Tech Tips

CES 2016 Picks: Top 5 Drones

Drones, UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) and other unmanned systems were huge at CES this year. While quadcopters made up a bulk of the drones exhibited this year, there were a few variations in design including a fully encased drone as well as the world’s first passenger drone.

From sports coverage to surveillance and rescue efforts, unmanned devices have revolutionized the way we monitor and capture our lives. Here are our picks for the top drones we found at CES.

Hexo+ – Autonomous Aerial Drone
Hexo+ is an intelligent drone that follows and films you autonomously. It’s amazing technology is simple to set up. All you need to do is frame your shot (via the app on your phone) then press start to send your drone up in the air. It will automatically move into the correct position to frame you in the shot and then follow you around when you start moving. Check out the video below to see the Hexo+ in action.

Fleye – Your Personal Flying Robot 
Fleye is not your typical looking drone quadcopter. It’s shaped more like a sphere and for good reason. Fleye claims to be the “world’s safest drone” since the blades are located inside the drone’s outer casing giving it the look of an oscillating fan. Fleye boasts a powerful on-board computer that can be programmed to execute mission autonomously, reacting to what it sees in its environment.

Typhoon H – Hollywood-caliber Camera Drone 
With retractable landing gear and a 360 degree camera, Yuneec’s Typhoon H is bound to give the industry leader DJI’s Inspire 1 a run for its money in high-end camera drones. The Typhoon H has basic sense and avoids technology that uses “ultrasonic proximity detection” to automatically dodge large obstacles.

Parrot Disco – First “ready-to-fly” fixed-winged drone 
Fixed-wing drones have been a popular choice in environmental conservation and professional surveillance for years and now Parrot is looking to expand their appeal to the consumer market as well. Disco can fly for 45 minutes and can reach a rather zippy 80 km/h (50 mph), a speed matched by few consumer drones. It also features a 14-megapixel camera with 3-axis stabilization and can stream vision back to a set of virtual reality glasses to offer immersive first person flying experience.

EHang 184 – World’s first passenger drone
This single-seater electric drone can carry up to 286 pounds of payload including a single passenger and a few small bags…for 23 minutes. The drone is still in testing in China with more than 1,000 hours of human-in-flight tests. It is expected to cost between $200,000 and $300,000.