4K video recording and 85mph flight speed are just some of the Teal drone’s features
Stephan Jukic – July 20, 2016
While most consumer production drones from the major brands like DJI and Yuneec managed to crawl up to 35 and in exceptional cases 50 miles per hour, the new prototype UAV designed by former racer George Matus can zip along at a stunning 85mph, the same speed as a car racing down a freeway with little concern for speed traps.
According to a recent report by the Verge, Matus, the designer of the drone is an 18 year old tech company founder who has fallen in love with drone flying and definitely wants to take the capabilities of these little aerial vehicles to the next level.
After first being introduced to drone flight at the age of just 11, Matus then got into professional drone racing competitions by the time he was 16 and has now already founded his own company, called Teal, with fellowship money offered by Silicon Valley tech billionaire Peter Thiel. The company’s first product will of course be nothing less than the drone that this article and the Verge report are all about.
The small prototype flyer, for now provisionally referred to as the Teal, is a device designed to be easily flown even with an iPhone (via navigation app download) and is capable of recording 4K video to boot. All of these features are the same as those found in many potential competitor drone models like the Phantom 4 from DJI or Yuneec’s Q500 4K video drone. What the Teal drone can do however that none of these other UAVs come close to being capable of is fly along like a race car at a remarkably fast 85 miles per hour, and keep to this speed while doing dives, barrel rolls and even flipping in the air.
According to the Verge reporter who got to witness the drone fly in person, the Teal is still in its final development stages and thus the model he saw zipping around lacked a 4K camera, or even an internal guidance system to keep it precisely locked into positions but according to Matus, all of these details will be sorted out by the time shipping starts, and shipping is expected to start fairly soon. The little company behind this lightning fast drone is already launching pre-orders at $1,299 per unit and promising delivery before Christmas of this year.
The Teal drone also comes with some other cool features which its yong designer claims will take the UAV well beyond the typical roster of basic flight modes and specs. Aside from its stabilized 4K camera, the little drone also comes equipped with a NVIDIA TX1 processing system which is supposed to give it a more sophisticated level of autonomous flight, machine learning and visual recognition capabilities that will be on par with what’s now being offered in the very latest consumer drones from DJI and Yuneec in particular.
Additionally, the little drone is ready to race right out of the box, comes with an extremely aerodynamic design (as we’d expect for a flyer this fast) and offers up several beginner-friendly flight modes like follow-me along with simple mobile app-based controls. There will of course also be a remote control included for more serious manual flight, along with modules for low-latency camera work and analog transmitters for high-sped FPV racing. As we said, the drone is small, measuring out at just 10 inches along a diagonal line and weighing in at only 1.6 lbs with a much sleeker, curvier design than those of most drones from the major brands.
As for the Teal UAV’s camera, its going to deliver 4K UHD video at the usual (for drone cameras) 30fps and offer up 13 megapixel still photos as well.
Matus is also hoping to develop the company behind the drone into a full-blown platform of third-party apps from external developers. For this reason, he’s releasing the drone’s API to hackathons and maker fairs at the same time as Teal releases the drone itself.
Moving back to the Teal drone itself, aside from its remarkably fast 85mph top speed, the UAV can also handle 40mph winds and offers enough waterproofing for flight even in heavy rain or snowstorms. This too is a distinct feature that hasn’t been promoted in any other consumer market drone to-date.
For those of you who are interested, here’s a promotional video for the Teal drone from the founder himself
Story by 4k.com