Drone pilots, from commercial experts to novices, can now increase their flight precision and improve their image/video quality with a first-of-its-kind single-handed controller from Fluidity Technologies. The FT Aviator drone controller was conceptualized and designed by former NASA astronaut, pilot and physician Scott Parazynski, who has applied spaceflight and robotics control expertise to address and improve upon the many challenges of drone, or unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), flying.
Unlike traditional controllers, which most closely resemble a gaming controller with a complex two-thumbed control design, the FT Aviator intuitively unlocks the human potential to fly a drone with a more natural and exacting way of piloting. Its ergonomic design incorporates the drone-relevant four degrees of freedom through space (x, y, z and yaw), eliminating the awkward interface and steeper learning curve of existing dual-handed drone control, as well as providing tactile and visual feedback on what’s really happening with an aircraft.
The controller also brings the most important camera functions to the controller, versus having them buried deep in an app. The controller has dedicated buttons to control the rate of tilt on-the-fly as well as other commonly accessed camera functions such a shutter speed, exposure compensation and even zoom to create smoother video sequences. This revolutionary controller stands to speed up drone adoption and quality of image/video capture for hobbyists and professionals, including cinematographers, videographers, photographers, realtors and inspectors.
“Working with everything from the Space Shuttle robotic arm to surgical robotics in labs I found controllers clunky, inaccurate and in no way related to the dynamics of movement through space,” said Parazynski, founder and CEO, Fluidity Technologies. “Our patented technology changes that – for the first time providing highly-intuitive, precision movement to UAVs. It stands to lower the barrier to entry to drone flying, tremendously enhancing precision while also making drone flight a lot more fun.”
FT Aviator Features:
- Plug and Play: The FT Aviator is a durable, premium grade, quick-to-assemble drone flight controller consisting of a joystick, a base and a smartphone holder.
- Freedom of Movement: The FT Aviator single-handed controller precisely enables the four degrees of freedom of flight applicable to drones: forward and backward (X-axis), left and right (Y-axis), up and down (Z-axis) and turning left and right (Yaw).
- Human-Centered Engineering: The FT Aviator reduces the “cognitive workload” for drone pilots with its single-handed controller and natural and cognitive translation of hand-to-device movement, allowing them to focus on what they’re filming, and not the mechanics of how they’re getting there.
- Smooth, Consistent Motion: With a single-handed controller, the FT Aviator is not prone to cross-coupling, or inadvertent movements, enabling precision flight.
- Tactile Feedback: Its advanced “return to zero” anti-drift capabilities and feedback when commanding a motion (or not) prevents inadvertent motion inputs in other degrees of freedom.
- Situational Awareness Cues: This unique controller always provides visual and real-time critical situational awareness cues, guiding safe maneuvering of a drone in the event a pilot transiently loses sight of it.
- Dynamic Adjustability: Drone flight control can be modified “on the fly,” maximizing a pilot’s time on the scene while optimizing the drone and camera system for the smoothest video while shooting.
- Secure Communications: The FT Aviator leverages the native DJI transmitter-receiver radio, which is considered very secure, with frequency hopping and other security measures.
- Incredible Video Functionality: The controller has dedicated buttons to slow the rates of tilt control to get smoother video sequences, as well as other commonly accessed camera functions, without having to dive into multiple layers of the app.
- Insurance for Human Error: A capacitive dead-man sensor is located in the upper joystick grip, adjusted so that inadvertent stick movements won’t result in unintended drone motion.
The FT Aviator is currently compatible with nearly all DJI drones and is available for purchase on Kickstarter. The FT Aviator will retail for $449 but is available for pre-order now for $225 – 50 percent off – for a limited time. It is expected to ship in early Q1 2019.
The FT Aviator is the first product launched by Fluidity Technologies. Its patented and patent-pending technologies will soon be applied to virtual and augmented reality, computer and console gaming, surgical and medical robotics and more.