At the 2020 CES event in Las Vegas, we were blown away by the new, innovative drones and gear on display! Here are RotorDrone Pro’s award winners from the event.
Autel Robotics set a new standard for the functionality of compact, foldable drones at CES 2020 with the release of the Evo 2. The entirely new platform offers omnidirectional binocular collision avoidance, thanks to six pairs of optical cameras that allow the aircraft to build a three-dimensional model of the world around it.
There are three models in the Evo 2 series: the base-level Evo 2, which incorporates an 8K video sensor; the Evo 2 Pro, which includes a one-inch sensor capable of capturing 20 megapixel stills and 6K video, and also incorporates an adjustable aperture from F 2.8 to F 11; and, the Evo 2 Dual, which incorporates the same 8K sensor as the base model, as well as FLIR thermal imaging core with a resolution up to 640×512 pixels — equivalent to the top-end model of the Zenmuse XT2. Furthermore, the cameras are interchangeable on board the same aircraft, providing greater flexibility and cost savings to the end user. Powered by a 7,100 mAH battery, the aircraft is capable of flying for up to 40 minutes on a single charge.
Because this bicopter can tilt its rotors to perform as well as a four-rotor machine, it boast incredible 50-minute flight times thanks to its 4,500mAh battery. Weighing in at just 26 ounces, the Falcon can fold its arms into a small, easily transportable 8.7 x 5.9 x 2.7 inch package. That’s pretty cool, and we haven’t even gotten to its video capabilities! The V-Coptr has a 1/2.3 inch CMOS sensor, allowing it to take stills at 12 megapixels and 4K video at 30 fps. The camera sits on a three-axis mechanical gimbal to keep the footage smooth, while video can be transmitted back to the user from up to 4.3 miles away. Additional features include return-to-home, pre-programmed flight paths, auto-following and forward-facing obstacle avoidance powered by a stereo camera built into the front.
The MicroDrone 4.0 from UK-based Extreme Fliers was a huge hit on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo, and a prototype was on display at CES in 2019. The drone and its creator, Vernon Kerswell, returned to the show in 2020 with a production-ready model. Several improvements to the design delayed the production, including a more robust motor mount and a re-designed camera gimbal that uses a unique brushed-motor technology for image stabilization. Selling for just $200, the MicroDrone 4.0 will put serious imaging capabilities into the hands of everyone who has ever dreamed of seeing the world from above.
PowerVision introduced a new drone at CES 2020 that redefines versatility in the consumer UAS space. The PowerEgg X retains the company’s distinctive egg shape, but boasts an incredible range of features that go far beyond a conventional multirotor. The limbs can be quickly dismounted and a handle attached, transforming the PowerEgg X into a handheld, gimbal-stabilized video camera. When mounted on a tripod, the system operates as a smart video capture unit, automatically following a designated subject with the gimbal. The aircraft can also be made fully weatherproof by attaching a clear plastic external housing, as well as a pair of pontoons — enabling safe water landings.
At CES 2020, XDynamics introduced a robust, professional aerial imaging platform: the Evolve 2. The smallest multirotor drone equipped with a Micro Four Thirds camera, the Evolve 2 is intended for serious aerial photography and video applications. It features a monocoque carbon-fiber airframe to minimize weight and maximize structural integrity, as well as a magnesium ventral plate that serves as a heat sink and dampens vibration across the airframe. XDynamics also improved on what was already widely regarded as one of the best controllers on the market. The new controller features touch-screen controls on both of its displays, which are rated at 1,000 nits for easy viewing in outdoor environments, as well as interchangeable antennas to support mission-specific configurations.