When it comes to UAV development, the past few years were all about power. Now companies are pushing the limits of drone intelligence. Users want full control, flexible maneuverability and smart features, which is exactly what the 3DR Solo offers.
“What our users really want is great shots. They want professional tools that enable them to get those shots easily and consistently, right out of the box. Solo delivers on this promise: You get the shot, every time,” said Colin Guinn, Chief Revenue Officer of 3DR.
The quad’s smart features makes flying low risk and incredibly easy. An interactive flight stimulator mode lets users practice before attempting aerial tricks in live environments. Getting the drone in the air requires minimal effort. With the push of two buttons, individuals have the ability to launch the quad instantly.
Need to catch your breath or answer the phone? No problem. The Solo’s auto pilot features keep the UAV flying in the same spot while you’re tending to something on the ground. Should you suddenly lose track of the robust quadcopter, a home button automatically sends it back to your exact location.
Two Computers, One Drone
The 3DR Solo is one of the most technologically advanced drones out in the market today. It is the first RC quadcopter to run on two computers, one in the controller and the other built in the actual drone. Upgrading the 32-bit microprocessor inside the unit and the Linux micro in the controller can be done through the official app.
Power management is made possible due to constant communication between the controller, app and battery. Flight time and usage is displayed on the dashboard for real-time monitoring. Low battery alerts are sent through the app and controller in case you lose track of your power consumption.
GoPro users are in for a treat. The Solo is the first drone to achieve full compatibility with GoPro HERO3+ and HERO4. Stable shots (0.1 degrees of pointing accuracy) are taken with the 3-axis gimbal. The quad’s gimbal also pumps juice to the attached GoPro, making sure you have enough power to keep shooting until the day is over.
GoPro integration includes in-flight access to camera controls. Ultimately, this allows one to fly and start recording mid-air. The Solo system also supports several professional shot options. For steady shots, the drone can be set to follow or orbit around an object. The Cablecam option offers automatic panning from two points. Lastly, the infamous selfie feature locks on a person and takes a smooth, expanding shot.
Stream HD Videos Wirelessly
Live HD streaming features are available from a GoPro camera to a handheld device within a half-mile radius. An optional HDMI output from the drone’s controller enables a user to broadcast a feed to large monitors, computers and other multimedia devices. For still images, individuals have the option to take 12 megapixel shots remotely through the camera.
Release Date, Pricing and Consumer Availability
3DR will start shipping the Solo in May. Pricing starts at $1,000. Individuals who want the additional GoPro gimbal should be prepared to shell out an extra $400 (making the total $1,400).
If you live outside of the U.S., expect to wait around June or July for the global launch. To avoid getting a dud, it is recommended to stick with 3DR-authorized premium retailers. Pre-orders are currently ongoing for those who want to make sure they get one before the first manufactured batch runs out.