Tuesday 6 December 2016

CES 2016 – Drones fill the air

Emma Clark

Published 05/01/2016 | 11:20

CES 2016
CES 2016

Parrot and DJI were the first to reveal what their drone-related plans are for the coming year, but expect more announcements as CES 2016 progresses.

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Drones are becoming a more common sight in the sky and there’s no sign of them disappearing any time soon. Companies, including Parrot and DJI, are certainly banking on continued interest in the year ahead. They took to CES to show off their latest wares.

Parrot’s latest device is a fixed-wing aircraft called Disco that is designed to be beginner friendly. To get it off the ground, you simply throw it into the air where it will then gain altitude and turn itself until you take control.

"Parrot Disco is the first wing-shaped drone you can pilot with no learning process. Its autopilot and its many sensors (accelerometer, gyroscope, magnetometer, barometer, Pitot, GPS) permanently control its flight," the company's press kit read. "You throw the flying wing, it gains its altitude and turns autonomously, and turns in the sky until you take control of it. During the flight, the autopilot prevents any false manoeuvre which could bring the flying wing down. Parrot Disco is as easy to pilot as playing a video game."

Meanwhile, DJI is targeting those looking for high-end drones. It announced two new versions of existing models. One is simply a black version of the Inspire 1, while there’s also a more affordable version of the flagship Phantom drone. The Phantom 3 4K relies on Wi-Fi, meaning you get a lower resolution stream and less range to play with, but it should still be more than enough to capture some impressive shots.

Expect to hear more drone news this week as CES progresses. Qualcomm, for one, looks set to make an announcement tonight.

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