Jetson-equipped Teal One drone takes flight as a 60-mph Raspberry Pi in the sky
It's taken a couple of years, but 21-year-old drone entrepreneur George Matus has finally got his flagship Teal One drone into production. Fast, compact and smart, the Teal One packs an Nvidia Jetson TX module and has its own app platform to enable AR, autonomy and deep learning applications.
As stated when the Teal drone was first announced, the top speed will be 60 mph (96.5 km/h), which is quite zippy for a consumer drone that's not specified as an FPV racer. It'll have an endurance around 15 minutes, a Wi-Fi range back to the controller of 600 ft (183 m) with 720p video, and arms the company says will be easy to fix or replace if you damage them in a crash.
The camera will be a 12-megapixel HDR sensor with a 123-degree viewing angle and an aperture that opens out to F2.5. Interestingly, it seems it'll be oriented in portrait mode, as the max resolution of 4K/30 fps is only available in vertical video. Regular landscape video maxes out at 2.5K/30 fps, and it seems it's electronically stabilized without the use of a gimbal. So it appears the Teal will use the additional resolution at the top and bottom of the frame to compensate for the tilt you get when you move a drone in the air.
So the Teal One is not a typical camera drone. In fact, what Matus seems to be hoping for is that it'll become a bit of a (much more expensive) Raspberry Pi in the sky – a fun toy that also allows developers to work on some fairly advanced tech.
As such, Teal One includes an Nvidia Jetson TX1 onboard computer, which is a small, powerful graphics and processing module designed to connect to just about anything. It can deal with 4K video in real time and enable the kind of graphics-intensive processing you need for things like deep learning, augmented reality and autonomous vision-driven flight – all while sipping very little power. Teal is providing an SDK and an app platform for developers to work with.
Mind you, the drone will initially ship with just the one app: Teal Flight, "an easy-to-use flight control app for beginner to advanced pilots that includes an adjustable flight bubble, a controlled flight area for practicing or trying new maneuvers."
There's no mention of the fancy, super high accuracy differential/real time kinematic positioning system Teal spoke of a couple of years back, so we'll assume that's not ready yet and it'll roll with standard GPS.
Pricing is US$1,199, which includes two batteries for a total flight time of 30 minutes. The Teal One is available and shipping now.
Source: Teal Drones