The folks at Axis Drones are no strangers to zippy little quadcopters that fit in the palm of your hand. And while good things can sometimes come in small packages, the team is of the view they can always be a little bit better. Billed as the world's smallest FPV drone, it's newest entry to the micro drone market is capable of live-streaming vision from the aircraft to the pilot's mobile device.
The Vidius is not quite as compact as Axis' Aerius drone, whose 3 x 3 x 2 cm (1.17 x 1.17 x 0.8 in) body we took for a spin earlier this year, but it does go close. Measuring 4.3 x 4.3 x 2.5 cm (1.7 x 1.7 x 1 in), the Vidius can be controlled by either an included 2.4 gHz controller or an Android or Apple device via the companion app.
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Like some of the other mini-drones around, such as Parrot's Rolling Spider or the original Hubsan X4 (as opposed to the newer X4 FPV model), the Vidius has a low-grade camera built into its nose. But unlike these other tiny aircraft, it can relay its vision back to the user over Wi-Fi, allowing a first person perspective of all the action. It can snap stills and record video at 420p, with the captures able to be shared over social media and email from within the smartphone app.
With a 20 minute charge time delivered through USB, the Vidius can fly for five to seven minutes at a time and up to 100 ft (30.5 m) away. Aimed at novice pilots, it also ships with a set of pre-programmed flight maneuvers such as flips and rolls, and users can ease into things with three different flight speeds.
The low-res camera won't offer anywhere near the clarity of prosumer first-person flyers such as the DJI Phantom 3 or Parrot's Bepop 2, but will help rookies get used to considering not just the position of the drone, but also the framing of their shots during flight. Currently priced at US$75, the Axis Vidius is available for preorder now and is due to ship January 29.
Source: Axis DronesView gallery - 8 images