This concludes our special coverage from the InterDrone 2016 conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming...
First of all, InterDrone was great again this year, and while I haven't been to every drone conference held across these United States, I have been to many of them, and InterDrone stands head-and-shoulders above the rest. They opened strong last year, and came back even stronger this year – and the dates for 2017 have already been set: September 6-8, back at the Rio Hotel & Casino.
The organizers asked us to give a total of five (five!) talks on FPV flying, drone maintenance, thermal imaging and our wide-ranging open forum: Drone Talk. Needless to say, we were pretty busy...
Not only were there individual booths on the show floor I wanted to visit but couldn't owing to the lack of available time – there were entire categories of booths I never got the chance to visit: purveyors of video monocles and drone insurance among them.
The SkyeIntelligence Orbit seems like an especially good product to wrap up our show coverage with, because it embodied two very specific trends I noticed at the show. First, the most recent generation of drones appear to be moving away from using ultrasonic sensors for altitude measurements in favor of infrared sensors.
Second, it has a simple one-axis gimbal and relies on digital image stabilization to render smooth finished video.
There are clearly some trade-offs here, because you're using a 4K sensor to capture a 1080p image – so you're throwing out a lot of pixels to achieve that stability. However, you're also removing a lot of the mechanical complexity and the vulnerability that comes with mounting a three-axis gimbal on a flying object.
Speaking of flying objects – I do like the visual style of the Orbit. Depending on your vantage point, it either looks like Lord Vader's TIE Fighter or a classic, 1950's UFO. Either way, pretty cool.