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In a world where a lot of drone companies look like they’re chasing (and sometimes copying) DJI, you have to hand it to Powervision. The Beijing-based robotics company’s first two products don’t look anything like other drones on the market.

That’s because the first one, the PowerEgg released in August of 2016, looks like an egg:

When it's all closed up, it really *does* look like an egg.
When it’s all closed up, it really *does* look like an egg.
CRACK OPEN THAT EGG

Of course, it opens up. The arms containing the motors and props are pulled out manually, and then a click of a button causes the legs to open downward. Then, you have a device that looks something like this – which still is a far cry from the standard quadcopter design:

With the PowerEgg cracked open, it's ready to fly
With the PowerEgg cracked open, it’s ready to fly

The PowerEgg has some fairly impressive features, including a small handheld “gesturing” device, which allows even a total novice to fly the PowerEgg by pointing where they want it to go. If there’s any concern, they can easily stop the device and it will remain in a stable hover. The PowerEgg retails for $1288 US, has a five-kilometre range, and sports a camera that supports UHD stills and regular HD video.

ABOVE THE GROUND; BELOW THE WATER

Powervision’s other unconventional offering is its PowerRay underwater robot. Launched at CES 2017, it was initially billed as a tool to aid in fishing. It’s now being marketed in three different versions:

  • The PowerRay Explorer ($1488), for exploring underwater and getting video back to the surface
  • The PowerRay Angler ($1799) which includes a fish finder and a bait drop line
  • The PowerRay Wizard ($1888) which includes everything in the Angler model, plus VR goggles

And, like the PowerEgg, it looks distinctly different from most drones you’ve seen:

 

“We at Powervision believe the aesthetics of a product is just as important as the function,” explains the company’s Merlin Love, “So it’s not just function, but form.”

PROSUMER MODEL

Finally, one of Powervision’s other key offerings is the PowerEye, a more prosumer-style aerial imaging drone featuring a Panasonic Lumix sensor packed into a micro four-thirds style camera that allows for interchangeable lenses. It records video at 4K (4096×2160) and also UHD (3840×2160). Flight time is state as 29.5 minutes, and the price is $3988.

Yes, the legs retract
Yes, the legs retract

We’re pleased to see a company willing to take a more unconventional approach to drone design. Here’s what the Powervision has to say about itself, and its goals, on its website:

“With a mission to ‘innovate the future,’ PowerVision Group is a global technology leader focusing on UAV-related products and services including smart drones, data visualization and forecasting, virtual reality and augmented reality.

“An innovation leader, Powervision Robot has been released series of intelligent robot products including drones and multi-purpose consumer robots. By its cutting edge technologies, Powervision continuously increases the performance of robots to improve the lives of people worldwide.”

Cool.

Here at TDC, we are hoping to test the PowerRay this summer. We’ll certainly keep you posted, and plan to capture some awesome underwater images.


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