Road to the fu­ture

Australian T3 - - CONTENTS -

T3 in­ves­ti­gates the mind-blow­ing tech­nol­ogy be­ing in­serted in the next gen­er­a­tion of au­to­mo­biles

No need to wait for Ama­zon’s de­liv­ery ’bots to take to the skies. This lot are al­ready air­borne…

DJI Phan­tom 2 Visi on

This quad­copter is a 1.1kg su­per-spy, ca­pa­ble of cap­tur­ing 1080p HD video and still pho­tos us­ing its 140-de­gree field-of-view cam­era that can be tilted mid-flight, pip­ing its view in real time to the ac­com­pa­ny­ing iPhone app. A 4GB mi­croSD card records the footage and flight time clocks in at 25 min­utes, with the GPS-laden au­topi­lot re­turn­ing it to its take-off point if it loses sig­nal. $1,478, vid eocraft.com.au, out now

SenseFly eBee

This is no re­mote-con­trolled toy, but a pro­fes­sional aerial map­ping tool that comes in a brief­case and with soft­ware to con­struct topo­graph­i­cal and geo-ref­er­enced mod­els us­ing data col­lected by its 16-megapixel cam­era. The light­weight, flex­i­ble foam frame is ca­pa­ble of cov­er­ing se­ri­ous dis­tances – up to 10 sq km per charge, with a top speed of 57km/h – and is en­tirely au­ton­o­mous, re­ly­ing on the pre-pro­grammed on­board GPS for di­rec­tions. $25,000, sensefly.com, out now

SmartPlane

The prod­uct of Ger­man start-up TobyRich, this is a polypro­pe­lene “crash-proof” R/C drone that you con­trol us­ing a styl­ized cock­pit app on your iPhone. It links quickly via Blue­tooth – sim­ply open the app and tap your hand­set against the plane – and will soar for up to half an hour. Don’t stray too far from your manor, though, as Blue­tooth range is just 60 me­tres. $100, mi­croflight.com, out now

Blade 350 QX

With ev­ery lo­gis­tics firm and its dog dron­ing on, the skies are sure to get con­gested, so avoid collisions with this sen­sor-as­sisted num­ber. There’s no built-in cam­era, but its anti-vi­bra­tion mount fits Go­Pro ac­tion cams and a Sta­bil­ity Mode prom­ises smooth video. Want to spice up your clips? Switch to Agility mode and per­form flips and loops. You’ll man­age 15 min­utes of aerial ac­ro­bat­ics per charge. from $420, blade­he­lis.com, out now

Par­rotAR Elit e Drone 2.0

An over­haul of one of the first mass-mar­ket con­sumer drones, Par­rot’s new Elite Edi­tion has a max­i­mum 12-minute flight time, dur­ing which it can shoot 720p video us­ing the in­te­grated cam­era. Pilot­ing is han­dled via a ded­i­cated An­droid or iOS app and built-in flight sta­bil­i­sa­tion means no jud­ders on your sen­si­tive footage. Now avail­able with desert, jun­gle or arc­tic camo for ul­ti­mate stealth in Waitrose car parks the world over. $350, ardrone2.par­rot.com, out now

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