Drones

Percepto adds an open-source app-controlled camera to existing drones

Percepto adds an open-source a...
Percepto's Computer Vision add on is aimed at making it easy to develop apps that run on a variety of drones
Percepto's Computer Vision add on is aimed at making it easy to develop apps that run on a variety of drones
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The thinking is that Computer Vision turns these drones into devices capable of running any number of apps, in just the way your smartphone can
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The thinking is that Computer Vision turns these drones into devices capable of running any number of apps, in just the way your smartphone can
With Percepto's mounts, Computer Vision can be affixed to DJI Phantom drones along with its Spreading Wings line, 3DRobotics' Iris+ and X8 and certain Walkera models
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With Percepto's mounts, Computer Vision can be affixed to DJI Phantom drones along with its Spreading Wings line, 3DRobotics' Iris+ and X8 and certain Walkera models
Percepto is looking to fast-track advances in drone technology with its Computer Vision attachment
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Percepto is looking to fast-track advances in drone technology with its Computer Vision attachment
Percepto is looking to fast-track advances in drone technology with its Computer Vision attachment
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Percepto is looking to fast-track advances in drone technology with its Computer Vision attachment
Percepto's Computer Vision add on is aimed at making it easy to develop apps that run on a variety of drones
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Percepto's Computer Vision add on is aimed at making it easy to develop apps that run on a variety of drones
Percepto is looking to fast-track advances in drone technology with its Computer Vision attachment
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Percepto is looking to fast-track advances in drone technology with its Computer Vision attachment
With Percepto's mounts, Computer Vision can be affixed to DJI Phantom drones along with its Spreading Wings line, 3DRobotics' Iris+ and X8 and certain Walkera models
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With Percepto's mounts, Computer Vision can be affixed to DJI Phantom drones along with its Spreading Wings line, 3DRobotics' Iris+ and X8 and certain Walkera models
With Percepto's mounts, Computer Vision can be affixed to DJI Phantom drones along with its Spreading Wings line, 3DRobotics' Iris+ and X8 and certain Walkera models
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With Percepto's mounts, Computer Vision can be affixed to DJI Phantom drones along with its Spreading Wings line, 3DRobotics' Iris+ and X8 and certain Walkera models
The thinking is that Computer Vision turns these drones into devices capable of running any number of apps, in just the way your smartphone can
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The thinking is that Computer Vision turns these drones into devices capable of running any number of apps, in just the way your smartphone can
Apps will be downloaded from the Percepto Marketplace
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Apps will be downloaded from the Percepto Marketplace
Apps will be downloaded from the Percepto Marketplace
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Apps will be downloaded from the Percepto Marketplace
Apps will be downloaded from the Percepto Marketplace
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Apps will be downloaded from the Percepto Marketplace
View gallery - 12 images

Though drones are capable of some pretty incredible things, different models tends to specialize at one incredible thing in particular, be it shooting 4K video or avoiding crashing into obstacles. An Israeli company called Percepto hopes to allow drone owners to bring new functionality to their existing vehicles by way of an open-source attachable camera, controlled by an ever-growing suite of drone apps.

Just as new exciting and practical uses for drones seem to pop up every day, its likely that the future will see the technology used in ways nobody has even imagined yet. Percepto is looking to fast-track things with its Computer Vision attachment, a black box wighing 140 g (5 oz) that houses a processing unit based on NVIDIA's Tegra K1 and a camera that shoots 640 x 480 video at 120 fps.

With Percepto's mounts, Computer Vision can be affixed to DJI Phantom drones along with its Spreading Wings line, 3DRobotics' Iris+ and X8 and certain Walkera models. The thinking is that with the help of enthusiastic developers, Computer Vision can be used to expand the functionality of these drones through running any number of apps, in the same way that your smartphone can.

These apps would be downloaded from the Percepto Marketplace, which the company says could one day be home to drone apps that do everything from scan city streets to find you a parking spot to retrieving balls in a tennis game. By providing a standardized device that is compatible with a wide variety of apps, the Percepto team hopes to eliminate the need for drones to be built from the ground up to serve one particular purpose.

Apps will be downloaded from the Percepto Marketplace
Apps will be downloaded from the Percepto Marketplace

By extension, it hopes to break down barriers for developers sitting on golden nuggets of drone ideas, but lacking the hardware, resources or know-how to bring them to life.

To kick things off, Percepto plans to ship the device with two apps it developed itself: one that includes a follow me feature and another that is said to include flight guidance and obstacle awareness. But for that to happen, Percepto will need to hit its US$60,000 crowdfunding goal on Indiegogo, just under $40,000 of which it has raised at the time of writing. An early pledge of $359 will have one sent your way in October if everything goes to plan.

You can check out the company's pitch video below.

Update February 1, 2016: Though this campaign was funded, it is yet to deliver the product to its backers. It is however offering refunds up until March 1. More information is available here.

Source: Percepto

Percepto: Computer Vision Apps for Drones

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1 comment
1 comment
MikeAuchenbaulz
So after going dark and actively avoiding emails for months past the deadline, after domain names were purchased in the founder's names and a social media and email campaign was started, they did post that one update - which promised yet again an additional six months. Since then, they've gone dark again, have ceased to respond to backers, and not a single person has gotten their requested refund. Many have requested the refund.

I figured maybe someone would want that update as well, but by all means go talk to literally any of the investors.

If anyone can argue that this isn't a classic scampaign, I'm all ears. Nothing but promises, many many missed deadlines and active avoidance of the people who sent them money...foolishly hoping to get what was promised.

What's your take on this, Nick?