3D Robotics announces the IRIS+
3D Robotics have announced the new IRIS+ with a YouTube video presented by Colin Guinn.
The IRIS+ has a longer flight time than the original IRIS, now claimed at 15 minutes with a gimbal, a 3S 5100mAh battery aids this performance improvement. The propellers have been changed for a self tightening screw on set, along with a much lighter set of landing legs, similar to designs the community itself has been making. The official 3DR video shows that arm LEDs have been added for orientation and claims the power system of the IRIS has been upgraded.
Gizmodo reported the upgrade cost for existing users is $200.
> updated 9th September:
Vu Tran Director of Support for 3D Robotics confirmed that the upgrade cost is $200 but this is about 50% cheaper than the component parts would cost if purchased separately and consists of:
1) Powerful 920KV motors
2) 4 Self Tightening 9″ Propellers (T-motor)
3) New Lighter Arms
4) 4 New Long Legs
5) GPS Shield
6) New Orientation LEDs (2 white, 2 red)
7) Custom high quality 3S 5100mah battery – less susceptible to degradation (Gens Ace)
8) Presoldered 4-in-1 ESC
Colin Guinn says that “for the people that want something that is advanced and under $1000 this is the clear choice.”
Time will tell if people are willing to spend more money on the IRIS+ than the Phantom to use the additional features that the Pixhawk flight controller offers.
One feature promoted in the video is the “follow me” mode, right now that feature is risky given obstacles such as trees could see your IRIS crashing into those or poor GPS coverage could have unexpected consequences, however, the fact 3DR have a LIDAR listed on their website hints that sense and avoid technology is in the works for the Pixhawk flight controller used in the IRIS. The LIDAR-Lite was a successful crowd funded development and more details on it can be found here:
We imagine a few people in the open source community might get irritated at the visual suggestion in the video that the software code is developed in-house, when the Arducopter software used by the Pixhawk is developed by contributors around the globe. Being a promotional video however, it is not surprising to see details simplified.