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 newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsCyPhy Works

Events

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments