Is it possible to control a drone without looking at it? Yes, it’s possible. Team BlackSheep (TBS) has developed a new quadcopter called TBS Discovery that has an on-board camera fitted on the drone and can be operated through camera view rather than directly looking at it. The TBS showed a demonstration of TBS Discover flying over the audience at LeWeb 2012 in Paris.
This year at LeWeb 2012 in Paris, remote-controlled quadcopter TBS Discover developed by TBS caught the most attention of the audience. The quadcopter TBS Discover has antennas and four lightweight rotors at the ends of four struts protruding horizontally from a central platform. There is a GoPro camera fitted on its top. A computer micro-controller changes the rotor speeds slightly to tilt the quadcopter. The controller gets the view of TBS Discover attached camera through a virtual-reality goggles. In other words, an operator can control this quadcopter remotely as he/she can see what’s going on without looking at it.
Raphael Pirker, founder of startup Team BlackSheep, piloted a TBS Discovery quadcopter safely through having the views from the quadcopter’s camera that was hovering around the stage at LeWeb 2012. Few minutes later after flying, Pirker landed the quadcopter gently on his hand.
Pirker said that even though the pilot can see what’s going on with the on-board camera, “you’re not allowed to fly this aircraft without your visual line of sight.”
The TBS Discovery can fly between 8 and 15 minutes (depending on how it’s configured). It is capable of hovering at maximum 80kmph (about 50mph) and can go up to 2,500 meters height.