Menu
Upcoming drone has six rotors to capture stable video

Upcoming drone has six rotors to capture stable video

Instead of an expensive, fragile gimbal the LVL 1 uses a unique rotor configuration

The LVL 1 drone from CyPhy uses six rotors for stable flight.

The LVL 1 drone from CyPhy uses six rotors for stable flight.

A new drone that's due out next year uses six rotors instead of four to help it capture more stable video and spend more time in the air.

The LVL 1 from CyPhy Works is on Kickstarter for preorder for $495, though it won't start shipping until February 2016.

Most consumer and prosumer drones have four rotors and employ an expensive, delicate gimbal to hold the camera. The gimbal usually hangs under the drone and cancels out any movements of the drone to reduce camera shake.

"We've chosen a hex rotor because it gives us the ability to do what we call level-up flight," said Kenn Sebesta, technical lead on the LVL 1. "[The drone] doesn't twist, it doesn't tilt, it doesn't roll, pitch or yaw."

The gimbal adds weight, complexity and cost to most drones, and for smaller drones a small amount of weight -- even tens of grams -- can greatly reduce battery life. In initial tests, the LVL 1 (pronounced level one) got more than 20 minutes of battery life, according to its developers -- on par or better than more expensive products.

See the drone in flight in this video.

One feature that might be useful for new fliers is geofencing. Using a smartphone app, pilots can outline an area they want the drone to stay within during flight.

LVL 1 is flown with a smartphone, tablet or remote controller. There's still a lot of work to go before the app will be ready for release. During a demonstration this week, the drone was flown with a hobby remote controller similar to those used with model airplanes.

CyPhy is an industrial drone maker, and this is its first consumer drone. Helen Greiner, the company's CEO, co-founded iRobot, maker of the popular Roomba vacuuming robot.

"Drones are very different from ground robots," she said. "We use a lot of the technologies from ground robots, but the whole other aspect of aerodynamics and flight is something that iRobot doesn't have expertise in."

When the drone becomes more widely available it will cost more than $600, which is less than the drones from market leader DJI.

Nick Barber covers general technology news in both text and video for IDG News Service. E-mail him at Nick_Barber@idg.com and follow him on Twitter at @nickjb.

Follow Us

Join the New Zealand Reseller News newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CyPhy Worksconsumer electronics

Featured

Slideshows

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel

Typically, the New Year brings new opportunities for personnel within the Kiwi channel. 2017 started no differently, with a host of appointments, departures and reshuffles across vendor, distributor and reseller businesses. As a result, the job scene across New Zealand has changed - here’s a run down of who is working where in the year ahead…

Examining the changing job scene in the Kiwi channel
​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?

Digital Transformation (DX) has been a critical topic for business over the last few years and IDC is now predicting a step change as DX reaches macroeconomic levels. By 2020 a DX economy will emerge and it will become the core of what New Zealand industries focus on. From the board level through to the C-Suite, Kiwi organisations must be prepared to think and act digital when the DX economy emerges in 2017.

​What are the top 10 tech trends for New Zealand in 2017?
Top 15 Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017

Top 15 Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017

​The New Year brings the usual new round of humdrum technology predictions, glaringly general, unashamedly safe and perpetually predictable. But while the industry no longer sees value in “cloud is now the norm” type projections, value can be found in following developments of the year previous, analysing behaviours and patterns to formulate a plan for the 12 months ahead. Consequently, here’s the top Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017...

Top 15 Kiwi tech storylines to follow in 2017
Show Comments