DJI's New Tank Drone Lets Kid Coders Fire Frickin Laser Beams And Beads
DJI is well known for making flying drones, but flying, camera-equipped aircraft isn't all that the company has on its plate. Last month, it unveiled the OSMO Action camera aimed directly at GoPro. DJI is back with a new educational robot that is aimed directly at teaching people to build and code called the RoboMaster S1 that will ship in June for $499.
DJI says that RoboMaster S1 is intended to introduce new users to the fun and possibilities of robotic technology with powerful brushless motors, a chassis capable of moving in all directions, a high-precision gimbal, and interactive programming modes. Users will also learn to assemble designated and custom hardware, learn to maneuver the rover, program it using Python or Scratch, and the bot can compete with friends in multiple modes.
DJI says that S1 is short for "Step 1" and that the RoboMaster S1 rover is intended to serve as an introduction to AI, engineering, and robotics. The rover has simple controls and a dedicated RoboMaster app that provides easy to navigate menus. It features several tutorials making the S1 approachable for newcomers and gives advanced features for users already experienced in AI, engineering, and robotics.
S1 has 31 sensors to map the world around it with six of the sensors on the intelligent body armor used to detect hits. The frame of the robot has an FPV camera on top that sends a stabilized live feed from the S1 to the RoboMaster app. The mechanical gimbal gives the S1 the ability to fire nontoxic gel beads from its blaster. The blaster has launching rate and angle limits to ensure safety. Third-party hardware is supported via six Pulse Width Modulation control ports, and the S1 is able to recognize and respond to sounds automatically. It has six intelligent control functions that are outlined below.
- Line Follow: Create a fun and interactive course and map out the path desired for the S1. Program Line Follow through the RoboMaster app and the S1 will automatically follow the line.
- Vision Marker Recognition: The S1 can recognize up to 44 Vision Markers, including numbers, letters, and special characters, which opens more potential for coding, combat, and training.
- Follow Mode: Built into the RoboMaster app, the S1 can identify and follow a person selected in the S1's field of vision.
- Clap Recognition: A built-in clap recognition module on the S1 can be programmed for unique responses based upon clap quantity.
- Gesture Recognition: The S1 can be programmed to recognize an array of physical hand gestures similar to some DJI drones.
- S1 Recognition: The S1 can recognize other S1 units and perform unique movements based on how it is programmed.