3D Robotics

3DR is proud to officially announce today’s launch of its new Mapping Platforms, the fixed-wing Aero-M and the copter X8-M. Both models come in a package that also includes a Canon SX260 camera -- which is controlled by the autopilot to take the right pictures at the right time and automatically geotag each -- and professional Pix4D image processing software, which we partnered with Pix4D to develop in a special 3DR edition. The software is a complete and fully automatic mapping and modeling solution that can convert and join thousands of those geotagged images into highly accurate geo-referenced 2D mosaics. 

Additionally, a Pix4Dmapper Pro upgrade is also available for 3DR mapping platform customers, in which users are enabled to exploit full 3D capabilities as well as agriculture-specific tools. The Pro version can generate point clouds, digital surface and terrain models, create vector objects (polylines, surfaces, stockpiles) and create index maps (e.g. NDVI).

A note about our price point: In keeping with our commitment to democratization and community, 3DR wants to make the most advanced aerial technology available to as many people in as many places as we can. Thanks in no small part to the open global innovation engine of our community, we’re able to deliver these advanced mapping capabilities at a price five times less than that of our nearest technological competitor. We did this to revolutionize the aerial mapping price point, offering advanced and serious aerial data acquisition capabilities at a level of accessibility that will redefine not only the UAV industry, but will help as many people as we can to redefine their industries.

If you’d like to learn more, visit http://3drobotics.com/mapping-drones/ where we also offer a contact form for a free consultation.

About the vehicles and package:

The Aero-M is an all-in-one solution for creating high-resolution visual-spectrum aerial maps. The fixed-wing platform offers endurance and scope of coverage, with 40 minutes of flight time and up to 250 acres of coverage area. It’s a great platform for regularly acquiring highly detailed and actionable data for large-scale operations such as farming, construction and conservation, as well as search and rescue and emergency response. The lightweight and robust foam frame translates to less risk and cost per flight and multiplies the cost-effectiveness of our platform.

Price: $5400

Includes: Aircraft, transmitter, two batteries, spare parts, high-resolution camera, hard case

Software Included: Pix4D Mapper LT

Options: Ground station frequency (413 or 915), FPV (optional), upgrade to Pix4Dmapper Pro 3DR Edition (optional), extra batteries (optional)

Autopilot: Pixhawk autopilot system

Flight time: 40 min*

Area coverage: 250 acres*

Map ground resolution: 2 inches per pixel (5 cm per pixel)*

Orthomosaic accuracy: 3-16 ft (1-5 m)

The X8-M is the perfect tool for creating high-resolution visual-spectrum aerial maps. The platform offers low-flying and high accuracy mapping, with a fully redundant propulsion system for increased reliability. Easy to fly and simple to operate, the X8-M can take off and land even in the tightest areas, which makes the vehicle compatible with just about any type of terrain. And because the X8-M can fly at low altitudes and at slow speeds, it can capture images with a level of detail and precision that’s impossible to acquire with manned flights or satellite imagery.

Price: $5400

Includes: Aircraft, transmitter, two batteries, spare parts, camera, hard case

Software Included: Pix4D Mapper LT

Options: Ground station frequency (413 or 915), FPV (optional), upgrade to Pix4Dmapper Pro 3DR Edition (optional), extra batteries (optional)

Autopilot: Pixhawk autopilot system

Flight time: 14 min*

Area coverage: 25 acres*

Map ground resolution: .7 inches per pixel (2 cm per pixel)*

Orthomosaic accuracy: 3-16 ft (1-5 m)

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  • Can someone walk me through the user journey?

    I setup the area to be covered in Mission Planner, and then the X8 covers that area, triggers automatically at each point necessary to get the image coverage? How does the camera know how often to trigger?

    How are the data log GPS coordinates fed to Pix4D and correlated with the right images?


  • Bortek, my free copy of Pix4D shows the ability to import Pixhawk telemetry data for geotagging; I haven't been able to use it yet (haven't flown recently, but I have received photos from someone who has and have used it in mapping), but presumably it does what he describes.

  • Brandon, can a Pix4D version from their official download site do what you described in point 2 in your first post? That it to process datashash logfile and geotag images or is this only avaiable in bundled version?

  • 14 minutes flight time (X8-M)  for an aerial mapping platform?

    11x4.7 props, 4S?

    In 2014, really?

    Sorry to say and be so abrupt, but 3DR needs to wake up.

  • MR60

    I still do not get the pricing logic:

    -a 3DR X8 is 1350$

    -This repackaged X8 for mapping is 5400$

    The only differences, except if I'm wrong, are: a canon sx260 (+300$), a bigger battery(+50$) and a pix4d lite version(price?).

    So this means an unexplained price increase of 3700$ !! And you can't even do 3d reconstruction for that price.

    Sorry but that is not a good deal.

  • 3D Robotics

    @Rob, the camera is on a vibration isolation mount and is secured with a thumb screw so that you can change the angle.

  • Is there a gimbal of some sort on the X8?  Keep the camera pointed down?

  • @ Brandon,

    Thanks for linking the store listing! Hadn't seen that when I scrolled through yesterday. The 10000 mAh battery must be why the payload is so low.

  • Thanks for the clarification, Brandon. I think that the 2D functionality is sufficient for many users. Does the software license also include 2 installations and the Mapbox deal? 

    BTW, we're focused mainly on fixed wings... It was David who was interested in the X8-M.

  • 3D Robotics

    The version of Pix4D bundled with the mapping platform is a new product for Pix4D and only available through 3DR at this point.  It is essentially the Pro version, minus export of 3D file formats (obj, ply, las, etc.) and minus the index calculator and ability to export modified mosaics.  Every other Pro feature is in there, including the rayCloud editor, support for GCPs, and creation of 3D animations.  So it's essentially a 2D version of Pix4D Pro.  Hope that clears up some questions!

    @M C, the X8-M has a new powerplant--motors and props and 10Ah battery, all described in the store listing.

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