It seems that camera maker Canon has plans to enter the drone market. The company has applied for a patent for a gimbal system for small drones.
The question is, however, whether Canon focuses on consumer applications with the patent: the gimbal module looks more like a security camera than a regular three-axis gimbal system.
Reduced version for small drones
The patent application was reported by CanonRumors. According to that website, the patent appears to build on an earlier patent application by Canon. At the time, it was a camera system for a $ 20,000 drone for the security sector, marketed in 2017 by Prodrone. According to the new patent, the camera system should be a lot smaller. The patent application even specifically mentions miniaturization.
As can be seen from images in the patent application, the construction of the gimbal system resembles that of a movable security camera. By rotating and tilting the camera, the entire environment can be viewed without the drone having to change position.
To avoid obstructing the view, the landing gear of the drone can be retracted. Another feature concerns the ability to exchange the camera module. It is not clear from the patent whether the gimbal is also capable of stabilizing the image, or whether digital image stabilization is used for this.
Enter the market (again)
The future will show whether Canon indeed has plans to (re-)enter the drone market, and if so, whether it concerns a complete system or just camera modules. It also remains to be seen which segment Canon would then focus on.
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