“Follow me” is an up-and-coming feature on consumer drones, and then you’ve also got those that are foldable for the sake of portability. Very few devices carry both advantages, but Beijing startup Zero Zero Robotics has already gone further with its Hover Camera. As the name suggests, this drone is mainly for aerial photography and videography, but what makes it even cooler is the fact that its propellers are fully enclosed by a strong carbon fiber frame, thus making it the safest drone we’ve ever played with. As you can see in our hands-on video after the break, you can literally grab it whenever you like without sacrificing any of your fingers to the drone gods.
The Hover Camera comes in at only 238 grams, which is just below the FAA’s limit for mandatory hobbyist drone registration. It’s small as well: When the propeller wings are folded, it’s about the size of a VHS cassette tape. Once you open it up, you’ll see all four propellers with brush-less motors, all of which are apparently developed in-house. A company rep point out that to enable precise control in such a small device, off-the-shelf components just wouldn’t work.
Likewise, the A.I. algorithm is also built from ground up, and it relies on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight platform which is running at full speed all the time. Despite this, Zero Zero Robotics’ design is able to reuse some of the downward airflow to cool the chip-set; and a single charge will last for about eight minutes, after that you can easily swap out the battery at the top.