New drone announcements this week start with the 3D Robotics SOLO

This week everyone was focussed on DJI’s new announcement, expected to be the Phantom 3, but this evening 3D Robotics stole some of the thunder of publicity with a teaser trailer of their new quadcopter, which they didn’t name.  However, in a cheeky marketing move they had the name of drone appear for a single frame in the video, it was spotted surprisingly quickly and posted on Facebook.  The Twitter account @DIYDroneSafety noted the SOLO trademark had been registered for a while so the name could have also been guessed that way too.

For a “teaser” the trailer shows a fair bit of the copter, which you can view above..

So far, via the IRIS Facebook page (and possibly elsewhere) a few tiny bits of information have been released, first off the flight controller is the Pixhawk (albeit the expectation is an evolved version from that in the IRIS) along with some new sensors, no hints on what those sensors are but you’d imagine optical flow or some basic sense and avoid.

There’s been mixed reaction to what appear to be proprietary smart batteries, whilst DJI also has these, they’re not popular amongst many multicopter users, mainly due to their cost.

Some DJI fanboys have scoffed in the past at 3DR as making DIY looking products, the SOLO certainly addresses that criticism head on and suggests 3DR haven’t been resting on their laurels and could well have the capability to take on DJI.  3DR look to be narrowing the gap not only in aesthetics but connectivity too with the Open Source CAN bus called UAVCAN being developed suggesting peripheral integration will become easier over time.

If you want to know more, there’s no need to go ape as a full announcement is due on Monday.

An owners group has already appeared on Facebook in readiness here:


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