Many consumer drones rely on the “follow me” feature, and many others have been designed to be foldable for the sake of portability. But very few devices carry both advantages.
That is, until Zero Zero Robotics, a Chinese startup, came up with the Hover Camera, which has gone above and beyond to please its customers. True to its name, this drone is mainly made to capture aerial photography and videography, but that’s not all.
What makes it even cooler is the fact that a strong carbon fiber frame has fully enclosed its propellers, transforming it in the safest drone on the market. You needn’t worry about sacrificing any fingers to the drone gods as you grab from any side you want.
At only 238 grams, the Hover Camera is just below the FAA’s limit for mandatory hobbyist drone registration. It’s really small as well; when the drone’s wings are folded, it’s roughly the size of a VHS cassette tape.
When it’s opened up, the four propellers with brushless motors become visible, all of which have been developed in-house. A company spokesperson pointed out off-the-shelf components just wouldn’t work for such a small and precise device.
Similarly, the AI algorithm was also designed and developed from the ground up. Unfortunately, the battery lasts for only eight minutes, but the swap for a new charge is fairly easy.
The 13-megapixel main camera can also film in 4k and users might find the dual-tone flash handy. Don’t expect the Hover Camera to come with a controller, though. It’s all at the tips of your fingers and some virtual buttons in the companion mobile app.
As long as your smartphone is connected to the drone’s Wi-Fi hotspot, the sky is your limit – for up to 8 minutes.
Dragging with a single finger controls the camera’s pitch and the drone’s yaw; use two fingers to control the altitude and horizontal direction. The app also includes two dedicated buttons that allow you to control the drone’s movements forward and backward.
Some more features have already been presented in the beta version: a 360 Pano mode, face tracking, and body tracking. The tracking modes are activated by simply toggling video recording mode in the app.
Zero Zero Robotics hasn’t revealed a price for the Hover Camera just yet, but it seems that somewhere below $600 might be the final figure. If the beta trial – which has already opened – goes well, the drone will hit the market sometime this summer.
Image Source: CNET