Skydrone 3G-based FPV system now available for preorder

November 29, 2013 14:14 | By | Add a Comment

Originally appearing on Indiegogo, the Skydrone FPV system didn’t meet it’s funding goal. However that didn’t keep the inventors from pushing ahead and continuing development. And today they announced that they accept preorders for their new system.

The core idea is instead of transmitting analogue video on 1.2/2.4/5.8GHz, they use a built-in 3G modem to send a compressed video stream. Clever dynamic software enables Skydrone to switch to a lower-quality compressing on the fly as conditions change. This allows pilots to fly their drones wherever cell coverage is available.

The system is powered by a beaglebone embedded linux computer and comes as an integrated unit complete with HD camera and wide angle lens. Support for Mavlink protocol is built in, so you can connect your APM or MegaPirate flight controller to have the Skydrone render a nice HUD onto your video stream, which you can watch on your android tablet, iOS/Windows device or Blackberry.

Last but not least, Skydrone has announced Oculus Rift support with headtracking. At EUR 499.- this is a lot cheaper than the $800+ you’d have to spend on a Transporter3D system + 3D camera, though right now the Skydrone has only a single HD camera. One would expect they will have to offer a second camera module or have some sort of input for real 3D video support.

If you can’t wait and have to plunk down some cash right now, their website is up and accepting preorders for an eventual delivery around January 2014.

Video and specs after the break.

Drone FPV Module Specifications

Weight: 140 gr (incl. lens)
Dimensions: 87 x 56 x 45 mm
Autopilot Connection: MAVLink compatible autopilot; optimized for APM and PixHawk from 3D Robotics
Power Input: 6 – 23V
Video Resolution: Full HD (up to 1080p 30fps)
Lens: Interchangeable, default: 112° FOV
Antenna: Internal antenna + external antenna socket (optional)
Typical End-to-End Latency: <150ms
Network Compatibility: Option 1 (Asia & Europe): LTE 800(B20), 1800(B3), 2100(B1), 2600(B7) and UMTS 900/2100Option 2 (North America): LTE 2100(B1), AWS (B4), 700(B17) and WCDMA 2100(B1), 1900(B2), 850(B5)
Gimbal Compatibility: Gimbal connected to an APM autopilot board can be controlled via Oculus Rift Head-Tracker



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