When the story a Tesla Drone popped up on my Facebook feed, of course I had to click. My immediate questions were and still are: Is it real and if so, when can I buy one? The “how much” question doesn’t seem to be as important of a question to a diehard photographic copter pilot such as myself. Yes, all it took was one look and I wanted one! I can only hope this is not some tease of a skilled Photoshop artist and there is truly some fact behind these images!
Giving credit where credit is due, I found this story on AutoEvolution.com and per its story, sadly this model is only a concept and I can only hope Tesla will be bringing it to market sooner than later. Heck, I’d even consider purchasing a Tesla automobile to have the opportunity to own one of these…that is, if it performs as well as it looks and if it features the same level of reliability and upgradability of its automobile.
I have to say, that if I was one of the manufacturers who are currently dominating the consumer drone space, I’d be quite fearful of Tesla. Elon Musk has already proven he can take an automobile company and take it from zero to 60 at an “insane” amount of time. I can only imagine the turmoil that would be created in the drone industry if Musk actually announces a shipping date and a reasonable retail price. There’s no doubt in my mind that a Tesla Drone would be well thought out, loaded with all the right features, have the ability to provide automatic updates and would immediately become the dominant player in the marketplace. So, DJI, Yuneec, 3DR and GoPro (rumored to enter this space in 2016) should be a bit anxious if a products such as this and backed by a company such as Tesla does come to reality.
Let’s face it, one of the reasons Tesla has grown to prominence is that they create products that work and work well. While I’ve yet to jump on the electric car bandwagon as of yet, I have quite a few Friends who are Tesla owners and not one of them regrets the purchase. Considering the inherent negatives that come with a car that requires a charger, that alone says something.
Getting back to the Tesla Drone, per AutoEvolution, this innovative dual propellor copter eliminate the need of a gimbal (that’s the mechanism that allows the camera to stay stable during flight) as the propellers act to stabilize the drone.
This concept copter is a transformer of sorts as the propellers can be reoriented in either a vertical or horizontal position based on the task at hand. In the typical horizontal position, like many of today’s quad copters, the handling will be nimble and easy to handle at fast speeds. They do some sort of magic that keeps the camera stable.
When in the vertical position, it will fly slow and smooth, making it ideal for wide-angled panoramic videos.
I have to admit that I like that the concept incorporates propellor guards and can only hope this inclusion does not increase the possibility of instability that is similar to the propellor guards found at least one copter I owned in the past.
For battery life, the story stated a 60-minute range (I’ll assume that means flying time) and 20-minutes on the charger will bring it back to full capacity. That’s triple the range I’m currently getting on my Yuneec Q500 4K and the charging speed blows everything on the market to dust! But hey, it’s Tesla and I’ll trust they are a bit ahead in battery technology than the Chinese manufacturers who are making LiPO batteries for todays consumer drones.
Of course it has a 4K camera and I can only hope they include a jumbo sized external hard drive as I’m sure I’ll be filling it up with all of the videos I would create with one of these!
And, I think it’s safe to say that some sort of automatic tracking or “follow me” mode is included so that you can keep an eye on that lovely Tesla automobile!
So, thanks to AutoEvolution for posting this story and I’ll kindly ask Tesla that if they need a beta tester for this unit, where do I sign up?