Drone News Roundup: Sony’s Airpeak S1 Now for Sale, DJI RC Pro Controller Available with the Mavic 3, and More!

BY Zacc Dukowitz
10 December 2021

This week we’re covering the news that Sony’s Airpeak S1 drone—it’s first and only drone—is available for pre-order, and will ship soon.

We’re also covering news that DJI will be offering the RC Pro Controller as part of a new Mavic 3 Fly More Combo, a bird-like drone complete with robotic talons created by researchers at Stanford University, and a U.K. drone pilot who has found over 200 missing dogs using a thermal drone.

Now on to the links!

Sony Airpeak S1 Available for Pre-Order

Key features | Airpeak S1

Sony has been talking about its first drone, the Airpeak S1, for almost a year—and now it’s finally for sale. The drone was first revealed in a teaser at CES back in January of this year, but at the time not very much information was shared. In June, Sony officially launched the Airpeak S1, unveiling all of its features and the fact that it was a high-end drone for cinematographers. Despite the launch, the drone has only now become available for pre-order. The Airpeak S1 will cost about $9,000, and will reportedly start shipping soon.

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DJI RC Pro Controller Will Be Available Soon with a New Mavic 3 Fly More Combo

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Credit: DJI

When DJI launched the Mavic 3, it also unveiled the new RC Pro controller. The only catch was that the controller couldn’t be purchased as part of a Fly More Combo, and had to be bought separately. As you might imagine, this hasn’t been received all that well. To rectify things, DJI recently announced that the RC Pro controller will soon be available as part of a Mavic 3 Fly More Combo. The new combo will start selling in China on December 20, and in North America and elsewhere in the first quarter of 2020 (depending on demand). Already bought the RC Pro controller? DJI says it will reimburse you for the difference if you live in China, and it sounds like that offer may eventually be extended to other countries as well.

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Bird-Like Drone Has Talons to Grip Branches When Landing

Stanford engineers create perching bird-like robot

Over the years, we’ve seen lots of drones designed based on principles gleaned from how insects and birds fly. But this new drone created by researchers at Stanford actually looks like a bird. The drone has feet and legs like a peregrine falcon, which are made to grip branches and other types of surfaces. It can catch and carry objects, as well as perch on various surfaces. The robotic feet that enable this behavior are called SNAG (Stereotyped Nature-inspired Aerial Grasper) and, when attached to a quadcopter, make for a bird-like robot that can land and stabilize itself just about anywhere.

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UK Drone Pilot Has Found Over 200 Lost Dogs Using a Thermal Drone

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Image source

U.K. drone pilot Erica Hart has helped reunite over 200 missing dogs with their owners using a drone equipped with a thermal imaging camera. She got into doing this rescue work by chance, when a dog owner asked if she might be able to help find a missing dog while she was out flying for fun. After she found that dog, she was off and running. Over the last six years Hart has flown both during the day and at night to find people’s lost dogs. She doesn’t accept payment for doing the work, except for occasional donations to help her pay for gas.

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