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The SNAP – Vantage Robotics

Vantage Robotics seem to have come up with the answer when it comes to a portable, safe and good quality camera drone. It looks likely to trail for $1295. However, Vantage Robotics are doing a limited time preorder offer of $895 saving you $400 so it be worth buying now, especially as this looks to be a very promising product!

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This new drone from Vantage Robotics the SNAP promises to be the new pocket size drone for AP work and extreme sports and there are some very unique selling points:

  • The prop guards which they say will be safer especially in extreme sports scenarios or close range AP.
  • The portability, it comes apart easily and is light and can fit inside a backpack and doesn’t need a hefty controller it works directly with your phone
  • They’ve squeezed GPS, sonar, gyros, accelerometers, magnetometers, barometers, geo-aware image sensors and fused all this data with lots of math, so Snap always knows exactly where it is and you stay in control.
  • A LI-ION battery for much higher energy density than a Phantom 4
  • compatible with: Phone, Bluetooth controller, selected games controllers and radios

Here is the promo video for the quad

This is a quote from Vantage Robotics on the Camera

We’ve taken all those amazing aerial shots you see in the movies and made it a snap (sorry, we can’t resist the pun, more of these coming) for you to recreate them without being a geek. Just hold your phone up, tap where you want Snap to go and send it on it’s way.

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Here are the Specs

System

Weight 1.26 lbs (570 grams)
Packed size 35 cm x 23 cm x 5 cm (14″ x 9″ x 2″)
Flight time 20 minutes
Max speed 33.5 mph (15 m/s)
Max altitude 5000 meters
Hover accuracy +/- 1.5 m lateral, +/- 0.2 m vertical in sonar range, +/- 1.0 m vertical above sonar range
Dimensions

Camera

Sensor 1/2.3″ Sony Exmor IMX 377
Lens 82 degree FOV, fixed focus
Video recording modes UHD: 4096x2160p @ 24/30 fps
FHD: 1920x1080p @ 24/30/48/60/96/120 fps
HD: 1280x720p @ 24/30/48/60/96/120/192/240 fps
Video codec H.264
Still photography modes Single shot, Time-lapse, Burst (up to 10 fps at 12 MP)
Max image size 4000 x 3000 pixels (12 MP)
Recording formats MP4, JPEG, RAW
Supported SD card types Micro SD Max capacity: 64 GB. Class 10 or UHS-1 rating required
Bitrate 60Mbps

Smart Battery

Capacity 3000 mAh
Voltage 14.8 V
Type 4 cell LiIon
Recharge time 1 hour
Connection Magnetic quick change/breakaway connection with underside of fuselage
Weight 220 grams

Gimbal

User controllable range -90 degrees to 0 degrees
Operational range -115 degrees to +25 degrees
Stabilization 2-axis mechanical + electronic image stabilization
Stabilization update rate 7000 Hz

Flight

Auto tracking modes Air tripod, virtual wire, geo-fence constrained, free-follow
Auto flight modes Hold position, out and back, orbit
Assistance Auto ground avoidance, super simple yaw control, auto position hold, return to home, dynamic geofence

Controllers

Primary controller iOS or Android smartphone or tablet with free SmartTilt control app
Link WiFi, DSM
Two stick control alternatives DSM controller or Bluetooth game controller (used in addition to smart phone)
Range 150 meters max with phone over wifi, 1500 meters with range extender or DSM controller, as far as battery or law allows with auto modes
Communications Protocol Mavlink
Supported Ground Stations Any ground control stations using Mavlink, including qGroundControl and APM Mission Planner

Sensors

GPS, sonar, 3-axis magnetometer, dual 3-axis accelerometer, dual 3-axis gyroscope, barometer

Video streaming

720p variable bitrate and framerate, low latency stream over wifi

What’s in the box

Snap, battery , charger, carrying case, full set of spare props, user manual, 8 GB SD card

Future accessories

Rotor Sets 1 hour flight time, high speed/top wind performance
Sensors Obstacle avoidance, cellular modem for unlimited control range
Ground modules 1500 meter WiFi range extender, waterproof tracking beacon

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Concluding thoughts

All in all this seems like one of the most promising consumer drones I have seen in a long while, it is pretty expensive, however it looks small, light and portable. Cornering an area of the market which has previously been untouched. No doubt this could become a new genre in the drone industry!

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