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DJI is working on a new FPV drone to fly Indoors 

 May 7, 2022

Recent leaks suggest that DJI is working on a new FPV (first-person view) drone that you can fly indoors (via Gizmodo). Reliable tipsters @DealsDrone and @OsitaLV have come forward with leaked images and details about a smaller, more compact drone arriving between July and August.

The drone, supposedly called Avata, will weigh 500 grams, which means users will have to enlist it with the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) if they choose to fly it outside (drones weighing more than 250 grams must be enrolled with the FAA).

However, renders from @DealsDrone show that the Avata could come with ducted propellers to help prevent any damage to the device when it (inevitably) runs into something during an indoor flight. In addition, it features a camera that @DealsDrones expects to be just as good as the recently released DJI Mini 3 Pro and “greatly improved” battery life.

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The Avata is also rumored to come with FPV goggles — a necessity for FPV drones — that give you a first-person perspective of where your drone is going while you pilot it. Although DJI released its first-ever FPV drone last year, it isn’t the most suitable for indoor flight.

As Gizmodo points out, the Avata is meant to be a cinewhoop-style drone or a drone with a camera that’s usually custom-built for maneuverability in small, indoor spaces. The name “cinewhoop” is a portmanteau of tiny whoop (a brand name that has evolved into a term for small drones) and “cinematic” for those amazing movie-like shots you can get with this kind of drone (like this epic sequence captured in a bowling alley).

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In April, GoPro made a camera specifically for cinewhoops and other FPV drones: the GoPro Hero 10 Black Bones. GoPro requires users to solder this ultra-lightweight camera to their drone, fulfilling a massive demand for a bare-bones camera suitable for flight. If DJI does launch a readymade cinewhoop drone, this will eliminate the need for tinkering completely (at least for those who don’t want to create a DIY build) and open up the niche to a lot more people who aren’t so technically savvy.

GoPro, Inc. is an American technology company established in 2002 by Nick Woodman. It manufactures action cameras and creates its mobile apps and video-editing software. Founded as Woodman Labs, Inc, the company ultimately concentrated on the connected sports genre, expanding its line of action cameras and, subsequently, video editing software. It is situated in San Mateo, California.

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It designed a quadcopter drone, Karma, unleashed in October 2016. In January 2018, Karma was discontinued. Also, in January 2018, the company engaged JPMorgan Chase to seek options for marketing the company. However, a month later, the CEO declined this. GoPro has resumed its business in manufacturing action cameras.

In 2014, GoPro entered into talks with DJI for a private label model constructed with the GoPro branding. After the loss of these negotiations, GoPro entered into a contract with 3D Robotics (3DR) for an equal partnership based on 3DR’s flight controllers. Unfortunately, 3DR failed to meet its agreed-upon timelines. As a result, GoPro took complete control of the development process in mid-2015.

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Planned to be released in early 2016, the GoPro Karma project was postponed several times before the GoPro Karma was announced, with an opening date of October 23, 2016. The Karma was released along with newer models of the HERO5 and Session cameras and featured a removable handheld stabilizer (gimbal) integrated into the structure. After a few customers whined about power failure during operation, GoPro recalled Karma drones and offered customers full refunds.

dji-1

In February 2017, GoPro re-launched the Karma Drone. However, in January 2018, GoPro Inc. said that it would be cutting more than 20 percent of its worldwide workforce and ending its drone business after a disappointing fourth quarter. The company said it expects sales of about $340 million, well short of its previous projection of $480 million and the average analyst estimate of $472 million. In addition, its revenue took an $80 million hit due to discounting for its Karma drones and its Hero line of cameras over the holiday season.

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The first generation of Digital HERO cameras (2006–09) were powered by conventional AAA batteries and included a rugged housing and wrist strap. Models were distinguished by their still image resolution and shot the video in standard definition (480 lines or lower) with a 4:3 aspect ratio. In addition, the first-generation Digital HERO cameras were equipped with an optical viewfinder like the film HERO.

The original Digital HERO (DH1; 640×480 still resolution, 240p video in 10-second clips) of 2006 was succeeded by the Digital HERO3 (DH3; 3-megapixel stills, 384p video) and Digital HERO5 (DH5; same as DH3 but with 5-megapixel stills). All three of these had a 54° angle of view. In addition, a variant of the DH5 was released with a highly wide-angle lens with 170° of angular coverage on the diagonal as the Wide HERO; the Wide HERO had a different housing than the other first-gen cameras (DH1/DH3/DH5) to accommodate its larger lens.

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3D HERO and Dual HERO

GoPro released the 3D HERO approach in April 2011, which associated two HD HERO cameras via a synchronization cable in a single housing to form a stereoscopic 3D camera. One of the cameras is used in upside-down mode. The 3D HERO system is also compatible with HD HERO2. The synchronized videos are processed using GoPro CineForm software and exported as an anaglyph to be viewed wearing red-cyan glasses.

In 2014, GoPro released an update as the Dual HERO system, which provides similar functionality using two HERO3+ Black Edition cameras. In addition, the updated Dual HERO BacPac sync/link cable has an asymmetric design: the right or primary camera (viewed with the lens facing away from the user) is larger than the left (secondary) camera, and the left camera is used in an upside-down mode. Like the preceding 3D HERO, the Dual HERO uses CineForm software to process synchronized images and videos for export as anaglyphs.

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Odyssey

The Odyssey is a 16-camera scenic panoramic stereo rig created to build content for the Google Jump virtual reality platform by synchronizing the cameras and automatically stitching their footage together. The Odyssey was initially announced at Google I/O in May 2015. In September, GoPro began taking applications from “professional content creators” for the US$15,000 rig, which included 16 GoPro HERO4 Black cameras; limited shipments started in May 2016.

Omni

The Omni also was declared in May 2015, leveraging its contemporary acquisition of Kolor, which developed software to sew video footage together. Omni was a camera rig that synchronizes six GoPro HERO4 Black cameras, allowing users to sew and make virtual reality 360° videos. Omni began shipping in August 2016.

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Fusion

The Fusion was announced alongside the DJI HERO6 Black and released on November 24, 2017. It has two cameras, each recording to a separate microSD memory card; their outputs can be stacked using the bundled Fusion Studio desktop software as 360° Panorama video. In addition, fusion Studio can export to several formats, including H.264 (4K), CineForm 422, and Apple ProRes 422.

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