iReviews recent product review of PowerVision’s PowerEgg drone focused on the futuristic technology built within their rugby-sized quadcopter. With its revolutionary egg-shaped design and powerful autonomous flight modes, the PowerEgg is packed with a ton of amazing features.
Designed for Newbies or “Prosumers”?
From its Maestro gesture-based controller to its long-range real-time video streaming distance of 3.1 miles, the PowerEgg, according to a recent Engadget.com article by Andrew Tarantola, is “geared toward casual versus “prosumers” who’d otherwise be looking for high-end drones such as the DJI Phantom 4.” Even though CEO Wally Zheng would disagree, creating two remotes for both the newbie and the professional drone connoisseur, there is a question as to whether the technology caters to the “I’ve never flown a drone before” consumer or if it’s advanced enough to satisfy the drone connoisseur. You be the judge.
Innovative Camera Technology
Described as “the most intuitive consumer drone,” the PowerEgg is portable (fits in a backpack) with collapsible wings and retractable legs; making your 360-degree panoramic shots all the more captivating. In a recent product review article, written by Senior Editor Joshua Goldman, CNET.com raved about the PowerEgg’s camera features saying, “The quad’s visual positioning system, also uncovered, assists with indoor flying up to 13 feet (4 meters) above the ground. Under the cap is the PowerEgg’s 4-K resolution camera on a three-axis motorized gimbal that, once flying, is completely unobstructed and can rotate 360 degrees.” High-resolution shot quality on a 360-degree swivel with capabilities of shooting as far as 3.1 miles seems to be rather advanced, in my opinion. At the same time, its portable design features and low flying control fits rather perfectly into the everyday consumer use category.
Gesture Recognition Remote
Catering to both the tech-savvy drone flyer and the newbie, the PowerEgg comes with a “one touch take-off, one touch return home” controller and a traditional two-handed joystick controller. The user-friendly remote, called the Maestro, can be learned in 60 seconds, according to CEO Wally Zheng and has gesture-recognition. Julian Horsey’s Geeky Gadgets PowerEgg review talked about the Wii-like gesture control: “Built to enhance your lifestyle, PowerEgg, through the use of its industry-first Maestro gesture-based controller, is easy to fly for experts and beginners alike – right out of the box. Maestro interprets your arm movements in real time, allowing you to conduct the drone’s location in the sky.”
As an industry first, there is a few “wow factors” for the expert drone flyer that are worth mentioning: For one, the Maestro has a “pause feature,” and with the touch of a button, the operator is able to freeze the drone mid-air like an emergency brake. It’ll just hover and wait for its next command. Tarantola’s Engadget review also mentions its ability to fly in different environments: “When outside, the UAV’s onboard GPS keeps track of where it is relative to the operator. When flying inside, the PowerEgg switches over to sonar and ground pattern recognition to understand its orientation.”
The smart maximum distance mode protects the user with a pre-set safety radius around the controller. In other words, it’s a safety fence to reduce the risk from human operator error. This is a feature meant to protect the new drone flyer from him or herself. One could also say that the PowerEgg, even though capable of flying distances of 3.1 miles, is limited because of its battery life. Tarantola mentions this in his Engadget review by saying, “PowerEgg boasts an impressive maximum communications range of 5 km (3.1 miles) but that’s assuming you can get that far with the drone’s 23-minute battery life and 13 m/s max airspeed.”
Autonomous Flight Modes
The reason people love drones: the autonomous camera capabilities. PowerVision was brilliant in offering its consumers a slew of options with regard to flight modes. PowerEgg has four autonomous flight mode options, each one controllable from a smart device. The Orbit Mode tells the aircraft to circle around a pre-set target at a desired distance and speed. For example, this mode is ideal for someone interested in snapping aerial photos of their house prior to putting it on the market. The Cable Cam Mode tells the PowerEgg to fly to distinct points on a pre-planned path. Sort of like the fly-by aerial camera shots mapping a golf course prior to a major tournament. It follows the course line to illustrate the players shot tracker. The Follow-Me Mode is for capturing the adventure sports action. The drone follows the target down a specific path at a specific speed and distance – ideal for capturing mountain bike trailblazing.
So what’s the purpose of having all these power modes? In short: to capture awesome aerial shots without worrying about the flight path. That’s is up to you to control. With its integrated 3-axis Gimbal camera feature and long distance HD-quality video streaming, the PowerEgg drone captures crystal clear panoramic shots and smooth video footage. The drone’s Optical Positioning System can only be described as groundbreaking. Using a duo-positioning system (GPS/BeiDou), the PowerEgg is able to shoot in both indoor and outdoor environments and in all sorts of conditions. Add on a max flight time of 23 minutes, and you have yourself the most innovative drone on the market today.
The PowerEgg, in my opinion, was designed for both the casual consumer as well as the “prosumer.” One look at the PowerEgg’s features (see below) and focusing on the two controllers, the design team wanted to ensure safety for the newbie without compromising the flying experience for the tech savvy user.
You can learn a lot about a product from its creator. With decades of experience designing civil drones, CEO Wally Zheng, when asked about the PowerEgg said, “‘we want flying a drone to be child’s play, something even a five-year-old can do,’ continues zheng. ‘with this next generation of drones, much like the internet expanded access to information in the virtual world, drones 2.0 led by innovations like the PowerEgg can expand access to the physical world and bring together humans and machines in this journey.’
PowerEgg drone features, listed on PowerVision’s site, include:
– PowerEgg collapses into elegant egg-shaped form, creating an ease of portability and storage
– Maestro controller provides world’s first gesture-based control
– PowerModes let the drone execute complicated flight tasks, while you concentrate on capturing the shot
– Return to Home brings the drone back to its takeoff point and safely lands itself
– Control range up to 3.1 miles / 5 kilometers
– Integrated 3-axis gimbal stabilizes and smooths video footage
– Optical Positioning System allows for stable indoor flight
– Customize the look of your PowerEgg through optional designer skins, including the winning design of the PowerEgg Design Challenge
– Choose between the included the Maestro controller or a traditional two-handed joystick controller, both included with PowerEgg