Drones

DJI launches GPS-enabled PHANTOM consumer quadcopter

DJI launches GPS-enabled PHANT...
The new PHANTOM quadcopter
The new PHANTOM quadcopter
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The PHANTOM's camera mount
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The PHANTOM's camera mount
The PHANTOM comes with its own dedicated hand-held radio-frequency control unit, that has a range of 300 meters (984 feet)
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The PHANTOM comes with its own dedicated hand-held radio-frequency control unit, that has a range of 300 meters (984 feet)
The PHANTOM and its RF remote
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The PHANTOM and its RF remote
The PHANTOM will automatically return to the last known location of its user, if it looses contact
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The PHANTOM will automatically return to the last known location of its user, if it looses contact
The PHANTOM features a GPS-enabled autopilot mode
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The PHANTOM features a GPS-enabled autopilot mode
The new PHANTOM quadcopter
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The new PHANTOM quadcopter
One of the PHANTOM's rotors
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One of the PHANTOM's rotors
The PHANTOM is reportedly ready to fly, right out of the box
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The PHANTOM is reportedly ready to fly, right out of the box
The PHANTOM features high-intensity red and green LEDs on the undersides of its four arms, designed to help users keep track of its orientation while in flight
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The PHANTOM features high-intensity red and green LEDs on the undersides of its four arms, designed to help users keep track of its orientation while in flight
The aircraft's lithium-polymer battery offers a claimed 10 to 15 minutes of flight time
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The aircraft's lithium-polymer battery offers a claimed 10 to 15 minutes of flight time

Today, aerial platform manufacturer DJI announced its new consumer quadcopter, the PHANTOM. It has several features that set it apart from the popular AR Drone – which may or may not sell you on it.

First of all, the PHANTOM comes with its own dedicated hand-held radio-frequency control unit, that has a range of 300 meters (984 feet). The AR Drone, by contrast, is controlled by an app on a separate iOS or Android mobile device. If you already own such a device, that means you only have to buy the US$300 AR Drone itself, making it a better value. If you do need to buy a new smartphone or tablet, however, the $679 all-in-one PHANTOM starts to look a little better.

The PHANTOM also features a GPS-enabled autopilot mode. Among other things, this allows it to hold a particular position, or to automatically return to the last known location of its user, if it loses contact. Additionally, the PHANTOM features high-intensity red and green LEDs on the undersides of its four arms, designed to help users keep track of its orientation while in flight.

The PHANTOM and its RF remote
The PHANTOM and its RF remote

Another nifty feature is its camera mount, designed to hold compact video cameras such as the GoPro HERO. Unfortunately, however, the PHANTOM has no onboard camera of its own. This means that users can’t see things from the UAV’s point of view (which they can, with the AR Drone), so they’ll have to wait until the thing lands to see exactly what their GoPro was pointed at.

The aircraft's lithium-polymer battery offers a claimed 10 to 15 minutes of flight time – just about the same as the AR Drone. If that battery should run too low, the UAV will automatically land itself. The control unit additionally requires four AA batteries.

The PHANTOM can be seen in use in the rather goofy video below.

Source: DJI

12 comments
squidfish
since when do people appear out of the air with boulders to smash your remote
Derek Howe
Thanks Space! lol
Snake Oil Baron
"since when do people appear out of the air with boulders to smash your remote" Well it didn't start happening all at once. It started with just people appearing out of the air and it progressed from there.
Joe Sobotka
Very cool & at a reasonable price!
Quadcopters Uk
DJI Phantom available in the Uk from http://quadcopters.co.uk/dji-phantom-ready-to-fly-quadcopter-570-p.asp with Free UK Shipping. The DJI Phantom is great value for money and an ideal quadcopter for hobbyists to get a start into aerial photography and aerial video.
Songbirdie
Our phantom quadcopter got away from us at dusk Sunday. It was heard Landing. 5 days searching. Anyone know how far the range for audio is? Trying to calculate how far the circumference is! Help! Chopper down and storm is coming
Simon Dale-Firstpersonview
Excellent excellent piece of kit. Mine got stuck up a tree though...spatial awareness not so good! Got it down unharmed though. After an hour or two and a long ladder!
Simon Dale-Firstpersonview
Here is mine in a tree :-( http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-kETTpiNz2uY/URuTIKKOlJI/AAAAAAAAAvY/Sr9CgEQYYkw/s1600/Phantom+Incident+03.JPG (With GoPro and FPV system onboard).
Facebook User
You're right! that is a goofy video. I think the options are better for the AR Drone 2.0, especially if you are an enthusiast with limited funds. I already have an IPAD and smart phone so the drone would probably be my best option. $700 roughly is a stretch for just startring out.
Riccardo Domenico
It's possible let the dji phantom follow another gps, mantaining the same distance (ex. a Tom Tom rider) with a fixed altitude ? THX Riccardo