Trying to capture live events, especially with fast moving subjects, is often an exercise in futility. It’s impossible to get everything. And even with a small crew, you’ve only got one chance to get the shot and will undoubtedly miss something. Well, with Queen B Robotics‘ Exo360 drone you won’t have to worry about that again. I saw the 3D printed prototype at CE Week NY and I have to say that is unlike any other drone that I have seen before. What really impressed me about the prototype is that it was an FDM print that was post-processed to be as smooth as a baby’s bottom. I’m not exactly sure how they went about it, but it’s worth a close look.
The Exo360 is not your average quadcopter by a long shot. It sports 5 cameras and was designed to let you capture the moment and later experience it in its totality. With a pair of VR googles you’ll be able to completely immerse yourself in the experience. The Exo360 has 4 cameras pointing outwards and 1 shooting straight down, so you don’t miss a thing. The 16MP cameras can capture UHD 360 video, 4K video at 30 frames per second, HD 1080p/30 and spherical images at 60MP. According to Queen B Robitics, the Exo360 is the world’s first 360 drone and is suitable for both first-time pilots and seasoned professionals. The Exo360 can control with a RC controller, or on a smartphone with their app so you can capture video hands-free. Flight time is 18 minutes and all critical data including flight mode, battery status, flight time and signal strength are continuously updated to both the RC transmitter and the app, so you’ll always know the drone’s status.
While the drone is in autonomous modes the pilot can view the video footage being streamed from the cameras in real-time. As you look around you can switch between cameras to get a full 360° view of the environment. The Exo360 also features onboard video stitching. Once the drone has landed, you can instruct it to stitch the video from all 5 cameras together and then watch it on a VR headset or share through YouTube and Facebook 360. Or you can use the raw footage using standard formats (non VR) from any of the cameras to make your own movies. It’s a pretty powerful platform!
The Exo360 has 8 flight modes available in the app that makes makes capturing great footage a breeze. Follow-Me instructs the drone to fly in front of, behind or alongside you, so you can get the best angle of you and your experience. Eagle Eye gets that bird’s eye view, as the drone hovers overhead, with you at the center of the action. Selecting the Orbit function tells the drone to orbit 360° around a specific point of interest, be that you or another subject of your choosing. For more dramatic footage you can choose Swoop, which will instruct the Exo360 to start 100m away from you at your desired height and swoop in to be 5m away for a truly epic shot. The drone will maintain the desired altitude and smoothly track sideways while in Dolly Shot. Multi Waypoint is a neat feature, allowing you to create a custom route, while Panoramic will take a photo with all 4 horizontal cameras simultaneously, to get that perfect panoramic shot. Once your done getting your shot simple hit Return Home and the Exo360 will return and land 5m away from your smartphone or controller’s position.
The Exo360 had a successful Indiegogo campaign and Queen B Robotics is expecting to deliver backer rewards in December 2016. Early birds got a standard Exo360 and a remote controller for $999, while the Early bird Exo360 with remote controller went for $1399. They also offer a customized ExoPack backpack to take the drone, all its gear and a few essentials with you on your next great adventure. This drone seems to be the solution to affordably creating stunning VR content. Forget about the family photo album, now you can walk through your memories. The Exo360 experience seems to be the closest thing to a holodeck this side of the Alpha Quadrant!
Below is a video of the Exo360: