Wireless Technologies

Can an egg-shaped drone take on DJI?

At an event in central London yesterday, a little-known Chinese drone maker revealed one of the most novel-looking UAVs the market has seen in a long time. DJI looks positively boring by comparison.

Powervision’s PowerEgg drone is exactly what is sounds like: an egg-shaped UAV. The drone – which looks like it could have easily been taken straight out of a Portal game – features foldable arms and legs, creating a portable rugby ball-like product when not in the air.

“Our goal was to take PowerVision's technology expertise and package it in a form factor that everyone interested in flying a drone could relate with and enjoy immediately,” said PowerVision founder Wally Zheng. He claims the egg-shape was inspired in part by nature and Leonardo Da Vinci’s flying machines, and sees a world where every family has a drone.

“We designed PowerEgg to be the consumer drone for everyone. It's sleek, compact and portable but also easy to operate, making it simple for anyone to launch and capture special moments on camera.”

While the £1200 device may not be the most affordable drone on the market, it does offer a host of sensors for autonomous flying and landing options (though there’s no mention of any sense-and-avoid technology), and an integrated 4K UHD camera. Though the flight demonstrations were indoors, the company claims a flight time of up to 23 minutes at a distance of up to 5km.

The PowerEgg comes with a novel new control option: a one-handed gesture remote. Dubbed the PowerEgg Maestro, the Wii remote-like controller features buttons for elevation and decent, while the forward, backward, and side-to-side motions are controlled by the user’s arm movements. Zheng says it takes just a few minutes to learn the controls this way, offering a simple way for users to learn how the drone flies.

Although little-known in the consumer UAV space, Bejing-based PowerVision isn’t a new company. Founded in 2009, the company has several products in the industrial drone space and employs nearly 500 people across its offices in in China, the US, Canada, Australia, Germany, and Finland.

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Dan Swinhoe

Staff Writer at IDG Connect.

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