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Phantom 3 Feature Wishlist

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by aseidman, Oct 28, 2014.

  1. aseidman

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    Since today's announcement is nice, but a far cry from a Phantom 3 it got me thinking what is at the top of my feature request list.

    A Phantom is just an iPhone with prop engines

    DJI needs to start thinking about their drones as always-connected hardware just like an iPhone. This starts with...
    1) Onboard cellular connection so you can maintain a live connection to your drone anywhere with 3G, 4G, or LTE cell coverage (which is lots of places) without worrying about range or obstructions. Should be able to buy a SIM card and plug it into my drone and then viola my iPhone and Android can talk to it and vice versa just like it's another iPhone. There are lots of benefits from adding onboard cellular connection: never lose your drone, FPV anywhere with 4G or LTE coverage, live flight telemetry anywhere with 2g coverage, and automatic over-the-air firmware updates to name a few.

    Payload and Landing
    2) Increase payload to 4 lbs so we can carry more equipment.
    3) Improved landing gear so drone does not tip so easily during landing.
    4) New 'Land' Waypoint so you can instruct your drone to auto-land.

    Controlled Flight Range
    5) Improved radio contorlled flight range - should be able to get 5 miles. (if #1 is done then this becomes less critical)

    Easier to Use
    6) Hot swap equipment - should be able to easily swap a Gimbal for another piece of equipment without lots of unscrewing and screwing pieces in. Should be much easier. I can swa

    Things NOT to do
    7) Camera -- I don't think DJI should play the camera spec game. There are already so many great cameras (GoPro, Canon, etc.) -- let somebody else do that. Built the best hardware + software combination for drones -- there is so much room to innovate on that front that trying to chase the camera spec game is a waste of time.


    What's on your list?
     
  2. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    The camera is top of my wish list. There are plenty of cameras out there but only DJI have come up with the weight reduction to make it possible to fly & photograph without buying a big $$ aerial truck and gimbal. The aerialisation of the P2+ camera is a masterpiece but it has limitations. But that's OK for a first attempt at ground breaking technology.
    DJI have said that they are "we’re also looking at the sensor size and specs of our cameras" so they are on the right track and know that this is seriously important to many of their customers.
    Forget Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic etc for aerial cameras in the future. They make great cameras for terrestrial use but the weight penalty is a major handicap in the air. DJI is leading the way for cutting edge aerial photography in the future by stripping away the bulk and weight and creating cameras built to fly.

    The Phantom only weighs a little over 2lbs.
    You need a much bigger drone than a Phantom to lift 4lbs.
    If you want a cargo hauler - you don't buy a Prius

    You already can

    Huge potential for error by operators if they did that.
    Mistype or miscalculate your LZ location and who knows where your bird is going to land.
    If I was DJI I wouldn't trust users with that.
     
  3. aseidman

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    @Meta4 good feedback. Some quick thoughts.

    - Most P2 users are not getting 5 miles out of the box. Make 5 miles on one battery commonplace and standard and then people will figure out ways to get 15 miles:).

    - GoPro makes a super lightweight camera that takes excellent photos and video. Let them innovate on that front while DJI makes their drones and software 10x better. If nobody was doing this right I would say 'OK, fill the gap!" but folks like GoPro are doing fantastic work with their product.

    - 'Land' - 3DR IRIS+ supports it and I find it to be really useful. It's a very liberating feeling knowing that my drone can land someplace other then the original place it took off from. Opens up a ton more use cases.

    - Payload - 5 lbs feels like throwing a small bag in your car versus throwing a bunch of cargo in the back. Cargo for drones is more like 20+ lbs.
     
  4. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    At 30 mph for 15 mins the Phantom can easily travel 7.5 miles on a battery
    You weren't clear that you meant radio control range of 5 miles.
     
  5. aseidman

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    @meta4 if they provide a cellular connection than one could get > 5 mile control range. Assuming we don't get that then a 5 mile radio control range is what I want:)
     
  6. Meta4

    Meta4 Moderator
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    Lifting 4lbs is easy. You just need a bigger bird with much bigger propellers to support the weight, bigger motors to drive the props and bigger batteries to power the motors.

    Wish all you like but a four pound payload on a Phantom size drone isn't going to happen with current physics.
    The Phantom 2 (630g empty) is already burdened by it's battery (370g) and has a max takeoff weight of 1300g.
    ie Payload of 300g or 0.66 pounds
    Here are some examples of the total load (passengers, fuel & cargo) vs empty weight for some common aircraft types
    Robinson R22 helicopter = 55%
    Cessna 182 = 65%
    Boeing 747 = 122%
    DJI P2 = 106%

    A 4lb payload on a current P2 would be 347%
     
  7. aseidman

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    @meta4 super detailed analysis is great! I guess I'm coming at this from the perspective of does the Phantom need to retain its current size. The original iPhone was much smaller than the iPhone 5 or 6.

    It does not need to become a big drone like Spreading Wings S1000 but there is a nice spot between the current P2 dimensions and the S1000, so that it can carry more payload.

    Once you can stick a small lockers on the P3 and carry 4 lbs of stuff it opens up many use cases.
     
  8. job2310

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    I think it would open up to many dangerous use cases, which I'm sure DJI and the government regulatory bodies are both thinking about. Even at the current payload there is already worry of phantoms carrying explosives into crowds. To create something at this price point that could carry that payload could get scary.
     
  9. MikeON

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    Assuming DJI stays in the camera spec game, my #1 wish would be a non-fisheye camera. Better yet, interchangeable lenses with that would allow you to choose focal length. I'm well aware of the fisheye correction options in Photoshop, but they compromise the image in various ways themselves.
     
  10. w824gb3

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    I want my Tx signal strength displayed on my fpv via the iosd mini. that should be an easy one.
     
  11. w824gb3

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    RC signal strength that is - not fpv signal strength
     
  12. aseidman

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    Curious why you chose not to go with the GoPro?
     
  13. aseidman

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    The products that do carry a payload of 15+ lbs are today $2,600 so in about 18-24 months they will be half of that price (roughly the price of a P2V+, and then what?

    People do crazy things with cars, motorcycles, bikes, etc. today and these forms of transportation have been around for a very long time. Sadly, bad things happen each day with these forms of transportation. Likewise bad things will happen with quadcopters. For every bad thing that happens many millions of good things will happen, but media will focus on the bad. This will cause some speed bumps but it won't destroy this industry.
     
  14. MikeON

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    When I bought my P2V, I wanted the integrated solution with FPV etc. Only thing extra needed was a smartphone, which I already had. Doesn't the GoPro also have a fisheye lens?
     
  15. saltire

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    led lights on the top , intrigrated tracker, and no sat drop out from using camera :D