DJI’s new FPV Drone: Introducing Avata, for the beginner market
By Jim Magill
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DJI on August 25 introduced its newest model drone, the DJI Avata, a rugged first-person view FPV drone, designed for both beginner and experienced UAV pilots. DJI’s new FPV drone is packed with features and available now.
The compact design of the Avata, DJI’s second foray into the world of FPV drones, strips down the chassis of a traditional drone into a body built for speed and agility. The Avata weighs only 410 grams and incorporates safety features, such as built-in aerodynamic propeller guards and a Turtle mode, which flips the drone upright in the case of an upside-down landing.
“DJI Avata was built to awaken a desire to fly in everyone, with immersive flight technology that allows anyone to explore the almost out-of-body experience of FPV flight,” DJI’s creative director Ferdinand Wolf, said in a press release. “DJI Avata is breathtaking to fly for even a novice pilot.”
The drone is designed to be paired with the DJI Goggles 2, the drone maker’s newest flight-control technology and the DJI Motion Controller, although FPV flight requires the pilot to be accompanied by a spotter in order to comply with visual line of site flight regulations.
Avata includes a powerful stabilized camera, featuring a 1/1.7” CMOS sensor, which converts photons to electrons for digital processing, with 48 million effective pixels. The camera delivers premium imaging features such as 4K/60 frame per second video and up to 2.7K/120fps video when paired with the DJI Goggles V2. The drone’s powerful battery allows an extended flight time of up to 18 minutes.
An infrared sensing system and a two-camera downward-vision system enable the Avata to maintain its current position, hover more precisely and fly indoors or in other environments where satellite navigation is unavailable. These features also enable the drone to identify surfaces such as bodies of water that are not suitable for landing.
To allow the pilot to remain oriented during a flight while wearing goggles, the Avata and DJI Goggles 2 also display the Home Point from which the drone took off. This augmented reality (AR) perspective gives an extra sense of orientation to help the pilot identify the immediate environment within seconds.
DJI Avata can hover like a traditional drone, accelerate like a racer, zoom in and out of tight spaces, and stop in a fraction of a second.
DJI Goggles 2 and DJI Motion Controller
With the introduction of DJI Goggles 2, the manufacturer offers a next-generation video headset that is smaller and lighter and has a more comfortable fit than the older DJI FPV Goggles V2 headset, while maintaining a crystal-clear FPV image comparable to those of other DJI products.
DJI Goggles 2 also features a clearer Micro-OLED screen with adjustable diopters, so people who normally wear glasses do not need to use them when operating the drone with the goggles. When used with the DJI Motion Controller, the pilot can control the aircraft and the gimbal camera freely to meet his or her shooting needs in various scenarios. The headset features an intuitive touch panel on the side of the goggles that enables the pilot to easily control its settings with only one hand.
DJI Avata and DJI Goggles 2 connect using DJI O3+ transmission, the most powerful and reliable technology for precise control, ultra-low latency, and detailed video at 1080p/100fps with H.265 decoding. This technology offers the lowest transmission delay, of approximately 30 milliseconds, auto-switching dual frequencies, a high bit rate of 50 Mbps, and state-of-the-art anti-interference methods to ensure a reliable feed.
The radio link strength gives the Avata a maximum transmission range of 10 kilometers (~6.2 miles) when the signal is unobstructed, free of interference and FCC-compliant. DJI Goggles 2 also offers a wireless streaming function to view the live feed from the operator’s mobile phone or computer on the goggles screen, bringing an immersive viewing experience.
The DJI Motion Controller allows the pilot to precisely fly complex maneuvers based on the natural motions of one hand. The system is intuitive, allowing even novice pilots to get started quickly and learn to fly in continuous fluid motions, even when swooping close to the ground, whizzing past obstacles, and gliding through tight enclosures into open spaces.
Upgraded 4K imaging system with super stabilization
The Avata’s imaging system features a 1/1.7-inch 48MP Photo CMOS sensor with f/2.8 aperture, and an ultra-wide-angle lens with a viewing angle of up to 155 degrees. The wider field of view enables immersive aerial photography and videography at up to 4k/60fps, as well as slow-motion footage at 2.7K/100fps. Equipped with D-Cinelike color mode, Avata allows a broad color palette that enables detailed chromatic adjustments to projects.
Avata is equipped with two proprietary stabilization technologies that keep video images sharp and stable even during high-pressure aerial maneuvers. DJI RockSteady eliminates overall picture shake, and DJI HorizonSteady keeps the picture oriented toward true level.
The recorded data flows to 20 GB of internal storage space, which allows the pilot to shoot video spontaneously when the opportunity for a creative shot arises, even without a microSD card installed in the onboard drive.
Safety and security features
Avata’s safety features include a dedicated emergency brake and hover feature that will cause the drone to stop and hover in place at any point during the flight when an emergency situation is encountered. Failsafe Return to Home will bring the drone back to its home point automatically with a press of a button, or in the event that transmission is lost or the battery reaches a critically low level.
Like other DJI drones, Avata uses DJI’s GEO 2.0 geofencing system to advise pilots of airspace restrictions and potential hazards, and to automatically prevent the drone from flying near certain high-risk locations, such as airports. Avata also features DJI’s AirSense ADS-B receiver system to warn drone pilots when airplanes or helicopters are nearby, and broadcasts DJI’s AeroScope signal to help authorities monitor airborne drones in sensitive locations.
Avata allows pilots from beginners to professionals to choose from multiple flight modes to match their skill level:
- Normal (N) Mode: During N mode operation, DJI Avata operates similarly to other DJI drones, hovering in place with the use of satellite navigation and/or visual positioning systems (VPS) on the bottom of the drone.
- Manual (M) Mode (only available with the DJI FPV Remote Controller 2): M mode allows pilots to customize parameters complete for limitless control and the full FPV immersive flight experience.
- Sport (S) Mode: A new hybrid blend of M and N mode, S mode offers some of the dynamic movement capabilities that come with M mode along with some of the key safety features of N mode.
Price and Availability
The Avata is available today from store.dji.com and most authorized retail partners and is available in several packages. A standalone version of the Avata retails for $629 without a remote controller, motion controller or goggles. The Avata Pro-View Combo retails for $1,388 and includes the Avata, DJI Goggles 2 and the DJI Motion Controller.
The Avata Fly Smart Combo retails for $1,168 USD and includes the Avata, the DJI FPV Goggles V2 and the DJI Motion Controller. The DJI Avata Fly More Kit retails for $279 USD and includes two DJI Avata Intelligent Flight Batteries and one DJI Avata Battery Charging Hub.
For more information on all the new features, accessories and capabilities, visit www.dji.com/Avata
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Jim Magill is a Houston-based writer with almost a quarter-century of experience covering technical and economic developments in the oil and gas industry. After retiring in December 2019 as a senior editor with S&P Global Platts, Jim began writing about emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence, robots and drones, and the ways in which they’re contributing to our society. In addition to DroneLife, Jim is a contributor to Forbes.com and his work has appeared in the Houston Chronicle, U.S. News & World Report, and Unmanned Systems, a publication of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International.
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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