May 23, 2016
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Gone are the days of extending our arms uncomfortably or relying on selfie sticks to take the perfect self-portrait. Zero Zero Robotics’ Hover Camera, based on the Qualcomm Snapdragon Flight drone platform, featuring the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, is the future of personal paparazzi.
“Hover Camera is the first truly autonomous camera that anyone can use,” said MQ Wang, Founder and CEO of the startup, a robotics company that specializes in consumer-friendly AI.
Wang was initially inspired by Alone Across Australia, a 2001 documentary about Jon Muir’s 1,600-mile solo trek across Australia. The adventurer filmed the entire experience himself, which proved to be quite a hassle; he constantly had to walk ahead, set up the camera, and retrace his steps. Wang thought there had to be a better solution — a camera that could follow and film simultaneously.
Wang went on to found Zero Zero Robotics with Tony Zhang, a fellow Stanford University alum. The company’s flagship product is the Hover Camera, a foldable drone that takes 13-megapixel stills and 4K video. What’s really exciting is that the drone doesn’t need a controller; it’s self-flying.
That’s because the Hover Camera is based on the Snapdragon Flight platform, powered by the Snapdragon 801 processor. The drone can follow its subjects while being mindful of objects that may be in its way. Multiple sensors, including an accelerometer, gyroscope, and barometer, work together to keep the drone at a steady altitude (up to 164 feet or 50 meters). A sonar sensor and ground-facing camera help the drone fly steady, so photos and videos aren’t blurry.
The Hover Camera app can be used to track faces and bodies, as well as provide a live video stream and a 360-degree panoramic mode. The drone has 32GB of internal memory and an 8-minute battery life that can be extended with swappable batteries. A micro-USB 3.0 Type B cable can be used to transfer the captured media to a computer.
Enclosed in a portable, carbon-fiber case, the drone is lightweight yet durable. Its four propellers spin inside the casing, sparing clumsy fingers from unfortunate accidents. At 8.4 ounces, the Hover Camera doesn’t need U.S. FAA drone registration, a requirement for drones that weigh 8.8 ounces (250 grams) or more.
The Hover Camera is expected to be priced at around $600. Learn more about the self-flying drone on the Hover Camera website.