Meet the awesomely compact 4K video recording 13 megapixel photo-taking Hover Cam
Stephan Jukic – May 2, 2016
While the “Hover Camera” from Zero Zero Robotics may have been a serious hit at China’s GMIC consumer products event in Beijing for 2016 (China’s version of the Consumer Electronics Show), the tiny and awesomely built hovering video recorder hasn’t received as much press attention as we think it deserves, because this truly is one cool looking little 4K drone and camera combination with a tiny, light and compact body that still offers great flying/recording skills.
Developed by MQ Wang, the founder of Zero Zero Robotics, which makes the little drone, the Hover Camera was conceived after Wong watched a documentary about Jon Muir’s famous 1600 mile solo trek across the barren wilderness of Alaska and wondered how much better filming that event would have been if Muir had had a small flying camera that he could easily grab and release following along behind him, instead of lugging around expensive camera equipment.
From this seed, Wang partly used his experience with machine learning studies to come up with a way to automate the flight and other functions of such a device. Thus, the Hover Camera was born, and after its recent presentation at the GMIC Beijing trade show, it has generated plenty of buzz with all the live demonstrations given by the inventor to potential investors on the trade show floor.
Aside from being a drone flyer with a built-in camera (something many other drones offer), the Hover Camera also offers the benefits of extreme portability, the ability to be folded right up into an even smaller package and a physical carbon fiber cage design that allows users to simply grab it from the air with no worries about injury from the props.
Furthermore, as is natural considering what gave the idea for Hover Camera to Wang, the little drone comes with “follow me” technology, which lets it simply following along above and behind its owner for as long as the drone’s batteries will support continuous flight and video recording.
Since the little tiny Hover Camera weighs a mere 238 grams, it’s also not bound by the FAA’s mandatory drone registration regulations, which begin for drones weighing just a bit over this base threshold. Additionally, when folded up in the simple way designed into it, the drone is truly very smaller, about the size of an old VHS video cassette.
Wang and the developers at Zero Zero Robotics have also developed their AI algorithm for the Hover Camera right from the ground up. The AI is based off Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight platform but comes with its own highly specific design for this specific drone. Internal battery charge for the flight system lasts about 8 minutes but the battery itself can be easily swapped out from the top of the drone as needed.
As for the Hover Camera’s actual camera, it’s loaded into the front of the drone and allow for taking 13 megapixel still shots and 4K video recording at 30fps while offering a live 720p video feed of the recorded ultra HD footage and storing the 4K resolution video along with photos in a swappable 32GB storage that leaves plenty of room for shots and footage. There are also a downward facing 3 megapixel camera and sonar device built into the bottom of the drone for greater flight stability and according to Wang, the Hover Camera can deliver the same level of image and video quality as that offered by modern high-end smartphones with 4K resolution video cameras.
You can also check out a video of the little drone in action right here, which also demonstrates its functions:
The Hover Camera is controlled from an app that can be downloaded to any compatible mobile device and allows for manipulation via the drone’s own automated built-in AI, a few touch buttons on the app and the live 720p HD video feed of the drone’s flight recording.
Other awesome features of the Hover Camera drone include:
- Automatic hover capacity, activated by simply tossing the drone into the air
- AI Face tracking which automatically orients the drone to follow a face
- Auto-steadying via bottom-mounted sonar sensor and micro camera
- A durable, carbon fiber body covered in soft rubberized skin for resistance to impacts and falls
- Automated image stabilization and 360 degree views for panoramic shooting
- As mentioned above, no need for FAA registration
To the best of our knowledge, this new drone will be released in the summer of 2016 and prices for the Hover Camera have not yet been announced.
Story by 4k.com