VISTA 360-Degree Camera Drone Launched on Kickstarter
Vista 360 Degree Drone Featured.jpg

VISTA from Door Robotics is a new drone with a built-in 8K 360 degree camera. It can automatically create 360-degree images of "invisible drones" and, thanks to several LiDAR sensors and cameras, also map the surroundings and fly autonomously. The developers are now running a Kickstarter campaign – the expected delivery date is April 2021.

The US-based startup Door Robotics has just launched its first product on Kickstarter – an autonomous drone called VISTA with a built-in 360-degree camera. In 2016, Door Robotics received a grant from the University of Maryland's Academy for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to create the VISTA alpha prototype.

Currently, according to Door Robotics, the final drafts of the VISTA project have been completed and the drone is ready for production. The idea behind this UAV is to create a 360-degree POV image for "invisible drones". Let's take a look at the features and specifications.

VISTA – 360 degree drone

In addition to the 360-degree camera (more on that later) there are four LiDAR sensors, an optical flow sensor and stereoscopic cameras on the VISTA drone. Thanks to all sensors, the drone can navigate autonomously (learn, map and adapt to the environment). The obstacle detection detects objects around the drone and prevents it from crashing during the flight. In addition to autonomous navigation, the VISTA drone has an intelligent flight mode “Follow me”.

VISTA drone. Source: door robotics

In addition to the replaceable battery, the drone should also have a built-in backup battery. According to Door Robotics, the target flight time is 31 minutes. If the battery is almost empty during the flight, the drone will automatically begin to descend and return home. There is also an automated landing and take-off mode.

VISTA drone. Source: door robotics

The drone is 9.5 inches (24.13 cm) in diameter and the target weight is less than 3.3 lbs (1500 g). The promotional video indicates that Door Robotics will provide proprietary software to manipulate the 360 ​​footage after it is captured. Thanks to LiDAR sensors, it should even be possible to convert the recorded images with measurements into 3D models.

camera

The VISTA drone has two cameras (or a camera with two image sensors and two lenses, if you will). The image sensors used are the Sony IMX 204 with a resolution of 40 MP. There are two ultra-wide lenses (one up and one down) that result in 360-degree footage. According to Door Robotics, the camera offers 8K resolution with 30 fps and a bit rate of 78 Mbit / s. There is no information about a codec used, but the bit rate seems painfully low for an 8K resolution.

Sample material from the VISTA drone. Source: door robotics

There's no word on memory size or memory card support. Door Robotics only says that the drone will have a recording time of 1.5 hours. Real-time video stitches from the two lenses result in 360-degree footage with the drone removed from the image. It should even support 1080p live streaming.

Regulator

The controller has a touchscreen display and supports both WLAN and Bluetooth connections. According to Door Robotics, the controller has a battery life of up to three days. Its dimensions are 22.9 x 12.7 x 3.8 cm (9 x 5 x 1.5 inches) and it weighs 500 g (1.1 lbs).

VISTA Drone Controller. Source: door robotics

There will also be a GPS module for the drone's follow-me mode. I have to admit that the design of the controller from the promo video looks a bit strange. I'm curious to see if the final design will be different.

Price and availability

The Kickstarter campaign for the VISTA drone has already been successfully financed and will run until November 30, 2020. The drone units are expected to be delivered to the supporters in April 2021.

The Kickstarter price for the drone (including the controller) is currently $ 1,399. You can also purchase two units with the controllers for $ 1,799. The planned full sale price is $ 2,400.

VISTA drone. Source: door robotics

We say this at the end of every crowdfunding article: Please be aware of the risks involved in supporting a project on a crowdfunding platform. Please read the general terms and conditions of the crowdfunding platform carefully and note that there may be significant delays in the delivery of the product. Some projects are not delivered at all.

What do you think of the VISTA drone? Do you often work with 360-degree footage? Let us know in the comments section below the article.

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