Hover Camera, the self-flying camera that can take selfies and videos
You no longer will have to carry a selfie stick around to click pictures. A team at Zero Zero Robotics, a Beijing-based company have just unveiled the Hover Camera drone, a foldable device that can track your face and follow you around to snap videos and photos wherever you go.
The idea of the Hover camera is to focus on quick and easy photography, not the complexities of flying. Hover Camera uses Zero Zero’s AI algorithms that can track the facial and body recognition of a person and follow the person around to snap videos and photos. That custom AI work is implemented through Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Flight platform.
The Hover camera folds up to about the size of a VHS tape for easy portability and can be fired up with a single button. Enclosed inside a carbon fiber grate, the Hover Camera has a 2.3GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor that handles all the computing, while an accelerator, gyroscope and barometer help keep the device running smoothly and level. At 240 grams, the drone is light enough that it doesn’t have to be registered with the FAA, so anyone can use it.
Spec-wise, it’s got a 13MP camera that can take 12-megapixel pictures, all controlled by a nearby smartphone connected via Wi-Fi. It can shoot 4K videos or 360-degree panoramic shots. Even though the camera doesn’t have OIS, it does use electronic image stabilization to keep video less shaky. All the controls are done via a companion app that can also be used to transfer photos and video. It can hover at a maximum altitude of 164 feet.
On the other hand, the Hover camera also has its limitations. In a brief demo, it struggled outside in a mild wind. A bottom-facing camera helps keep the Hover a steady height off the ground, but it is unable to avoid other obstacles on its own due to lack of side-facing cameras. Its modest battery means it can only fly for eight minutes at a time, though the company will likely ship several replaceable batteries with the device. Also, like other drones, it is extremely loud despite its small size. Even though it is lightweight and durable, you can hear every motor spinning to keep it in the air. Further, it doesn’t have a GPS tracker. So, should you lose your Hover camera, you will need to manually retrace steps to find it again.
While the Hover Camera is not currently for sale, it is expected to be available sometime this summer. The pricing is still not decided yet, but Zero Zero Robotics expects to put the selfie drone on to the market for an estimated price of $600.