When I was riding bikes with the Duke Cycling Team several years ago, one of the things I enjoyed most was getting to know a few of the incredibly talented and smart students who represent the core of this great university. Watching their accomplishments on the road, including several national championships in D2 cycling, was a great thing, but seeing what they have gone on to do after Duke–prestigious jobs at law firms, Google, Microsoft, and other achievements like one alum who finished the Race Across America last year–has been an even greater reward.
Well, one of them, Yumian Deng, is an engineer for DJI and is on the project team for the brand new Mavic Pro drone.
The Mavic Pro represents a significant leap in drone and specifically camera drone technology by combining portability and usability with a rich set of features that is pushing the envelope of what is possible today even with larger drones. As you can see in the photo, the body is about the size of an iPhone 6, and you can fold up the wings and put it in your pocket. Some say the Mavic Pro is the first, or at least the best to this date, true “personal camera drone.”
The Mavic Pro delivers 4k video from up to 7 kilometers away. That’s right–7 kilometers. Other features include:
- 4K video at 30 fps and 1080p HD at 96 fps
- 24 core processing
- Can automatically track you (or something else you define) without a wrist band or similar tracker
- Automatically avoids obstacles
- Miniaturized 3 axis mechanical gimbal for stabilization. It’s probably the smallest 3 axis gimbal to this date, and Mavic is also the smallest drone that carrys a 3 axis mechanical gimbal.
- 78 degree field of view
- 27 minute flight time
- Remembers “home” location and can track back home through vision sensors and connections to up to 20 satellites
- A remote that can operate on its own or combine with your iPhone for added functionality and ease of use
- Editing app
- Camera can focus on the drone user when that person waves their arms, and snaps a selfie when the user pantomimes a camera-snap gesture.
- Stream live to Facebook or YouTube
- You can control it via radio signals or built in wifi, though wifi offers less range.
- Top speed of 40mph
- “Terrain mode” allows the Mavic Pro to fly while maintaining a specific height above the ground, moving up and down as the ground’s elevation changes.
This recent review offers a helpful look at the Mavic Pro: http://www.theverge.com/2016/11/4/13508560/dji-mavic-pro-drone-review-price