This drone gets rid of confusing controls and complicated cameras. Instead, it does it all for you.
As drones become increasingly affordable and accessible, the power of flight is being put into the hands of more and more hobbyists. However, ongoing legal battles and compliance issues could take the controls away from them before even launching into the sky. Though a number of companies have already created software to automate the process of checking for TSA no-fly updates and have implemented GPS and other wireless technologies to keep drones flying legally, a new startup out of State College, PA is hoping that its solution Ares will provide a more effective option to maximize safety by minimizing human error.
That’s because the company has developed a program that prohibits its UAVs from entering no-fly zones and limits their altitude to 400 feet — the height ceiling imposed by the FAA. “At Ares, we take safety very seriously. Since our drones are driven by an app, we can visualize nearby flight restrictions right on the map. This gives users the ability to make more informed flight decisions even before they take off,” the team writes. “If a flight path is accidentally drawn through a no-fly zone, the app will alert you. Our app also keeps an eye on the weather by providing recommendations based on current wind speed and other factors.”
Using a touchscreen interface, the Ares app enables users to trace a designated flight plan directly onto their map. Restricted airspace zones, such as government properties, airports and hospitals, will automatically appear in red circles. Once a flight plan is approved, the drone flies along that path autonomously without any manual interference.
Beyond its safety capabilities to ensure responsible droning, Ares offers one-of-a-kind aerial footage. The UAV makes it easier than ever before to fly and capture high-resolution photos and videos from above. With just three simple steps, practically anyone can plan their own flight and launch the UAV. Designed to be a true “out-of-the-box” solution, each of the drone’s components come already assembled — the propellers are pre-attached, camera system fully integrated, and battery pre-charged. Meanwhile, like a number of other drones on the market today, the Ares is based on both ATmega2560 and ATmega32U2 microcontrollers.
How it works is like this: A user draws their flight path, tells Ares where to point the camera, and sets the altitude. From there, the drone takes off autonomously. While the drone is landing itself, the app will automatically download the captured content and will be ready to share as soon as it hits the ground — all from one device. It’s as easy as that.
Intrigued? Fly on over to its official Kickstarter page, where the team is currently seeking $50,000. Ares will come in three different models: Ares One (for GoPro owners only), HD and 4K. Shipment of the One is expected to begin in October 2015, while you’ll have to wait until February 2016 for both the HD and 4K versions.