At the Consumer Electronic Show 2017, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, Autel, the developers of the orange “flying pumpkin” drone built for consumers, announced that they will soon be releasing upgraded versions of their camera modules.
While expressing my opinion about Autel’s consumer drone, I said, “What I really am impressed by Autel’s drone is that it is far ahead of DJI’s Phantom series in terms of ease in the way one can detach the gimbal and camera. This is certainly an advantage that the end consumer gets since he is able to upgrade his camera or even integrate some other gizmo at the spot where the gimbal is located. May be if you are looking to pursue some home delivery business, you can mount some sort of carrier in place of a gimbal.” Now, Autel is further upping the ante by releasing two new camera modules.
FLIR Duo Camera Module for Autel X-Star
One of the modules is the FLIR Duo dual thermal and visual camera module which has the ability to portray thermal as well as standard, visible light photographs. Moreover, a pilot will be allowed to switch between the two types of imageries during the flight, view both simultaneously with picture-in-picture feature or watch a combined or merged image of both. Business applications such as inspection, investigation and initial response have a wide range of uses when it comes to thermal images. The FLIR Duo camera module is expected to be released some time during the first quarter of the year 2017.
Upgraded Visual Camera
The second big announcement by Autel in relation to their camera module was meant for professional-grade photographers by promising them better quality images utilizing a 1-inch CMOS sensor. The camera will capture 4K Ultra High Definition video footages and still photographs at 20megapixels. This implies that the camera will be able to portray an enhanced performance in low light situations and will be able to produce phenomenal cinema-grade images with a wider aperture. This camera is expected to be introduced in the second quarter of 2017.
Autel Software Development Kit for X-Star
In addition to the camera modules, Autel also voiced its plans to launch a Software Development Kit (SDK) for its X-Star series that is likely to be announced somewhere in 2017. SDK is a remarkable tool for developers who intend to tailor drones in accordance with their individual requirements and preferences such as autonomous flight modes or flight management, control and manoeuvring. You can visit their website for more information and insight on SDK.
Vertical Takeoff and Landing for Kestrel
Now, coming to the fixed-wing world of drones! The company’s enterprise-based Kestrel drone will be launched in 2017 with vertical takeoff and landing; thereby transforming it into an amazing blend of hybrid quadcopter and fixed-wing airplane. The concept for Kestrel drone was initially introduced at CES 2016. It was shared as an end-to-end system incorporating flight planning tools, a radio controller, myriad payload options that could be adjusted as and when required and data analysis tools with a flight duration of a whopping two hours.