Daily Illuminator

February 4, 2017: Drone Flights

Over the holidays, I was lucky enough to score a Zero Zero Robotics Hover Camera. This small, foldable drone features a 4K camera and wi-fi connects to my phone, meaning that I was able to zoom around the house and terrify the toys, cats, dogs, and myself. The Hover Camera was a blast to experiment with, but the drone's inability to remain stable in the wind meant that its use was limited. There were only so many times that I could crash the Hover Camera into a tree before I found myself looking for something with more power . . . and a greater range!

Enter the DJI Mavic Pro, another foldable drone . . . except that this time, the drone has enough weight and power that it can handle the winds. I've been flying the Mavic Pro for a few weeks now and can happily report that this is a spectacular machine that, in the hands of someone more talented than I am, would be a great tool when constructing YouTube videos. Need proof? Well, Casey Neistat's YouTube video showing the Mavic Pro should be all you need to see what a serious machine this is. You're not familiar with Casey Neistat's videos? Whoa, you're in for a treat. Neistat is a professional filmmaker, and his YouTube vlogs throughout 2015 and 2016 changed my opinion of vlogging and made me realize that there are truly professional videos being created and uploaded to YouTube daily.

Oh. Right. The DJI Mavic Pro. To show you how stable the drone is in the wind, take a peek at this 30-second YouTube video I posted on the same day that I opened the drone. I posted side-by-side footage showing the drone rocking in the wind and the stable view from the drone. I also posted a two-minute video of the drone that same day showing the Mavic Pro at about a 100-ft. altitude and in a light rain (I managed to bring it in before the rains strengthened, so no harm was done). Add a little AI to the Mavic Pro and we're taking our first steps to GURPS Reign of Steel. (Which means that we need to not add AI to this machine. Please, world. Don't give drones AI.)

The Hover Camera stayed home, but the Mavic Pro made the trip to Nuremberg with me. If I am lucky, I'll get some footage of the convention center to share. Just have to hope that the weather cooperates and that there aren't any local restrictions that leave the drone in my backpack. Wish me luck!

-- Phil Reed


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