Welcome to the Weekly UAS News Update. We have three stories for you this week. The first one is quite long as I want to talk about four new drones. Additionally, we'll cover an incident involving a woman who prevented a drone from peeping into her house and a heartening story of a teen who saved two people using a drone. Let's get started.
Four new drones
For your first story, I want to take a look at four new or upcoming drones, starting with Autel Robotics. Autel recently previewed two of its new platforms at a conference in Houston. We discussed the first one, the Autel Alpha, a few weeks ago. Not many specs are available yet, but it appears that it's a much larger version of the Autel Max, possibly even larger than a Matrix 30 based on the pictures we've seen. It's expected to have a 45-minute battery, a 12-mile transmission system, an IP55 rating, the usual 360-degree obstacle avoidance system that we've seen on other Autel drones, and a max speed of 45 miles per hour. As for the payload, it is equipped with a 15 megapixel wide-angle camera, a 4K 25x camera, and a 640 by 512 thermal camera. Based on the picture, it looks like there is a laser range finder, which is very similar to the one on the Max.
Not many specs are available for the Autel Titan, which is the other drone that I want to talk about, but it's expected to have a 24-pound payload and a 60-minute battery. It looks like it's a delivery drone; it has a box underneath it. I don't know if that's part of the payload or something the user added, but we'll let you know when we hear more about these two.
Now, let's talk about the DJI Air 3 which was rumored to be released this week. As I mentioned last week, it seemed to be a little off, and it didn't happen, proving that sometimes rumors can be misleading. But we're starting to see a lot more leaked pictures, which indicates that we're getting closer to the release. One of the pictures shows a dual camera setup, presumably a wide and zoom lens, and it also appears to have an obstacle avoidance system pretty similar to what we've seen on the DJI Mavic 3 Series. The pricing was also leaked this week.
It appears there's a ‘Fly More Combo', which includes the new smart controller, the R 2. This is the grey controller with the built-in screen. The combo is priced at $1419. There's also a cheaper version with the RC-N2, a grey controller without a screen, available for $1235. I know some may wonder if this controller is compatible with older models. I don't have that information yet, but we'll see when it comes out. This is the first time I've heard about the new RC model. We knew the R-N2 model was coming out, but not the new DJI RC 2. It's exciting, even though the RC isn't very old. It will be interesting to see the changes they've made.
If you're not satiated with the DJI Rumors, there's another one about a potential DJI Mini 4. The leaked pictures are blurry at this stage, but it looks like a Mini 3 with taller front legs. If that's the case, it's a great design modification. During our initial review of the DJI Mini 3, we even printed little extension legs for ours to make it more stable.
Now, let's talk about the second story. This is a strange one, a “don't be that guy” situation. A woman in Rhode Island noticed a drone outside her window while she was showering. Hearing a buzzing noise, she initially thought it was from the pool. Upon investigating, she found a drone hovering outside her window. The drone retreated when she approached it, crashed into a tree, and fell to the ground. She captured it, put it in the pool to disable it, and turned it over to the Police. They discovered it belonged to a convicted sex offender. I don't like discussing these stories, but they do occur. The takeaway is – don't be that guy.
Teen saves people with drone
The final story is heartening – Drones for Good. Eighteen-year-old Josh was flying his drone recreationally when he spotted a car in a sinkhole. Initially, he was looking for a wash that had turned into a river in Colorado. Josh and his family noticed a car in the sinkhole and went to investigate. They heard two people talking – they were trapped in the nearly submerged car. First Responders arrived swiftly and used Josh's truck to pull the car out of the water. The couple in the car, who had sustained serious injuries, were transported to the hospital. It's great to see drones being used for good. So, congratulations to Josh for likely saving two people's lives.
That's all for now. We'll see you on Monday for our live Q&A. Make sure you show up on this channel. We answer as many questions as possible within an hour, which is always a ton of fun. Have a great weekend.
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