DJI Phantom 4 – Auto Avoidance Technology
The mention of the word “drone technology” was synonymous with the military few decades ago. But today, when people here anything that is related to drone, they think about a small flying machine that can be used for seeing the panoramic view of a place. Besides, there have been a lot of developments in the Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) space. Drones now encompass devices that can be pre-programmed or remotely controlled even though the most common ones are the UAVs. The quadcopter, with four sets of rotor blades, is one of the most common machines in the consumer market. It is used for aerial videography, cinematography, or construction site mapping. With the flight of the drones in the sky, there have been a lot of crashes due to a number of technical glitches. This has necessitated the development of auto avoidance technology to help steer the device from possible collisions.
Collision Avoidance Systems (CAS) have been developed and are still being developed for cars due to the high number of fatal accidents. However, in the drone market, only a few developments have been made so far. One of the innovations is a sensor, which is integrated into the device. This sensor helps the device to avoid collisions, thus ensuring more safety and intelligent travel.
The Chinese-based company DJI is one of the market leaders producing drones for commercial purposes. The Phantom is the firm’s flagship drone series targeted at amateurs and hobbyists. Phantom 1 was released in 2013 and is remarkable for being the first flying machine to use the GPS, even though its flying time is less than ten minutes. The revisions led to the release of the Phantom 2 that same year but with better features. There were the Vision and Vision+ models, too. The FC40 was released in 2014 and the Phantom 3 in 2015. The Phantom 3 has visual positioning system. This allowed it to be employed at lower altitudes and or used in locations where GPS signals are weak. The Phantom 3 has three models: the Standard, Advanced, and Professional.
With less than a year after the release of the Phantom 3 Pro model, the Phantom 4 was launched. Released on March 15, 2016, the Phantom 4 incorporates the auto avoidance technology for the first time in drones. DJI calls it the Obstacle Sensing System (OSS). Three extra cameras with optical sensors are added, helping it to detect obstacles as far as 15 meters ahead. The auto avoidance technology of the Phantom 4 is pre-programmed such that if it encounters an obstacle during flight, it will stop the forward motion and allow the user (pilot) to redirect it. The model has other developments that can enable it to move forward and backward at high speed. But when in reverse or backward motion, the OSS doesn’t do much.
The Phantom 4 also has the capability of returning home when the battery is low or when a user loses communication. With the newly added Active Track feature, the device can track a subject using the Smartphone Piloting App, thus allowing it to avoid obstacles. With the Tap Fly feature, the device can fly to a particular point on the map while avoiding obstacles along the way. If there’s the likelihood that the smart drone will encounter problems, it has features that will prevent it from flying or that will make the device hover around the place. All in all, DJI Phantom 4 is a huge success partly because the manufacturer adopted auto avoidance technology, which consumers have been craving for.
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