More Drones from CEDIA 2015

Hey guys, it's Giovanni. We're at CEDIA and we're gonna talk to Eric again over at Stampede. This time, we're gonna talk about some professional-grade drones. Welcome to Geek Beat.

Alright guys, so we're back here with Eric. And now we're gonna talk about some professional quality drones with some different uses. And first of all, we're gonna talk about the xFold. Tell me a little bit about what this drone specifically is for, and what kind of person would wanna purchase this? 

So yeah, absolutely, thanks. This is an xFold Mapper. The xFold Mapper is really the bottom line of the commercial-grade products for xFold. They have a Mapper, a Cinema, and a Dragon. The Dragon is actually twice as big as this one. It can lift up to 150 pounds. It's a big boy. But the Mapper here was meant for doing 3D mapping. A small DSLR, or as you can see, we just have a GoPro on there right now, but it can carry a variety of elements based on the gimbals. And it can do that for 30 minutes. It has a flight time of 30 minutes. It is an X8 configuration, but with the xFold, with a very simple modification of the bolts, we can actually make this an X12, for added stability in winds. You're not gonna get any more flight time out of it, but you're gonna get added stability.

Do you lose flight time, though? 


Oh, wow. Okay.

But it'll give you added stability for winds. So fantastic configuration. These guys were born out of the cinematography world. The Cinema version of this, which is slightly bigger, can actually... Is being used in Game of Thrones. And has been used in a ton of movies, and can carry a RED EPIC camera.

Oh wow! 

These guys came out of that world, trying to use CineStars and stuff. And they didn't like what they were using, so they built and they designed their own system. And we're really happy to be able to distribute these guys. This is a... This is just expanding into commercial-grade, but this is really your first one. This comes with the Pix4D software as a 3D mapping software. That's one of the benefits of this, is everything comes as an OTC. It's a $9,000 software package included in this.

And what does this retail, with the...

This retails with everything, batteries, and the ground station, and everything retails for 19.99.

And that's without camera, I would assume? 

Oh, that's without camera.

What cameras are compatible with it? 

Anything. Any kind of gimbal, it would just be the gimbal that needs to be put on. They can create a custom gimbal. They've got a variety of those already set up for various configurations. It would just be focused on whatever the end user needed to do, and wanted do to.

Okay. Tell me what this X PlusOne is.

Yeah. So this one...

I mean, you have to ask about this.

No. This is... This is... If you haven't seen this, Google 'em.

I have never seen that in my life.

Okay. This is fantastic, so these guys actually... Yeah, this is a great story. These guys are a small startup out of Northern Idaho. And they were... Raised $180,000 on Kickstarter last year to build this. This is the production models. These are out now, they've delivered all of their Kickstarter stuff, and we're now distributing for 'em. And this is just exciting. This will do a horizontal... Oh I'm sorry, a vertical takeoff and landing, and will transition into horizontal flight, and go up to 60 miles an hour.


And the price point on this is at about $2,000.

And is this meant for cinema also, or what's the use on that? 

Some fantastic elements. Obviously, if you need to move, and you need to follow something quickly, you've got the speed capability.

So law enforcement, maybe, or first responders? Military? 

First responders, getting out. Also precision agriculture if you're gonna cover an area, it can cover an area. This can come off and you put a gimbal on here. And you can put a small camera. So a GoPro style, thermal, something like that on the top. But again, maybe bridge inspections because the GoPro's facing up. You've got the ability to do all kinds of different infrastructure inspections. And then again, transition into horizontal flight. Very, very impressive. Just a fantastic capability, we're super excited about this. We'll be flying it later in the cage.

Oh, awesome. Okay.

Not gonna go horizontal with it.

And lastly, let's talk about the... Let's walk around over here, Ken.

This one here is Vision Aerial. They're a company out of Montana. And again, an excellent company. We've really enjoyed working with them. They make the Switchblade here. This one, I guess the claim is, it can carry a six pack of beer. If you're talking about how you measure lift capacity, there's important elements there. But it's just a fantastic little... It's well-made. It's all made in the US. And really, the lift and the movement is quite good on it. It can forward. The tricopter is an interesting concept. And it is, I would say that of all, if you are trying to move from a DJI Phantom into flying this, you would definitely wanna do a lot of simulator time. And you'd wanna make sure that your... This is gonna be, I think, moving up into the commercial-grade. This is a challenging one to fly, not to make it bad, but just... It's gonna be sporty, it's gonna be fun. You can really have some fun with this.

Is there anything in particular that the configuration with having the tri-blades as opposed to the four, or the 12, or the eight? Does that give you any particular advantage over the other ones? 

I've seen some advances in lift. With those three blades, granted they can be bigger, and the footprint can be smaller, but you can get some good movement going. It gets up and goes. You get some good forward speed, and then the lift capacity on it is very, very good.

Awesome. My assumption is on all three... I mean, these are three completely different drones. I wanna say quads, only one's a quad. Completely different vehicles here, none of them, I would assume, are meant for the DJI kind of enthusiast. These are all commercial applications...

Absolutely. Yes, yes.


Absolutely. I think the X PlusOne could fit a very interesting category of, "I've got an Inspire. I've got a bunch... " and that's just cool.


They show a great video where they put it on a... Guy has a motorcycle and they basically... He takes off and then, he puts his controller in his backpack and he takes off on his motorcycle.

And it follows him.

And it follows him. So, it transitions and you watch it as it's going and then, it transitions into horizontal flight.

This might be a dumb question. Stabilization, kind of being able to view that video without getting nauseous...

Does that have the capability when it's flying vertically, to hold a gimbal and have the gimbal function, or...


Okay, wow.

Yep, yep.

Okay, fantastic.

Yeah. So no. It's exciting. This one is... We've been running in with them at 80 psi and the first flight for it in a cage was at InterDrone. We flew it at InterDrone with them and we're gonna be flying it here so, they...

Okay, so if anybody is interested in DJI and anything else that's not DJI, where do they find you guys? It sounds like you guys would be great to go to, you're platform agnostic, you'll tell people what they need based upon their use case so, where do they find y'all? 

Sure, yep. Stampede. You can go to Stampede the website and get hooked up there. Drone Video Systems is another, We can get information out there, we've pulled together... And like you said, we're platform agnostic in all of it. So what we wanna do is pull together an entire solution, because it's not just about the drone, it's about everything else. You've got the add-ons, you've got command and control capabilities that you need to manage. If you're gonna get into the commercial world, we wanna be able to have a solution and that's what's been market leading for us. We've gotten tremendous response in the fact that we've pulled all of these things together, we've connected the dots so that somebody can get into commercial enterprise. They can get the pilot training they need through our partnership with Unmanned Vehicle University, and they can get the recommendations and the 333 exemptions through our partnership with UA Solutions group. And again, we look at the best in class companies, and we pull them together to provide that simple and easy solution to get into commercial operations.

Awesome. Thank you, Eric. This has been Giovanni with Geek Beat at CEDIA talking about professional quality drones. And, now, Ken, you need to take the camera and pan it up kinda artsy like to end this episode. Pan it up, there you go. Thank you.