There are already quite a few camera-equipped quadcopters that can be used for shooting aerial video. According to Japanese startup RcRebel, however, that type of drone moves too robotically to capture really fluid footage. That's why the company created the BlackOps tricopter, which is claimed to fly more like Superman than like a robot.
Looking at the BlackOps you'll notice that not only does it have just three props/motors, but that they're not arranged symmetrically – it has a definite separate "tail" at the back. This setup reportedly allows for much higher yaw speeds than are possible with a quadcopter, resulting in a very acrobatic aircraft.
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"Its unique design allows the craft to do banks, pitches and yaws fluidly like an airplane, and yet enjoying the ability to hover like any helicopter," RcRebel's Clemale Morman tells us. "Imagine flying high and spiraling down to earth like a stunt pilot. A quadcopter cannot do this."
As with other tricopters, the BlackOps also has a relatively long flight time (over 25 minutes) due to the fact that its 11.1-volt lithium-polymer battery only has to power three brushless motors instead of four. Additionally, like the Pocket Drone, its prop arms can be folded back for transit and storage.
The aircraft also sports what is claimed to be the industry's only brushless camera gimbal on a commercial tricopter, powder-coated aluminum construction, carbon fiber propellers, and the ability to be flown by first-person view. Although it is possible to mount your own actioncam on the gimbal, an optional BlackOps-specific 1080p onboard camera is also available.
Like some other drones, it can additionally do things like following along above its user, automatically holding its altitude, autonomously following a preprogrammed flight path, or circling nose-first around a given location.
RcRebel is currently raising production funds for the BlackOps tricopter, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$800 will get you a ready-to-fly kit, when and if they're ready to go.
The drone can be seen in action, in the video below.