This DJI drone only needs 3 propellers to perform aerial photography

One less propeller means one less motor sucking away at the battery.

Meet the DJI HiTop, a conceptual drone that follows a tricopter format instead of the traditional quadcopter one. In simple words, it uses three rotors to achieve flight as opposed to the traditional four. Designed as more of a consumer-grade aerial toy instead of a highly professional one, the HiTop is a simple drone that’s built to do its job well. The body of the drone is much larger than you’d expect, but this turns out to be a feature, housing a bigger battery and more safety features to keep the drone up in the air for longer. From the top view, the drone assumes the shape of a 6-sided star, with three rotors and three ‘bumpers’ between them, adding as physical barriers to prevent too much damage to the drone or the high-end camera system underneath. The only observable con in this format, however, is that the drone looks incredibly symmetrical on all three sides, which makes it a little difficult to identify which way the drone is facing while you’re in flight.

Designer: Spade Design

Now, there are a few performance differences between tricopter and quadcopter drones, all which really make sense when you come to think about exactly what the DJI HiTop concept hopes to achieve. The HiTop isn’t trying to break the FPV market or even dethrone DJI’s other high-end drones. It’s an aerial drone that’s made to stay in the air for a significant amount of time and capture footage from any vantage point. The tricopter format works rather wonderfully in this situation for the fact that the absence of one propeller means reduced thrust. Since the HiTop isn’t trying to be a high-speed racing drone, reduced thrust isn’t a problem. In fact, its manageable speed makes it perfect for amateurs and regular consumers.

The camera on the HiTop, however, isn’t some regular consumer-grade camera. It actually is the camera module found on the Phantom 4, the company’s flagship drone. This essentially democratizes great photography, making it more accessible to the masses. The 1-inch sensor on the HiTop is more than capable of recording high-quality 4K footage at high frame rates in HDR.

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This Fixed-Wing drone can carry 4.4 lbs of cargo, has a range of 37 miles, and flies autonomously

With better range, faster speeds, higher altitude abilities, and payload carrying abilities than a regular drone its size, the Fixar 007 is slowly but surely unseating the quadcopter as the commercial drone of choice. With its strange yet effective design and format, Fixar 007 is perfectly designed for inspection, aerial imaging, drone mapping, payload delivery, and many more commercial uses. It has a range of 60 kilometers (37.2 miles), features a modular design with plug-and-play accessory support, and is designed to operate entirely autonomously.

The Fixar 007’s design borrows the best from quadcopters and fixed-wing drone designs. It comes with four propellers, oriented on two pairs of wings that allow the Fixar 007 to take off and land vertically (unlike a fixed wing drone), but travel in one direction rather efficiently (unlike a quadcopter that’s designed to move equally effectively in all directions). The low-maintenance, easy-to-use fixed-wing drone can be set up in less than five minutes, and it can take off and land vertically with an accuracy field of one meter. The fixed wing design gives it incredible range, allowing it to cover up to 60 kilometers or 37 miles of linear flight, while hitting speeds as high as 65-75 km/h (40-45 mph).

Designer: Fixar

The Fixar 007 isn’t your average consumer-grade drone. It’s designed to be a highly specialized piece of aerial tech that’s capable of performing the kinds of intense tasks required by commercial and industrial use-cases. The drone’s built to let you attach different modules based on the activity you want the 007 to perform, including cameras for aerial photography and 3D scanning, surveillance and surveing, video-monitoring, laser scanning, precision agriculture, and even thermal imaging. Not all these use-cases require the same type of cameras, which is why the 007 allows you to outfit a wide range of camera types, including RGB Cameras, Gimbal video cameras, LiDAR sensors, and Multispectral cameras. Moreover, it can even carry payloads weighing over 4 pounds, making it perfect for last-mile delivery.

The drone’s capabilities can be credited to its unique shape. Sort of like a cross between a conventional drone and a miniature plane, the Fixar 007 takes off vertically (at a slight angle) before zooming forward like a plane would. This hybrid design doesn’t require a runway (like a plane would), and can achieve massive ranges that quadcopters can’t. It’s also much more stable in bad weather, unlike consumer-grade drones that often get caught in a tailspin because of strong winds.

Fixar says that it takes just around 2 days to master flying the drone. The 007 is built to be rather simple (with uncomplicated details), and can be operated to fly manually, or even on pre-programmed flight paths using its proprietary xGroundControl Software. You can even define an area that the 007 has to cover and the drone autonomously determines the most efficient path to completely surveil the area. Fixar promises technical support spanning the entire product lifetime of the 007, and in the event of an accident, each 007 also comes with a  built-in black-box that records all flight and telemetry data for analysis.

There’s no official price for the Fixar 007, but given that it’s designed for commercial use, you best bet it won’t come cheap. However, the company further details out how the 007 compares (in terms of efficiency and cost) against other commercial drones from DJI, SenseFly, Delair, etc. making a case that the 007’s operational costs end up being on an average of 50-70% lower, thanks to the drone’s uniquely efficient design.

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This Samsung Drone wasn’t designed for consumers… it was designed for public safety

Samsung makes everything under the sun… but the company hasn’t made a single drone yet (although they filed for a patent in 2021). This concept from South Korean designers Minkyo Im and Seongjin Kim, however, corrects the record. Dubbed the Public Safety Drone, this concept isn’t your average FPV drone or consumer-grade quadcopter. It is, in fact, an airborne surveillance camera that citizens can summon through an app when they’re feeling unsafe. Sort of like a watchful eye that makes sure you’re safe at all times, the Samsung Public Safety Drone (also known locally as DNDN) fills in the gap left by police personnel… because while it isn’t easy to physically respond to alerts in mere seconds, a flying drone can reach a point of interest much faster.

Designers: Minkyo Im and Seongjin Kim

Armed with 4 propellers, a set of emergency lights, and a 360° camera lens layout on the underside of the drone, the DNDN is the perfect surveillance camera for cities, especially at night. While the police can’t be everywhere at once, and while CCTV systems have blind spots, DNDN has no such problem. It can be summoned via an app, and if it detects any crime, it can immediately alert local authorities with video evidence, even tracking perpetrators if they try to make a quick getaway.

“The project aimed at making the city safe and comfortable for women even during the night”, say the designers. “The drones comfort the users by detecting danger using 360-degree cameras while following them and offering appropriate actions to get out of the situation.”

The Samsung DNDN comes equipped with an array of wide-angle cameras mounted on a gimbal on the base of the drone. These cameras rely on Samsung’s own capabilities with their own smartphones, and are made to work well in low-light settings and also over longer distances.

The drone is available as a public service, rather than as an extension of law enforcement. Users can pre-emptively check the surroundings for signs of danger through the video filmed by the drone, or can summon the drone to act as a ‘guardian angel’ of sorts – a feature that was originally envisioned by designers to help women move around safely in cities after dark. At normal times, the drone’s lights glow blue, but when it detects any danger, the lights immediately turn red to alert perpetrators. Video footage is recorded and immediately sent to local law enforcement, along with metadata like location data to help police swiftly reach the area.

DNDN was originally envisioned as a part of the Samsung Design Membership program, organized at the Samsung Seoul R&D center every year as a mentorship program that allows young designers to gain experience and expertise through a wide range of design exercises. Although the drone is most likely to exist just as a student concept, it was created under the mentorship of Samsung’s design team, who helped the designers understand technological capabilities and overall product feasibility.

The DNDN drone uses a combination of existing Samsung technologies, along with design cues that make it perfect for the nature of its job. The propeller guards that surround each propeller help the DNDN navigate without accidentally hitting objects or getting damaged. Given its large size, the drone is likely to be on the heavier side, which makes it much more reliable in bad weather or while flying on windy nights. Considering the conceptual nature of the product, there’s no battery life mentioned, although the presence of a battery pack on the top makes it easy to keep the DNDN in circulation simply by swapping out depleted batteries for charged ones.

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This aerodynamically tuned drone is for covert missions in urban warzones

When we think of a drone, the first picture that comes to mind is that of a quadcopter flying in the skies. This stealth drone is somewhat different thought with its helicopter-like aesthetics and swiftness.

Snap (Formerly Snapchat) has just announced its second tangible product after the release of the swanky spectacles. This time around it’s a compact palm-sized drone for shooting videos and directly sending them to Snapchat. However, we’re going to shift our focus to another drone that is much bigger and could go head-on in the market dominated by DJI Mavic 3, Ryze Tello, or Parrot Anafi FPV.

Designer: Vladislav Kulikov

The intended purpose of this conceptual design is to have a reliable unmanned medium-sized drone fly swiftly in cities, delivering important small cargo in the concrete jungle with efficiency. It makes sense in the current turbulent times in the world plagued by uncertain wars and pandemics. Unlike the customary quadcopter form of most of the drones out there, this one has the semblance of an RC helicopter. That’s why the name of this flying machine is VR Drone Helicopter.

Vladislav Kulikov portrays this sleek machine as one inspired by the body of the birds. The seemingly floating cabin in the frame reinforces that fact. Those hindlegs and the forward-leaning position lend a bird-like character to the whole design. The five rotors on top spin to provide the lift and the tail rotor actuates the directional movement. The virtual Reality bit of the drone comes from the VR headset-controlled function, wherein a remotely located human can fly this machine into the sensitive or dangerous zones with complete awareness of the surroundings.

Aerodynamics are at play here so the aerodynamics tuning of the body is in complete play. The top view and side angle render show the amount of detail being put into shaving off the unnecessary weight for maximum lift and maneuverability.

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Snapchat’s new $250 drone actually says a lot about the company’s brilliant trend predicting abilities

The photo app has an incredible knack for predicting the biggest trends in social media and tech LONG before they catch on.

Ephemeral photos, Snapchat started it, Instagram popularized it. AR filters, started once again by Snapchat, got picked up and turned into Memojis by Apple. Snap Spectacles, launched in 2016, Facebook announced the Stories camera-embedded sunglasses in collaboration with RayBan years later. Whether you use Snapchat or not, whether you even like it or not, there’s no denying what a massive cultural impact it has had on society just by its ability to gauge where the tech wind is blowing. Snap announced its latest product today, a $250 drone named Pixy, and even though the drone market is quite saturated at the moment, Snap’s drone is slightly different – while most camera drones are designed to be specialist devices, almost like flying DSLRs or GoPros, Snap’s Pixy is like a flying version of your phone. It’s made to be incredibly intuitive, user-friendly, versatile, and has this approachable nature that just might make it an incredibly popular drone.

Designer: Snap

Click Here to Buy Now: $249.99

The drone, just like Snap’s Spectacles, is an extension of the company’s smartphone app, which already puts it off to a good start. Given that people are much more predisposed to editing videos on the Snap app than on some fancy software on the laptop, Pixy’s ability to interface with your smartphone makes it the perfect entry-level drone camera for most consumers looking to up their social media game. Videos and photos captured on the Pixy get sent right to your smartphone, and Snapchat’s own editing features let you add filters, stickers, and clip/crop/stitch videos to create masterpieces that you can post either to Snapchat or to any other social media app.

What Pixy gets right is that it was expressly designed for social media. The camera captures videos in portrait instead of the usual landscape, and can track people, allowing you to click selfies like never before. The drone’s construction isn’t incredibly intricate on first impression. Designed for first-time users, it has an enclosed propeller design, protected by plastic bumpers all around that prevent the drone from taking any damage. There’s no expensive gimbal system either – just a front-facing camera for photos and videos, and bottom-facing camera that detects your hand so the drone can safely land in your palm.

The drone weighs a paltry 101 grams, which has a big benefit in the fact that you don’t need to register it with the FAA as you would with heavier drones. However, this lightweight design means Pixy doesn’t really handle wind pretty well, and you may see incredibly shaky footage if there’s a heavy breeze around. The drone’s upper half has a knob (similar to the kind you’d see on DSLRs) that lets you cycle between its shooting modes, with orbiting, following, revealing, and landscape shooting patterns built-in. The drone can even be controlled via the app, with an integrated emergency landing feature just in case you lose control of your drone. It also comes with a detachable battery that can be swapped out and replaced on the go, with a battery capacity that Snap says should last ‘5 flight trips’.

Is this a pitch for people to go buy the Pixy? Not really. Do I think Pixy will be a consumer success story? That’s kinda debatable too, because the Snap Spectacles weren’t a runaway success either. However, with the announcement of Pixy, it’s worth noting that Snapchat’s made a trend prediction here that I definitely believe may catch on in the future. Will the Pixy be a strong part of that future? I can’t tell, although if Snap’s betting money on it, it might be worth a closer look.

Click Here to Buy Now: $249.99

Images via The Verge

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The Autel EVO Nano+ is a US-made pocket-sized consumer drone with a cinematic 4K camera

There’s a new sheriff in town. The homegrown American robotics brand released a tiny 4K drone that directly fires shots at DJI.

The EVO Nano+ from Autel is impressive for a lot of reasons – its most significant one being that it’s a stellar 4K drone that proudly says ‘Made in USA’ on its label. The award-winning drone also weighs under 250 grams but still packs a 48 Megapixel camera that comes with a 1/1.28-inch sensor. The camera, capable of HDR 4K video, sits on a 3-axis gimbal for smooth stabilized footage. It’s also equipped with object detection and collision avoidance protocols, can track subjects and shoot them in a variety of styles, and simultaneously beam footage to your smartphone from as far away as 6.2 miles… and when you’re done, the Autel EVO Nano+ folds down and slides right into your pocket.

The Autel EVO Nano+ is a winner of the Red Dot Product Design Award for the year 2022.

Designer: Autel Robotics

Click Here to Buy Now

The tiny pocket-sized drone takes on its China-based rival by being well under 250 grams but still packing a tonne of features, along with a one-of-its-kind 3-way collision detection system. Its 1/1.28″ CMOS sensor has a modest 86° FOV and is capable of shooting 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 60fps. The camera has the ability to track fast-moving subjects (animals, humans, and vehicles) with incredible precision through PDAF + CDAF autofocus system, and can even retroactively apply a portrait blur on humans!

The EVO Nano+ comes with a unique 3-way sensor array that helps it maneuver around obstacles and even air-brake to avoid collisions. It can either be controlled via the remote controller that comes along with the bundle, or even through Autel’s own Autel Sky app. The app lets you program the drone, set subjects, flight paths, and even edit the footage your drone captures. The EVO Nano+ has a max flight distance of a whopping 16.8 kilometers (10 miles), although the remote controller has a transmission distance of 10 kilometers or 6.2 miles. Data captured by the EVO Nano+ can be transmitted to the app over a distance of 6.2 miles too, and once you’ve captured footage, the drone can automatically do a video dump to your phone simply by bringing the two of them close together. The app is available on both iOS as well as Android smartphones.

The EVO Nano+ can fly continuously for nearly 30 minutes, which means plenty of time to experiment with creative angles and dream up inventive shots. To charge it, a USB-C port on the drone lets you hook it to a power bank or socket.

Click Here to Buy Now

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INSECTA Super Flying Car is powered by the wind and a sophisticated technology

INSECTA FLYING CAR Information

Insecta is once concept design we want to see become a reality. It may not be in the exact form, but we just want to ride a flying car. Someday, it will happen as technology continues to advance at such a rapid pace.

Insecta gives the public a glimpse of transportation and mobility in the future. It will come with no limits where anyone can travel via land, sea, and air. We have seen several flying car designs before, like that single passenger flying saucer and the pelican-shaped EVTOL car. There’s also the Loki-inspired hover car and the Tesla Model + Blade Runner Mashup Car. This INSECTA design may be another alternative if and when the flying car technology goes public.

Designer: Marko Petrovic

INSECTA FLYING CAR Design

The INSECTA obviously gets inspiration from nature, but it uses sophisticated technology as per the designer. The appearance of the super flying car is a bit aggressive, especially with the red color paint. It seems the car also looks like a super-sized and fancier drone. If there is a luxury drone, this could be it. We can also imagine in other colors and finishes.

The flying car is propelled by a drone and an electric engine drive. The elises can charge it by simply expanding them up. However, you need to rotate them by 90 degrees to start charging as it transforms into a wind turbine. The energy generated by the turbine is then stored inside the energo.

INSECTA FLYING CAR

The idea is for the INSECTA flying car to carry up to four adults. There is no mention of a weight limit, but we imagine it won’t be an issue. The idea of the Insecta must be based on the science of flying insects. You see, there are insects like the bees that they say shouldn’t be able to fly because of their body and wing size. It should be impossible, but bees can fly. If they can, then the Insecta and other flying cars also can—someday. And yes, planes and drones have been around, so we strongly believe this idea will become a reality.

INSECTA FLYING CAR Concept Design

The drone technology is already almost perfect, and we’re just waiting for the time when bigger drones will be able to carry humans. We’ve seen the technology advance, at least, conceptually in the Polestar Duo that uses autonomous drone technology and the Lazzarini FD-One 6-propeller racing drone. The latter is actually similar to the Insecta when it comes to color and aesthetics.

INSECTA FLYING CAR Images

INSECTA FLYING CAR Concept

INSECTA FLYING CAR Details

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The Polestar O2 EV and its autonomous drone will fundamentally change the meaning of ‘driving’

The wind in your hair, a cinematic birds-eye shot of you in the car, ‘Can We Skip To The Good Part’ playing in the background, millions of likes on TikTok. That’s pretty much the core design brief of Polestar’s new electric vehicle, the O2, which comes with its own autonomous drone that can film you as you drive down an empty highway.

The prime objective of a car, for as long as cars have existed, has been to get you safely and speedily from point A. to B. One could argue that my previous sentence may be a bit of an oversimplification, although even something as niche as a racing car does just that – takes you from A to B while keeping the rider safe. Sure, there are a few outliers, some cars are designed to put you in the lap of luxury, other cars are status symbols, some cars/automobiles have more niche functions (tractors, steamrollers, etc.), and some concept cars exist only to showcase a company’s innovative spirit… however, almost every commonplace car’s main objective has been transportation… up until now.

The Polestar O2 capitalizes on a rising trend that’s been set by self-driving cars. Sure, the O2 isn’t a self-driving concept, but just the way self-driving cars have redefined what sitting inside an automobile means (you’re not a passenger anymore – you’re a traveler in a moving room), the O2 has shifted the focus from driving to ‘enjoying driving’. The Polestar O2, announced just today, isn’t your average EV… it’s an EV that wants you to be in the driver’s seat as well as the director’s seat. The car comes with a companion drone stashed in its boot that deploys on command, filming you from flattering angles so that you’re quite literally the star of your own Fast and Furious film. Is it sensible? It may be too soon to say. Is it intriguing? Overwhelmingly.

Designer: Polestar

The O2 is quite like Polestar’s Precept from back in 2020. It’s clearly announced as a concept car with no foreseeable future of being manufactured. The Volvo-owned company does, however, want to use this opportunity to drum up excitement for EVs and bring a new dimension of thrill to riding a car (Ford launched a gasoline-scented perfume to that very end last year). Having a drone following you around as you drive has its own appeal – it’s a wonderful cinematographic tool that really brings a new meaning to a car’s ‘performance’, while at the same time providing a nifty new trick for people who want to see what a videogame-style ‘third-person view’ would actually look like while driving.

The car sports Polestar’s signature edgy-yet-friendly language (automotive brutalism, if you will) and is based on a bespoke aluminum platform that’s adapted from the one developed for the upcoming Polestar 5 automobile. There’s really no word on what the car’s specs are, understandable given its conceptual nature, however, Polestar’s retained its old practice of focusing on sustainability with the O2. The car’s seats are made from a fabric woven using recycled polyester, and different grades of aluminum used throughout the chassis are meticulously labeled to make them easier to segregate during recycling.

Now onto the car’s standout feature – that autonomous cameraman that sits in its boot. The rear of the O2 houses a ‘cinematic’ drone developed in collaboration with Hoco Flow that can be deployed even while the car’s in motion. This aforementioned drone can follow your car at speeds of up to 56mph and has multiple flight modes to choose from, including a certain ‘atmospheric’ mode that’s perfect for when you’ve got the top down and a scenic open road ahead. Footage recorded on the drone can then be viewed and edited on the O2’s massive infotainment display, unlocking an incredibly exciting new realm of possibilities for passionate drivers, content creators, and even influencers. Cinematic Carpool Karaoke a la Polestar O2? Well, I’d certainly love to see that happen…

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This flying donut is probably one of the safest drones around




Who knew that ditching half the fans would actually yield in what seems to be a more stable and safer drone, which is exactly what this odd-looking drone is promising.

Drones are no longer things immediately associated with the military and warfare. Thanks to companies like DJI, commercial drones have gone mainstream and have become familiar to many people in different walks of life. Despite differences in design, almost all drones share the same four-rotor system that gives them their technical name of “quadcopter.” This isn’t the only possible design, however, and a different kind of drone is trying to sell the idea of having only two fans instead of four.

Designer: Cleo Robotics

Quadcopter drones have four rotors not just to look cool or even intimidating. Up until now, it’s the commonly accepted solution to creating stability and movement in mid-air. As many drone users know by now, this design isn’t exactly the easiest to control, nor are they the safest to handle. Even those with protectors around them can suffer a serious setback when they bump into something or, worse, someone.

Cleo Robotics’ solution is to halve the number of rotors to two placed on top of each other. This bi-rotor design creates opposing forces that create the same stability that would normally require four rotors. More importantly, this compact design allows the rotors to be completely enclosed in what looks like one tough donut. Naturally, they just had to name this the “Dronut.”

This potentially makes the Dronut X1, the first in this line of bi-rotor drones, safer not just for people around the drone but for the drone itself. It can bump into things and into people without doing serious damage. It’s also small enough to fit on a person’s hand, albeit a person with very big hands. It can even be easily be operated using a smartphone, though you’d probably want to connect a gamepad for better results.

The Cleo Dronut X1 looks like a fun device, but its $9,800 price tag clearly indicates it isn’t a toy. It comes equipped with a 4K camera, LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) for positioning, and LED lights for seeing in the dark. The drone is aimed more at industrial and even military applications, especially for use in space-constrained places where a traditional quadcopter drone wouldn’t even fit. If this idea takes off, however, we could be seeing more of these flying donuts available for less serious uses.

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Santa and Reindeer Flying Drone: Ho-Ho-Hovercraft

Clearly unafraid to utilize the latest in flying technology, Santa is experimenting with delivering presents this year via a drone disguised as his sleigh and reindeer. Available from Firebox, the Flying Santa Drone is a radio-controlled drone featuring the likeness of Santa and four of his reindeer. I can already see myself flying it straight into the Christmas tree and breaking fragile ornaments.

The drone itself has an onboard rechargeable battery, and after installing three AAA batteries in the remote controller, you’re ready to ho-ho-hover to your heart’s content! At least until the drone’s battery is drained and you have to wait to recharge it. That’s when it’s time to take a snack break or play with the box it came in.

So – have you been good this year? Good enough to make Santa’s nice list? Because according to an elf friend of mine on the inside at Santa’s workshop, I have not been. I didn’t even make the naughty list; I made the sub-naughty list. I didn’t even know there was such a thing! I assume Santa is just going to come down my chimney to beat me up.