Fleye launched its robotic drone at CES last week and although the idea of a robotic drone is nothing new, this flying object looks completely different to any other consumer drone on the market.
The propeller for the drone is inside the plastic ball, meaning it’s ultra-safe and won’t damage anything it hits, or inadvertently hurt its user with a spinning propeller.
Along with its safety features, it’s also autonomous, meaning it can find its own way around, using sensors and computer vision to find out where it is. It can seamlessly navigate around, avoiding objects and using its environment as reference points so there’s no reliance on the controller to make it move.
“Fleye is supercharged with sensors like most drones, accelerometers, gyros, altimeters. It is also using computer vision to find where it is in space, especially indoors where you don’t have GPS. So, Fleye is capable of staying on the same spot hovering without any pilot controlling it just by looking at the environment so it knows where it is,” Laurent Eschenauer, the CEO and co-founder of Belgian tech company, Fleye said.
The drone is controlled via a smartphone app, but instead of using piloting talents to make the drone work, you can simply choose the camera mode (selfie, panorama, virtual tripod) and start streaming video and taking pictures as the drone flies through the air. You are also able to take the reigns manually, with a Bluetooth or virtual gamepad.
“We have a vision of the future of flying robots which becomes totally autonomous. So no more pilot in the loop, floating around us and helping us with many different tasks, collecting data, transporting things for us,” Eschenauer added.
Fleye has so far raised €300,000 on Kickstarter and it’s due to launch in September to its backers, although a commercial launch is likely to arrive a little later than this.