We went to CES 2018 expecting to see many drones, small drones for children, big drones for professionals and everything in between, and we did! The team at Uvify had a big presence at the show on the show floor but even more so at the Drone Rodeo – they stood out for me and even announced a drone I didn’t think I’d love, boy was I wrong.
In addition to their Draco racing drone that won awards in previous years at CES, they were showing off their AI efforts and the new Uvify OOri, a mini drone that I’ve already ordered for myself.
AUVSI Xponential 2018 in Denver
We met up with Uvify for AUVSI Xponential this year, they were the title sponsor for the IDRA Challenger’s Cup drone race and had plenty to say about there fun drones. Check out the videos from their booth below, for the Draco R and the OOri, then hit the end of this article to check out the final race of the race event, the winners walked away sharing a $2000 purse.
Before we dive into one of the best drones we experienced at CES 2018, let’s talk about the other machines from Uvify, from their AI and racing lines.
Artificial Intelligence – autonomy
Uvify may have landed in the mainstream for their racing efforts, but I was highly impressed by their AI work. At CES 2018, particularly at the Drone Rodeo, they were demoing their prototypes for autonomous flight. The prototype worked its way through an obstacle course, showing its ability to self navigate.
We should note a fun fact, they are using the NVIDIA Jetson as the computing system in their largest prototypes. As we know, this means there is a ton of computing power on deck to handle all of the navigational needs of the drone.
We’re eager to explore this topic a lot more in the future, for now, racing drones!
Update from AUVSI Xponential:
If you are flying for pay, or any other form of compensation, you must operate under a different set of rules and possess a commercial drone license. We call it the Part 107, it’s not too hard to get, but it will take some time to learn all the rules. We want to help you learn the rules and get your commercial license, check out our drone pilot training material.
Drone Rush was not a site at CES 2017, otherwise we would have reported on Draco, a racing drone platform from Uvify that won awards at the show. We’re here now, and got to see Draco in action – a modular racing drones that are keeping up with the best on the market at the race track.
We watched a race in which a Uvify pilot crashed. The crash was one of the worst at the Drone Rodeo that day, tearing a motor clean off of the drone. Before the pilot could retrieve his fallen racer, he was informed that his next race was in less than 5 minutes.
A few quick actions with a screwdriver, he replaced the entire propeller arm, grabbed a fresh battery and he was on time for the race. He did have to fly with different colored propellers, but aesthetics are hardly of note at 100 mph.
How modular is it?
Uvify OOri – mini racing drone
You may have noticed a trend here at Drone Rush, we tend to treat small and lesser capable drones as toys, tons of fun, but often impractical beyond that. Many have tried, but Uvify has proven to me that size doesn’t have to be a limiter. Their new OOri mini drone looks like a basic machine that fits in the palm of the hand, leading to the expectation it is a basic toy, but that’s wrong, very wrong.
First and foremost, and I cannot emphasize this enough, OOri has position hold capabilities. This means it can hover on its own. I promise you this changes the game. A drone that does not hold position is fun, but somewhat hard to fly.
We’ve seen self-hovering drones before, of course, but never in something this small. Great work Uvify.
Perfect, you’ve got an easy to fly mini drone for the living room, that’s a great start, but remember that Uvify has a history in racing drones, OOri can fly at up to 60 MPH!!! I don’t know about you, but that’s too fast for my living room.
I can’t say enough about the concept of a drone that can grow with a pilot. A beginner can use OOri for bopping around. If you advance your skills with the drone, it can get you to the point you are ready to race a serious machine. OOri is not a serious racing machine, but it’s possibly the best racing trainer we’ve seen in a quadcopter with this level of fit and finish.
Early pre-orders were $289, but I’m sorry to tell you you’ve missed the deal. You can now order Uvify OOri for $349.
Update from AUVSI Xponential:
We had a great time hanging out with the Uvify team at CES 2018. They had a fun booth with one of the best flying cages I’ve seen, drone simulators set up to play and plenty of friendly faces to answer any questions.
We are, without a doubt, going to have to keep an eye on Uvify moving forward. The drones and technology, more specifically, the capabilities of their consumer drones, are on par with the best machines from the top companies out there. I can’t begin to tell you how significant that is for how small of a company Uvify is.
Exciting times for drones, thank you Uvify for chatting with us at CES 2018.