The Power Egg is a drone that is the size of a rugby ball. It might not be the best drone ever made in terms of speed or quality but certainly gets the points for being the weirdest looking.
The Power Egg also has the unique feature of retractable landing gear and propeller struts. And from the looks of the Power Egg, it definitely seems to be a one of a kind flying machine.
Usually, when people think about a quadcopter, they think about a regular old square block of mass with propellers, a landing gear and some struts.
However, the Power Egg doesn’t follow any of those conventions and for good reason since the drone technology, despite all the media attention, is in its nascent stages and there aren’t any rules set in stone for the perfect drone design.
The Chinese drone company behind the Power Egg has taken a fundamentally different approach to making drones.
The company has built a UAV that looks like, as the name suggests, a giant egg. The Power Egg drone is a fully autonomous flying machine that has been manufactured by the Beijing-based Power Vision.
This is the first time that Power Vision has come up with a product that is specifically geared towards the consumer UAV market.
Power Vision’s Power Egg is also a very lightweight drone since its total weight comes to around 4.6 pounds and as mentioned before, is no bigger than a standard rugby sized ball.
The body of Power Vision’s bizarre drone is made from a high-density plastic and unlike a real egg, the drone seems to be peculiarly durable.
The weirdest part about Power Egg’s design is, without a doubt, its landing gear and propeller struts. Both pieces of the machine are able to pull back into the housing of the drone.
This feature alone makes the drone super easy to transport and ultra optimized for a flight.
As far as the landing gear is concerned, it will extend automatically when the drone is activated, but users will have to manually place the propeller struts into place and lock them in order for the whole framework to work properly.
Further analysis confirms the fact that the bottom tip of the Power Egg actually comes off and reveals a 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD) mounted camera.
The camera is mounted on a stabilized 360-degree gimbal. A gimbal is a pivoted support that allows the rotation of an object about a single axis
At the other end of the machine, the top part of the Power Egg, we can see the drone’s 6400 mAh battery.
Needless to say, the Power Egg is completely suited to outdoor flying as well as indoor flying. The UAV machine uses a GPS to keep track of its location with respect to its operator when flown outside.
However, when the Power Egg is flown inside, the flying drone machine changes over to sonar and other ground pattern recognition programs in order to fully understands it orientation and surroundings.
And if you thought that the only unique aspect of the Power Egg was its shape, then you thought wrong since the flying drone machine also allows users to operate it with several different controllers.
Users can operate and maneuver the Power Egg with a standard two-axis controller or with a device like Nintendo Wii gesture remote.
You might legitimately ask the question as to why the developers behind the Power Egg went through such troubles to design their flying machine for two controllers instead of just one.
Well, the thinking behind making the UAV compatible with Wii controllers is that people who are new to flying drones should also be able to control a drone as skillfully as someone who has had years of experience.
That is why the secondary controller has been particularly designed for people who have never flown a drone before and have never experienced any type of flying whatsoever.
The other benefit of making the sleek drone controllable with a Wii remote is that people who are initially skeptical of flying drones would be able to test it out with something they might already be familiar with.
Plus, the mere thought of flying a drone machine with the help of a Wii controller would probably give new “drivers” some much-needed confidence.
In other words, Power Vision has made flying its unconventional drone super simple.
As far as the Wii controller is concerned, all a user has to do is to wave the remote up to instruct the drone to climb. And if the user wants to make the egg-shaped drone pan out a bit more then the user can just sweep the Wii remote either to the left or to the right.
The Power Egg has been programmed in a way that users will have to hold the activation trigger action for a while when operating the drone through gestures.
This would ensure that a particular user actually meant for the drone to move. Otherwise, a user could just be waving his/her hands around having no idea that the drone was registering those movements as instructions to move.
Some of you might find the above procedure a bit too much for people who despise technology. But worry not since Power Vision has got your covered there too. The company has also made it possible for non-tech savvy customers to operate the Power Egg without much difficulty by including an analog thumbstick in the wand remote.
For clarity’s sake, users should know that both remotes offer a single-button landing feature. Both controllers also rely on your Android or iOS smartphone device for processing power.
Power Vision cleverly got rid of the 2.4 GHz antenna that is usually attached to the back of the remote and hence turned the remote into a standalone base station.
In other words, your smartphone (iOS or Android) won’t be actually affixed with the controller itself but will communicate with the drone through this base station.
This intelligent use of design enabled Power Vision to make both remote controls compatible with the drone without cramming those burdensome antennas onto each one.
Despite the fact that the drone has a base station setup, it has a maximum communications range of about 5 km. Which is both impressive and a bit confusing.
It is confusing because most users would find it extremely hard to get the Power Egg out to a distance of 5 km when the battery life of the drone is a mere 23 minutes.
The drone’s maximum speed is 13m/s, which is nothing to boast about.
Readers might recall that we mentioned in the beginning of the article that the Power Egg is somewhat autonomous.
Well, it turns out that the odd looking drone is indeed able to make a decision for itself to some extent. It comes with a number of autonomous features.
One of those features is that users can direct the unorthodox drone to move between pre-selected waypoints while they use the camera to either record the drone’s movement or catch some other footage that might not be aligned with the drone’s movement.
Users will also be able to command the drone to circle a particular location. The drone will also be capable of focusing its camera on the operator for an extended period of time when the Selfie Mode is turned on.
There is no doubt that some of Power Egg’s features are truly impressive. But given its design and other specs, it seems to be geared towards the casual users rather than the pros.
The “prosumers” are likely to go for something like the DJI Phantom 4 which can fly at far higher speeds than the Power Egg.
The company representatives, in an interview with Engadget at a demonstration event, told reporters that they expected the Power Egg to be useful for professional services such as Real Estate marketing.
The representatives also added that the company designed the eccentric UAV to be mainly used for activities such as taking photos and making videos of yourself and your friends/family.
With that said, Power Vision should be given credit for designing the Power Egg in a way that it can be safely placed in your living room instead of being stored out of sight in the garage or the store.
The UAV also comes with a storage stand which allows the user to store it conveniently on the top of his/her work desk or beside the window.
You can get one for yourself by pre-ordering it from the Power Vision website for around $1288.
The package will contain the drone (that actually looks like an Egg when not in use), the 2.4 GHz base station, two controllers, a battery, a backpack and all the required charging cables.
The first Power Egg models will start to ship eight to ten weeks after the pre-order deadline ends.
That means, if you pre-order the drone right now, you can expect the Power Egg delivery at your doorstep sometime after mid-October when the company starts its deliveries.
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