Autonomous flight shooting a new evolutionary samp

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Autonomous flight shooting, a new sample of the evolution of consumer UAV

Author: Jingyu

when the man presses the power button and throws it away, a Book sized black flat square slowly rises into the air and follows behind the man. The camera on the small PTZ records the image in front. With a simple instruction, the black book begins to shoot 360 degrees around the man. The small device erected on the spine of the book rotates like the tentacles of insects, making it easy to avoid the surrounding obstacles, complete its task and follow the master in various ways

on the KickStarter page of the American crowdfunding station where the video is located, the crowdfunding amount of this UAV product named hover 2 has exceeded US $810000. When the amount exceeds US $1 million, zero unlimited will launch the product with transparent back shell

two years ago, hover camera, the last generation product launched by zero infinity, launched the banner of replacing the selfie stick with UAV; Two years later, the upgraded hover 2 UAV announced with autonomous flight + shooting function that a new battlefield for consumer UAVs was about to open. Two years after it disappeared from the public's eyes, Wang mengqiu, founder of zero technology, talked with CIC about the new product hover 2 and the new possibility of consuming UAVs

hover 2 classic black and streamer transparent back shell version

bionic UAV

hit the pitch. I first saw the hover camera at the science and technology exhibition in early 2016. Unlike the familiar UAVs, the hover camera is small and simple. It can fly up and take photos without a controller. The exhibition area attracted a large number of visitors

after two years of dormancy, the zero infinite team came up with an upgraded version of the product, hover 2. The name of camera is removed because the first one has made everyone understand what our product is. Wang mengqiu introduced in the interview. Although only one generation apart, hover 2 has greatly improved its ability compared with the previous generation of products

when the hover camera was launched, in addition to throwing and flying, the user tracking function was also a highlight. There is a popular video on YouTube: a little boy uses the hover camera. The UAV follows the child to a tree. The little boy hides behind the tree and probes from time to time to play hide and seek with the UAV. At hover 2, the little boy's lovely game may not be done, because the UAV will bypass the tree and continue to track the little boy

after upgrading from hardware to software, hover 2 is no longer limited to tracking users from one direction, but can track and shoot users from any direction of 360 degrees, such as front, back and side. To complete such a function, the machine needs to be able to fully perceive the surrounding environment. A camera like the previous generation cannot achieve the goal. Hover 2 adopts a very rare scheme in terms of hardware, and a pair of binocular camera components that can bounce and rotate are designed in the middle of the machine

before using hover 2, the user needs to press first to pop up the binocular system. During the flight, the binocular camera system can rotate to 270 degrees from left to right, which can ensure that the surrounding environment image can be detected in the flight direction of the UAV, whether forward, backward or sideways, so as to avoid possible obstacles

when talking about this design, Wang mengqiu was quite satisfied and revealed that the inspiration came from the biological world. Vision is very important. The pollution caused by the plastic granulator process is often an important source of environmental pollution in China, but people don't grow three pairs of eyes because it wastes too much brain computing power. If you want to see the back, you can turn your neck. In fact, general UAVs do have binocular systems in several directions, but for micro UAVs such as hover 2, a pair of binocular systems is the limit, so we must make the best use of this binocular system. In terms of hardware, this binocular system should not only be able to eject, but also maintain stable rotation during UAV flight, which is not a small challenge for the team. In order to achieve the goal, the binocular system of hover 2 uses precious metals, which is rare in consumer UAVs. In order to ensure light weight, most UAVs are made of plastic

the efforts of the zero team have paid off. A pair of rotating eyes enable hover 2 to achieve a high level of all-round obstacle avoidance ability while maintaining a compact structure, and also enable the UAV to fly autonomously. For wangmengqiu, hover 2, which can fly autonomously, represents the evolution direction of the next generation of UAV

the photo taken by the team with hover camera at CES 2017 (the third on the right is Wang mengqiu)

bear market practice

the past two years have been the ebb of consumer UAV start-ups

when DJI's products account for 70% of the global UAV market, it has announced that the emerging industry of consumer UAV has reached the critical point. Around 2014, a number of companies such as Jifei, Yihang, zero degree intelligent control and 3D robotics successively obtained financing to try to show their strength in the field of UAVs. Three years later, these companies have switched to B or performance and completely disappeared from the consumer field. Lily, a European and American manufacturer who once had high hopes, finally used several ticket jumps to verify the essence of the team's deception

from Wang mengqiu's point of view, the failures of peers have their own reasons. Some are that the technology is not in place, but the marketing is first, which raises the curiosity of users but fails to fulfill the initial commitment; Some products pass the customs, but they are optimistic about the form of estimation. The release of production results in being dragged down by inventory. Compared with giants, every small mistake of start-ups may lead to ultimate failure. Wang mengqiu said that startups are walking on thin ice every day

it is hard to imagine that Wang mengqiu said this. In the public impression, the entrepreneurial journey of Dr. Stanford, who once worked on Twitter and once a national second-class athlete, has always been smooth sailing. Wang successfully obtained financing when he founded zero infinity in 2014. In 2016, the team launched hover camera, which received a good response in the industry. The image of Founder Wang mengqiu was seen on TV and newspapers. My handsome appearance added a lot of points to the company

with the wave of UAV investment and changes in the economic situation, from 2017 to 2018, Wang mengqiu and zero infinity seemed to disappear from the public eye. The only appearance was that foreign media exposed that snapchat, an American social application company, intended to buy zero infinity. Wang mengqiu denied this statement. Wang mengqiu revealed that the possibility of normal negotiation and cooperation between the two companies was over interpreted by the outside world. Now the world is also very strange. If you say no, people will doubt that there must be an inside story; People will say that if there is doubt, there may be inside information. Make complaints about Wang Mengqiu. p>

for the past two years, Wang mengqiu summarized it as calming down to hold the product. Wang mengqiu kept silent about the difficulties the company had faced. Even for a man as powerful as musk, Tesla almost went bankrupt eight times after the IPO. Few start-ups go very smoothly. Wang said that he thought it was a matter of mentality. In the face of the company's difficulties, he chose to insist rather than give up. What else? You don't have a leg today and you won't live tomorrow

and dare to choose persistence. Wang believes that courage comes from rational judgment. AI on UAV is realized earlier than artificial intelligence such as unmanned driving

UAV new market

based on Wang mengqiu's resume, when 192 rigid PVC profiles were hot money everywhere four years ago, you can choose any outlet to start a business until it reached the limit position on the right hand side of the instrument. In fact, even in the past two years, like many entrepreneurs, he can turn around and invest in new outlets, such as AI, blockchain and so on. However, Wang did not do so. His experience of studying machine learning at Stanford made him realize that the expected artificial intelligence applications, such as driverless technology, may take much longer than expected

what machines are good at is to do 98% of things. Wang mengqiu said, but functions like unmanned driving, which need to be accurate to many decimal places, put forward very high requirements for the machine. Even waymo, which first began to study unmanned driving, admitted that it may take decades to realize unmanned driving. Through AI technology, the passive control UAV can be turned into autonomous flying UAV in a short time. Equipment technology, exchange technology and switch technology, AI can blossom and bear fruit in all aspects of UAV

another reason for Wang mengqiu's persistence is the potential of the consumer UAV market. Although Dajiang has occupied most of the market share of consumer UAVs, the UAV industry is still in its early stage. Most UAV users are still model fans, enthusiasts and technology enthusiasts. Controlling UAVs alone is not acceptable to ordinary consumers. The autonomous flying UAV represented by hover 2 allows ordinary consumers to take large aerial photos and videos, which is hopeful to open the real consumer market of UAVs

after two years, Wang mengqiu appeared in public again. In Wang's opinion, low-key or publicity is worth it as long as it is for better products

when asked about his expectations for the future of the company, Wang mengqiu replied: I hope hover 2 can enter thousands of households

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