Ahead of CES 2019, UVify has announced two new drones, one is an advanced take on a super race drone we’ve seen before, the other may change the face of drone entertainment. The UVify Draco-4×4 is a monster of a race drone and the UVify IFO is your chance to start your own drone entertainment business.
Not to gloss over the Draco-4×4, it is very fun, but we are very interested in the IFO. This is not just a drone, this is a business, one that Intel has been dominating for a few years.
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In every industry there is a company or two that does things a little bit differently, works just a little bit harder and produces innovative products that are unexpectedly advanced. I believe UVify is one these company.
They are a small company, with an uphill battle to take on the behemoth that is DJI. Even more difficult as DJI is also an impressive innovator, with a huge lead in the industry. However, it might be incorrect to say that DJI is their target, UVify got their retail start in drone racing, they have big news on that front, and their work in AI and autonomy has important commercial applications.
That is where we start today, the new UVify IFO. I have not confirmed, but I suspect they are being literal with the Identified Flying Object reference, the opposite of a UFO. This is more than a bright and colorful quadcopter, it’s the potential for a full drone business.
Up front, you are looking at a carbon fiber framed quadcopter with a huge LED light on the bottom. On the inside you get advanced positioning systems, precise navigation tools and battery enough for up to 25 minutes of flight.
The drone itself is not intended to compete with popular consumer camera drones out there, no, it is made for you to compete with Intel and their Shooting Star entertainment business.
This is not, exactly, a drone you purchase to fly at home, but it could be. While Intel’s Shooting Star entertainment business allows you to hire them to come fly a light show for you, the UVify IFO program puts the drones in your hands. For lack of a better term, let’s call it a leasing program, in which you take at least twenty IFO drones and run your own entertainment business.
Intel handles all the ins-and-outs of airspace, ground and drone management in their program, you get to handle the particulars with the UVify program. Make no mistake, this is a lot of work, particularly to get the FAA waiver to fly at night, but you are in control, and that’s a powerful thing.
Stay tuned for more actual information about the drone and pricing for the program, we’ll be sitting down with UVify at CES 2019 during the second week of January.
Back at AUVSI Exponential in 2018, UVify had a cool version of their Draco drone on hand. The propeller arms were about 20 inches long, making for a huge racing drone. That machine must have spurred the idea for the Draco-4×4, “what if we used those super long arms and put multiple motors?”
As the name implies, there are 16 motors on the UVify Draco-4×4. Four per arm. Yes, that makes for a massive and massively powerful racing drone.
Best of all, there’s a good chance you’ll get to see this drone in action, UVify has teamed up with DR1 Racing, a leading drone racing league, to create a new racing class for the 2019 and 2020 seasons of the DR1 DHL Champions Series.
As with the IFO, stay tuned for further coverage and some hands-on details with the Draco-4×4 – I am hitting the road for CES as soon as this article is published.
I say again, UVify is on a roll. We are super excited for their progress. I still fly my UVify OOri around the house very frequently. I will never be a pro drone racing pilot, sad to say, but I’ll enjoy watching the racing series and I’m pleased to know that we can buy the same drones the pros use for fun at home.
UVify is one of our first stops at CES 2019, please hit us up in the comments if you have any questions you’d like us to ask the team.