The Hover Camera could possibly be one of the safest aerial drones developed to date, as it is carried aloft by four propellers that are enclosed within a carbon fiber cage. The carbon fiber cage not only reduced weight and lessens the possibility of a blade hitting an obstacle while flying about, but also will prevent you from losing a fleshy digit or even an eye.
“I want it to be portable, I want it to be safe, I want it to be user friendly,” said Zero Zero Robotics CEO MQ Wang. “Our goal is to build personal robotics for anyone.”
The Hover Camera weighs in at just 238 grams (0.52 grams), which allows it to skirt the Federal Aviation Administration’s mandatory registration for drones weighing over 250 grams (0.55 pounds). When not in use, the drone folds up to about the size of a small book, which makes it incredible easy to transport.
The brains behind the Hover Camera is a Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight platform (which includes a Snapdragon 801 SoC) running propriety algorithms to keep the drone aloft and powers the “auto-follow” mode. Auto-follow allows the drone to autonomously lock on to a person’s face (or body) and track them as they move about. The drone can then capture images with its 13MP camera or shoot 4K video. Footage is stored on the drone’s 32GB of internal storage and can be offloaded using a microUSB cable. There’s also a second, 3MP camera mounted beneath the drone, but that unit is used in conjunction with downward-firing sonar to keep the Hover Camera stable in flight.
The Hover Camera doesn’t come with its own controller, but instead is controlled by a smartphone app. With your phone, you’ll be able to take command of the drone itself and its camera using swipe/tap gestures, and you can even watch a live video feed beamed to your smartphone via the Hover Camera’s built-in Wi-Fi hotspot.
The Hover Camera is expected to launch this summer with a price tag of around $600.