Ryze Ro­bot­ics Tello


TechLife Australia - - CONTENTS - [ PAUL TAY­LOR ]

SAY HELLO TO the most af­ford­able drone go­ing, and one that threat­ens to be ed­u­ca­tional. The Tello has been made in con­junc­tion with master drone man­u­fac­turer DJI, the com­pany re­spon­si­ble for the mighty Phan­tom, the diminu­tive Spark and win­ning Mavic Air. Ryze Ro­bot­ics has han­dled the soft­ware and de­sign, while DJI pro­vides hard­ware com­po­nents.

It’s a mod­est setup com­pared to DJI’s work. A 720p cam­era on the front shoots rea­son­able video and takes OK pictures, all con­trolled via your smart­phone (or an op­tional hand­set for an ad­di­tional $49). Flips, ro­tat­ing shots and a long, ris­ing shot are stan­dard in the app. You’ll see a lot of block­i­ness in the footage, but it’s colour­ful and lively. One small, sin­gle flash­ing light on the front of the Tello gives you an idea of which way the thing is point­ing, but keep­ing track of that can be rather hairy. Fly it out­side on a bright day and it’s easy to lose ori­en­ta­tion and stack it into a shrub. The Tello will cut power if it senses you’ve lost con­trol, and the light­weight na­ture com­bined with a 10m flight ceil­ing and pro­pel­lor guards means you won’t do too much dam­age, in­doors or in the back­yard.

What’s unique is that the Tello is primed for teach­ing peo­ple — kids, teens and adults — how to code with Scratch or an SDK. Both are free to down­load. That’s a ter­rific ini­tia­tive, and one big rea­son to buy a Tello. The cam­era’s pass­able, and while the smart­phone con­trols are func­tional, you’re far bet­ter off with some­thing grippy to in­spire con­fi­dence. Sadly, the Tello misses out on ges­ture con­trols, but get to grips with Scratch and you can fly it us­ing your lap­top in­stead.

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