Science and Tech
By Liyo Kikon
Roaming the skies with a high end camera and slick technology, drones have changed the way we look at arial videography. Some may argue that they are nothing but high end toys for rich folks but anyone who owns one will tell you that drones are much more than that, and the latest drone from DJi is here to change the game once more.
DJi Mavic is a very small, foldable drone which weigh just 743 grams and like all drones from DJi, it has almost all the bells and whistles of their most advanced drone, in a tiny package. It has all the sensors just like the Inspire 4, such as optical flow sensor to help it land automatically and also to see if there are obstacles below, this sensor also helps the drone to detect any changes in elevation if you are flying uphill. The sensor in the front will automatically detect any objects as it constantly scans the environment and make sure that you don’t crash into anything. If you fly it directly towards a wall, it will either stop by itself or change the elevation so that it flies above the obstacle. It also has the fancy new tracking feature which lets you track any subject or object simply by drawing a square around the point of interest and the drone will follow that subject by itself. It has GPS to help the drone detect satellites for easier flight and it has a high end camera attached to it. Lets first talk about the camera. It comes with a 4K camera which is stabilized by a 3-axis mechanical gimbal. It also has Electronic Image stabilization (EIS) which will further stabilize the video. However, like all EIS systems, you will only be able to record at 1080p if you shoot with EIS. If you want to take photographs instead of videos, then the Mavic has a 12 megapixels camera which can take every photo with Adobe DNG RAW format to give you greater control over the image in post production.
The Mavic has a range of up to 7 kilometer, as long as there is a clear line of sight between the drone and the remote control which is more than enough since the drone is so small that you won’t be able to see it at even half of that distance. It does not use Wi-Fi, but DJi’s own system called the OcuSync transmission system. When it comes to flying high end drones, the system needs a much faster transmission speed and so the Ocusync works better than Wi-Fi since it will automatically scan the environment and choose the frequency band with the lowest interference, thereby reducing transmission loss and increasing the performance.
The Mavic comes with a remote and you can fly the drone with only the remote or you can attach your cell phone/tablet to it and get the camera feed and other controls via your device. The great thing about this drone is that you don’t need to be an expert since most of the things such as take off, landing, hovering, following subjects, and almost everything can be accomplished by an amateur without any training and one does not need to worry about crashing it since the drone is smart enough to scan the environment by itself and avoid objects. There is a new gesture recognition system for the Mavic, where you can simply wave your hand if you want the drone to follow you, or hold your arms up to form a big ‘Y’ if you want the drone to start filming, this can be real fun since it even eliminates the need for even the remote, unless you want it to land or take off. But this gesture recognition is still under development but it will be ready by the time the Mavic starts shipping. The battery in the drone is said to give the user approximately 27 minutes of flight time and it is powerful enough to deliver speeds up to 64kph even though the drone is really small compared to the big brother Phantom 4, the battery lasts twice as long since the propellors don’t require as much energy.
After hearing about this drone, all techies and hobbyists are excited to see this drone in action and since shipping will start in mid October, we all have to wait a few weeks for it. The drone will cost $999 which comes to around 66,000 Rupees. It might sound like a lot of money for most people, but if you compare it to the other drones, it is actually very reasonable for such a masterpiece.