A new drone from DJI is able to lock onto humans and animals and follow them, while avoiding obstacles. The drone is equipped with two forward-facing optical sensors that detect upcoming obstructions. When the drone detects trees or telephone poles, it will automatically maneuver around them and continue on course. The user flying the drone remotely will be able to see what the drone sees through its camera and a smartphone app. It is compatible with iPhone and Android smartphones. To lock onto a target, the user taps on the target on the smartphone touchscreen and the drone will follow it.
The DJI Go app has a feature called TapFly that lets users mark a destination for the drone. It will fly to the destination along a flight path calculated by the app. While the drone is on its flight path, it will avoid obstacles.
The Phantom 4 features a 4K video camera that is supported by a vibration dampening gimbal. The battery provides more flight time than the previous drone model. The Phantom 4 flies an additional 28 minutes and its top speed is 45 miles per hour.
The Phantom 4 costs $1,399, and it will be available on March 15 for buyers purchasing the drone on the DJI or Apple website. Other retail outlets will sell the drone on April 1.
Source: PC World
Civilian drone targeting system are getting more advance. Obstacle avoidance seems to be the technology that these drones could master. It could be even more advanced than military drones. The Raytheon Multi-Spectral Targeting System (MTS) is an advanced military targeting system. Here’s a description of the MTS from Raytheon:
This advanced EO/IR system provides long-range surveillance, target acquisition, tracking, rangefinding and laser designation for the Griffin and Paveway missiles as well as all tri-service and NATO laser-guided munitions. MTS sensors feature multiple fields of view, electronic zoom and multimode video tracking and were designed to incorporate future growth options and performance enhancements.
Another military drone targeting system called Venom was recently tested. According to Value Walk, it can identify and track small drones, even while the system is mounted to a moving vehicle. It is based on Northrop Grumman’s Lightweight Laser Designator Rangefinder (LLDR). It can be used to detect incoming drones and destroy them with precison guided munitions.