in rafting, surfing, swimming and other water or land based sport. The drone is equipped with a versatile payload release mechanism, emergency flare system and a gimbal stabilized camera. It can be had for just $1,299.

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Nixie

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This unique drone takes off, captures a video or an image and gets back to where it started. It can be tied to one’s wrist similar to a wrist watch and has a compact sized camera mounted on it. The product is not available for the consumers yet since the developers are still working on improving this marvelous device. The release date, ordering information and price are yet to be announced by the manufacturers.

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Zano

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The Zano is being touted as the most intelligent nano drone that is easy to transport, great for aerial photography and cinematography and is small enough to fit in the palm of one’s hands. In addition, it is equipped with autonomous flight features. It connects to an iOS or Android powered device via an integrated WiFi and allows the user to immediately start capturing and sharing images and video footages. It is loaded with the Return to Home feature that makes the machine get back in case the drone runs out of juice.

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Trace Flyr1

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This amazing drone takes an encoded image of the user, recognizes the face, stores it in its memory and follows the user from above.

This unique device is loaded with an auto-learn function that keeps track of ascent and descent speed, acceleration and other parameters. It utilizes the data to make the right approximations and capture the perfect moments. If this is exactly what the machine is able to accomplish, this will be a massive revolution since the post processing time will be significantly reduced.

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Ehang Ghost

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The Ehang Ghost can be maneuvered via the conventional touch based controls and is quite easy to fly in contrast to its competitors. It comes with exquisite tilt controls that enable the user to tilt the Android powered device in their hands and watch the drone follow suit.

The drone is loaded with state of the art GPS technology and lets the users press the onscreen buttons to make the device take off, land, fly to and from the chosen waypoints and hover at the desired location. It also comes with the Follow Me autonomous flight mode. The drone is also available on Amazon.Emerging Players in the Drone Industry

Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight

Qualcomm have taken a huge leap forward by integrating navigation, video processing and computation on a single chip in an attempt to reduce the size of the board and the battery required as a source of power. The tiny battery reduces the weight of the device which in turn decreases the size of the motor; hence yielding smaller and more affordable gizmos. Qualcomm are already collaborating with Yuneec who are engineering a drone centered around this unique platform.

GoPro Inc.

Making a move from wearable video cameras, the manufacturer is coming up with consumer drones in a bid to diversify their market outreach.

Aerosense Quadcopter

Sony Mobile are partnering with ZMP to produce the Aerosense quadcopter that is equipped with Sony’s QX30 lens/camera module and Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) features.

The Upshot

The ever-evolving technology is likely to keep introducing new designs and innovations on the drone landscape. Each innovation appears to raise new speculations and suspicions regarding safety, security and privacy. Of course, drones are going to go a long way in unleashing incredible vistas of opportunities for businesses who want to streamline them. However, to our disappointment, drones are also being misused but the developers should endeavor to make the drones more intelligent in contrast to the pilots to discourage their efforts to misuse them.

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