3D Robotics Solo Drone Gives You Creative Control

3D Robotics' Solo Smart Drone tries to lessen the learning curve with shooting aerial footage.

It’s not easy to capture the perfect drone shot, especially when you’re near a volcano or inside the world’s largest known cave. But 3D Robotics is looking to make drone photography a bit easier for users with its new Solo Smart Drone that gives you creative control.

Solo, which is available now for pre-order, will be available in May 2015 for $1,000 without a camera or $1,400 with the GoPro camera included. The Solo can get video from any modern GoPro camera (starting with the Hero3+) and streams it to your phone or tablet with the help of the optional 3-axis Solo gimbal.

The Solo Smart Drone certainly has slick photo and video features. It can circle or follow a certain object for an “orbiting” shot. And there’s a mode that focuses in on an object then does a fly away while remaining focused on that spot.

You can also create a number of waypoints for Solo to follow and capture video along the way. 3DR also lets you control your GoPro camera settings while you’re flying it, so no need to land to adjust things. There’s even a one-click way to take an selfie video.

The maximum flight time for the Solo is 20 minutes with a camera and gimbal and 25 minutes without them. The maximum WiFi range for receiving video is about half a mile.

Other features include a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A9 processor in the drone and controller, a top-loading battery to make replacing the battery easier, and standard drone features such as automatic takeoffs and landings, compatibility with third-party gimbals, and a return home mode.

Another unique feature is wireless updates via the iOS or Android mobile app that includes updates for the Solo’s computer, the controller’s computer, the autopilot system and even the gimbal.


Flight time: up to 25 min without payload, or up to 20 min with GoPro and Solo Gimbal
Controller battery life of up to 4 hours; built-in rechargeable battery (8 hours with optional extended battery)
Weight: 1500 g; 1800 g with Solo Gimbal and GoPro
Autopilot: Pixhawk 2
Video latency: 180 ms
WiFi range: up to half a mile, depending on environment

About the Author

Steve Crowe · Steve Crowe is managing editor of Robotics Trends. Steve has been writing about technology since 2008. He lives in Belchertown, MA with his wife and daughter.
Contact Steve Crowe: scrowe@ehpub.com  ·  View More by Steve Crowe.


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Article Topics

Robot Fun · Drones · News · Media · Photos · Videos · 3D Robotics · All Topics

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