Yuneec Typhoon H – the raising star in 2016 ?

At the Nurmberg ToyFair Yuneec shows off it’s brand new hexacopter the Yuneec Typhoon H. The technical components within this model are a game changer and will be the start of a new age within drone security.

In our interview product manager Dan talks about the companies orientation, the deal with Intel and of course about the new consumer drone flagship – the Yuneec Typhoon H.

Definitely the biggest topic in the whole drone business today is Sense & Avoid. Intel’s Real Sense module debuts in the Typhoon H and fits very well into the trend. With this brand new technology the copter is able to detect obstacles super fast and prevent collisions. Instead of only relying on sonar sensors the Real Sense technology interprets its environment with a 3D optical sensor array. The closest comparable technology is probably Microsofts Kinect sensor. How precise and powerful this system works was introduced by Intels CEO Brian Krzanich at this year’s CES in Las Vegas.

Another advantage of the whole drone system is the redundancy on rotors. The two additional rotors (in comparison to a quad copter) increases the level of security in case of motor or propeller failure. Even with five rotors spinning the pilot is  still able to control the copter, hold it in position and bring it safely back to the ground.

Like it’s hardest competitor the Inspire One from DJI the Yuneec Typhoon H is equipped with retractable landing gear and a camera which can rotate a full 360 degrees. With this camera the Typhoon H shoots 4K video and 12 megapixel stills.

The Yuneec Typhoon H comes with lots of further features like two sonar sensors, different flight modes and a ton of camera settings and filters that can be comfortably adjusted from the HD touch display on the impressive transmitter.

Two more things

Two more things or product sneak peeks could be found at the Nuremberg toy fair at Yuneecs booth.

One of the Yuneec Typhoon H copters was equipped with a flir camera. The footage was directly streamed to the pilots display where a very bright thermal image was displayed. On the first glimpse the image seemed to be very precise and could also detect very small differences in temperature. Approximately thermal differences about 1 degree of Celsius could be measured and displayed in different shades of grey.
The other product peek that could be found were huge fpv goggles. Those goggles looked rather like an Oculus Rift than the classical Fatshark FPV goggles. But lifting them up, they felt light as a feather.

 

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Walkera Expands FPV Race Drone Portfolio

On the Nuremberg Toy Fair Walkera has presented a fine expansion of their FPV Race Drone Portfolio. With the successful market introduction of the Runner 250 Walkera has entered the fast growing FPV Racing scene with one of the first serious ready-to-fly FPV Race copters. End of 2015/beginning 2016 Walkera is back with two great new products in the FPV Racing segment.

Walkera Furious 320 is Designed for High-Speed, whilst the F210 is Super-Agile

Let’s start with the larger Furious 320. This is a true racing copter when it comes to top speed. Its asymetric and stretched main body shows the purpose of this fine piece of design and engineering only from it’s looks. The arms of this quad are twistable in order to add to the thrust vector in Z-axis also a X-axis vector (meaning: forward). This gives the copter a super fast acceleration response and keeps the main body in a more horizontal level whilst moving forward. This copter is styled for speed. It would be interesting to see wether the Furious 320 will open another sub-segment in drone racing where high-speed is the main focus.

Furious 320 - Walkera —The world’s most professional consumer UAV of racing

Walkera Furious 320

The F210 is Walkera’s smallest FPV Race Drone. And this little quad has the ambition to become a superstar this year in the race scene. It is truely purpose built for the requirements of current FPV race courses. The copter’s main body is made out of carbon fiber and the most crash-prone parts are made out of solid aluminium. This makes the little racer extremely robust for crashes. In other little details you can easily see that crash ressistance was one of the major design philosophies. The brushless outrunner-motors (2500 KV) have their own little crash guards and all electronic parts are highly integrated into the center of the main body. The material selection and high integration of the active components make the F210 very light and therefore super agile and fast. I personally think that this is one of the hottest FPV Race Drones this year!

F210 - Walkera — The world’s most professional consumer UAV of racing

F210 Walkera Race Drone

In addition to the physical products Walkera has added also a drone simulation game the their product range. Drone VR is a game available for tablets (Android, iOS) and can be controlled by Walkera transmitters. This element is likely to lure also video game enthusiasts into the FPV hobby.

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Xiro Drone expands it’s drone portfolio

Xiro Drone is back on Nuremberg’s Toy Fair and expands it’s drone portfolio heavily. In our report on the company’s Toy Fair presentation in 2015 they had only one drone at display. Since then the company (which has renamed itself from Zero to Xiro) did a lot of development work and is likely to have four different multirotor products on the market in 2016 (see interview video below). The Xiro Xplorer drone will be continued and refined in the details. It’s new sister model Xiro Xplorer 2 comes with a slightly changed design and some more features. The most important feature to mention is a newly developed sense-and-avoid system which follows a different technology and design philosophy if you compare it to recent products from its competitors. Xiro claims that they use a radar system to detect obstacles. To us it looks like some kind of rotating laser scanner which is built on top of the main fuselage and is said to rotate by 50 rounds per second. Unfortunately we were not able to test fly the Xplorer 2. It remains open if the 360 degree scanner scans only on one layer or it would cover more layers in space to make the collision prevention system more „3D’ish“.

Selfie Drone and Semi-Pro Camera Drone complete Xiro’s portfolio

The next product announcement is 225mm sized foldable quadcopter which will be only controllable via a smartphone app. The small selfie companion was designed to be super easy in controls and very portable. This makes it a perfect quad for the outdoor community. It remains open if Xiro can overcome the challenges companies like Lily or Zano were already facing and have mostly failed to achieve. The last newly announced product is a semi-professional camera drone which has some design references to the DJI Inspire. Instead of the complex morphing mechanics of the Inspire the Xiro drone has a fixed arm setup but is likely to have a retractable camera. We can not wait to get hold of test samples of those very promising looking products!

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The EHang Ghost Drone 2.0 for aerial photography

On Nuremberg Toy Fair EHang has presented their pretty mature hobby drone for aerial photographers. The young Chinese company was founded in 2014 and became famous on 2016’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas where they have presented the concept drone Ehang 184. This super-sized X8 multicopter is aimed to fly one person from A to B in fully autonomous mode. The press went crazy on the show concept drone and mostly did not touch on the base product of the company.

EHang Ghost Drone 2.0 comes only with smartphone controls

The Ehang Ghost Drone 2.0 at the first glimpse comes along link another DJI phantom clone, similar sized and with similar looks. A deeper look unveils that the four brushless motors are flipped by 180 degrees making the copter a X4 drone in pusher configuration. The Ehang engineers claim that this design lowers the center of gravity and makes the overall flight more stable. If you get a Ghost Drone in full fledged configuration the package would also ship with a 3-axis gimbal and a Ehang proprietary 4k video camera. Further you would find a nice set of FPV googles with built-in head-tracking feature as well as a so called G-Box. Latest with the G-Box it is hard to compare the bundle with DJI’s Phantom. Ehang has decided not to ship any regular RC transmitter to their customers. Instead of that the operation of the drone is handled via the G-Box. This device is a Smartphone-to-drone router which first enhances the range of your smartphone’s Wifi up to 1 km and second acts as FPV base hub to connect the googles wirelessly to the drone. Not to mention the iOS and Android apps to control the Ghost Drone are freely available online. Let’s see how the innovative company Ehag will gain ground on the consumer drone market.

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New Graupner FPV drones – Will they grow strong on FPV Racing?

On the Nuremberg Toy Fair Graupner is back, with their new Graupner FPV drone line-up. On the booth in Nuremberg we had the chance to talk to Graupner’s CEO Hannes Runknagel about their product range of drones and multirotors (full interview video below). A brief look at the company’s history: Graupner has over 80 years of heritage when it comes to the model hobby. Founded in 1930 in Kirchheim (Germany) Graupner started with toy animals and soon expanded their product range mostly to small airplane models and later also RC electronics. At its peak the company had a € 40 M annual revenue in the 2007 but faced then hard times which the fast rise of asian competition in the hobby sector. In 2013 the company filed for bankrupcy. The insolvency estate was bought by the South Korean company SR Inc. who later renamed themselves into Graupner.

Graupner’s new focus on electronics and multicopters

Now with a reduced product range the company grows again and besides the continuation in focussing on premium RC electronics they now expand into quadcopters. With currently three quadcopters the product line-up in this segment is still very small. But Hannes Runknagel promised that there will be a bunch of new Graupner multirotor products released in 2016. Currently, two sub-segments within the multirotor market is being served: The Alpha 250Q Race is a FPV race copter that suits well into the popular 250-sized FPV class.

The Graupner FPV racing League

Also, Graupner has announced on the Nuremberg Toy Fair to be main sponsor for the newly founded German FPV racing League. The all new 3D Copter Alpha 300Q is aims for customers who want to develop and expand their 3D flying skills into the multirotor segment. Especially the super smooth flight controller reactions of the 300Q empowers the model to do amazing 3D figures which most of regular multicopter pilots have never seen before. We are looking forward to see more drones from Graupner this year. Stay tuned!

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FPV ascension to top of Radio Tower „Sender Mühlacker“

Just before new year we decided to do an FPV flight to the top of Mühlacker’s signature landmark it’s radio tower „Sender Mühlacker“. Before the ascension we did a bit of research about the history of radio towers in Mühlacker. In 1930 the first long-wave transmission facility was put into operation. In those times two 100m tall wooden towers did the job to cover south Germany with the 833kHz frequency band at a transmission power of 60kW. Just three years later the two towers were replaced by one 190m tall wooden tower. Historically this was the highest all-wood construction ever build and this record remains until today. Four weeks before the end of World War II the tower was destroyed by the German Wehrmacht in order to prevent that the transmission facilities fall into the hands of the Allied Forces. In 1950 the 273m transmission tower was erected and the tower exists until today known as „Sender Mühlacker“. The iconic „needle“ can be seen even from 50 kilometers away from Mühlacker. Unfortunatey, as radio and transmission technology progresses long-wave freqencies are not as important as they were in the 20th century. The radio network responsible for the facilities (SWR) plans to deconstruct the tower in 2017 due to low usage and high maintenance costs. Since thoses plans were announced a local innitiative raises funds to preserve Mühlacker’s famous landmark for future generations. Further information about the preservation plans could be found at www.273m.de.

The video should give you an impression of the Radio Tower (unfortunately at cloudy skies and gusty winds). Enjoy!
…and: Happy New Year to all FPV-Geeks Followers!

 

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As I am about to change my older PWM receivers step by step to PPM receivers (using the wonderful FrSky D4R-II) I have not found any clues about connecting this receiver to a MultiWii board on the internet (in this case a NanoWii from Hobbyking). By simply hooking the Rx up to the flight controller no signal will reach the flight controller without changing the some setting withing the MultiWii code.
Now, here is the hint: For connecting the Multiwii to the FrSky D4R-II you have to uncomment the line shown in the picture within the config.h file of the MultiWii code (the line mentioning Graupner/Spektrum compatibility). Voila: After compiling the code and sending it to the flight controller the receiver will forward the signals in the same sequence as before with a PWM receiver.MultiWii Arduino 1.0

Enjoy flying!

Publiziert am von Tommy | Kommentare deaktiviert für Hint: Connecting Multiwii (NanoWii) to FrSky D4R-II via PPM

Zero Explorer Quadcopter Preview

Today we could get a first glimpse onto the all new Zero Explorer quadcopter from Zero Drone at the Nuremberg Toy Fair. Most of the asian companies took DJI’s Phantom quadcopter as a reference when it comes to style and looks. The fresh design of the Zero Explorer is something unique and different to the quadcopter market.

As Svenja, Market Manager Europe from Zero Drone explanined, the company courageously sought an very own design approach when developing the quadcopter. The copter is a 450-sized piece of quality engineering. The landing gear is manually retractable to two different positions for a use with or without a camera gimbal.

Zero_Explorer_Pro

Speaking of the gimbal there will be an optional GoPro compatible 3-axis gimbal as well as a gimbal that carries the companies very own (interestingly) box-shaped 1080p camera. Unfortunately the camera can record only at 30fps at the 1080p resolution which leaves some space for technical development in the future.

Zero_HD_Cam

All Zero Explorers come with with GPS sensors to support auto-return functions. Even waypoint planning and autonoumously flown missions are possible when using an additional smartphone with the soon to be released companion app (available for Apple iOS and Android phones).

Zero_Controller_GPS
One of the coolest features will be available this summer: Zero Drone will offer a wearable wristband that enables the follow-me mode to do great aerial shots during your outdoor activities.

Although the product is completely new it looks very mature in terms of quality and smart design. The copter will ship at market launch in 3 bundles starting from an estimated USD 400.-. Shipping will start around March 2015.

We are really looking forward to get hold of one of those copters!

Update Dec 2015

Due to the fact that the website of the Zero Explorer Quadcopter is obviously down, we did some further research and tried to contact the sales and marketing responsible – without success.

But we got some interesting result via our web research. It seems that the products and the company renamed itself or was bought by another company.

Now the Zero Explorer Quadcopter is available as XIRO XPLORER, witch sound identical but only differs in the writing.

To me it seems there must by something like a name issue with another company so they had to rename their product and business.

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3DR X8+ Copter – Ready to fly Octocopter

Since yesterday the latest and most professional Ready to fly Octocopter the 3DR X8+ / X8 plus will delivered to their customers. With this one, Chris Andersons’ company is hitting another important target market.

Just about two months ago 3D Robotics announced the Iris+ a full proved out of the box quadrocopter. But with the 3DR X8 plus – 3D Robotics reach more professional customers compared to the Iris plus. The Iris might be interesting for a huge consumer market. There’re lots of sportsmen, such as motocross biker, climber, slackliner and also surfer. Or to be more general – athletes who bought a Gopro and like to share their experience and expeditions might be supposed customers for the Iris.


The 3DR X8+ Copter is rather a tool for professional photographers and also movie makers. In general the X8+ is the ideal platform for everyone, who likes to carry a more pro camera like the GoPro is. The payload capacity is specified with 800 grams and also enables the pilot to carry DLSRs with the platform. I personally think bridge cameras like the Sony NEX or Panasonic Lumix Series are the kind of cameras, the X8+ is designed for.
But not only depending on the bigger camera that may be carried – there are also features like the tablet or Smartphone control which make the model interesting for unknowns in RC models. Breaking down this barrier is a big advantage of the whole new 3D Robotics product series – this enables photo and film maker directly taking the bird eyes view – without renting a helicopter company for aerial shots.

From the technical point of view, building up an octocopter is a straight signal for stability and security. Just in case of a technical issue – one or two propellers fall out, the copter can safely descend to the ground and land. On the other hand deliver eight propellers the power for carrying the camera and they provide the stability for smooth film scenes.

3DR X8+ the latest innovation from 3D Robotics 3DR X8+ front view 3DR X8+ front view

Link to Product Details: 3DR X8+
Link to Shop: 3DR X8+
Picture Source: 3D Robotics

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Copter autonomously follows Copter – follow me mode

Today we’re showing you something special we did with the all known follow mode – the project is called copter autonomously follows copter via the copter follow me mode. For doing this video we used two 650 Predator quadrocopters which you may already know from our other videos. The autonomous following copter is using the brandnew Pixhawk controller from 3DRobotics – the leading one is using the APM 2.5 also from 3DR – both with on of the latest beta firmwares (3.20 RC 12) and only little parameter tweaking.

 

To enable the copter follows copter mode, we put a smartphone – the Huawei Ascend P7 – with the copter controlling app droidplanner 2 on one copter. This represents the follow me device – or the leading copter. The other one is the autonomous follwing copter. So the idea is starting the following copter over the smartphone and bring him to hover via the loiter mode, starting the other copter and control the smartphone on the leading copter via the pepple smartwatch. The smartwatch app allows us to control the mode of the following copter. So that’s the way we want to start the following mode.

Like you can see in the video those procedure worked very well, we tried the next step which is circling with the following copter around the leading one. The setup for this setting is exactly the same – the only difference is the mode we switch the copter into. So this time Tommy commanded the copter to orbit the other one.

With the video, I guess the concept „copter autonomously follows copter“ is proofed – thanks to my buddy Sebastian who got the idea for it. We’re happy that everthing worked very well and there haven’t been any issues we had to handle with.

So long, stay tuned

Matt

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