3D Robotics

Welcome to Solo, season two.

We designed Solo to evolve. Since we launched, we’ve continued to create and deliver new features that will surprise and empower drone users and moviemakers of every experience level and interest. This latest software release is a big one, and does what we want all our releases to do: It makes every Solo out there a better Solo.

From the beginning we focused on providing a great user experience, helping you quickly and easily capture the exact shots you want, every time you fly. The new Smart Shot functionality in this release — Multipoint cable cam and Follow with Freelook — enhances the platform’s existing Smart Shots. (For the uninitiated, Smart Shots are 3DR’s breakthrough computer-assisted cinema technology that enables even beginners to capture Hollywood-quality aerial video from day one.) We’ll release the new software this spring to all Solo users in a free wireless update.



Multipoint cable cam extends cable cam’s original design: Now you can create cable shots that run between an unlimited number of keyframes. Set keyframes from multiple points in space, looking in any direction you want. Solo automatically adds spline curves to each keyframe for a smooth approach and exit, so your video will feel professional and polished.

How it works

Fly to the point in space that you want and take your time with the camera to set the perfect keyframe, using your live HD feed to guide you. Press A to save it, then fly to the next one, repeating for as many frames as you want (your flight doesn’t have to be straight line). The Solo companion computer has a photographic memory that takes an internal snapshot of each keyframe, and when you’re done it connects the dots with a virtual cable.

Now engage in three ways:

1) Work the camera freely while Solo flies on the cable from frame to frame;

2) Fly Solo along the cable yourself, while Solo does what no other drone can, automatically handling camera pointing and tilt to capture a smooth narrative from one frame to the next;

3) Or just press “play” and let Solo handle both the flying and the camerawork, perfectly capturing a complex, twisting, tunneling multi-keyframe shot.


The cable cam update will include some interior features, too. Solo will save every cable cam that you create right to your app. Browse by date, location or names you give them.

Return to fly your favorites at any time, or quickly and easily switch between shots at the same location.

Cable cam also has a new enhanced time control feature. Adjust the time of your cable flight in the app to put the camera where you want it, when you want it there. Now that you know exactly where your camera will be, you can turn your attention to directing and synchronizing your shots and scenes.


3DR developed the first “follow me” drone. The new Free Look feature turns Follow into an interactive filming experience. In Follow, Solo follows a subject and keeps the camera trained on it wherever it goes. When you enter Free Look the copter keeps following the subject, but you have full control of the camera. Pan and tilt the camera to look around freely while remaining completely confident in the copter’s position and directional heading. It’s like the Hollywood motion control of a camera boom on the back of a truck:

Virtually leash Solo to one subject, then swivel and tilt the camera manually to track even the most spontaneous movements of another subject.


sim-controller-angleNew software will also include air safety zone information integrated with the Solo app. 3DR was the first drone company to announce a collaboration with an airspace information company — AirMap.io — which will enable the Solo app to pull flight zone information in real time. This helps users make safe and informed decisions about where they fly. Read more about AirMap for Solo here.

We’re also launching another educational software tool, the Solo flight simulator app. The app connects to your controller so that the “sim Solo” you see on your screen responds to your control stick movements just like the copter would in flight. Get a good feel for both flight and camera control without putting your Solo in the air. Plus, you don’t need to connect to Solo to use the simulator; all you need is the app and the controller. Practice flying anywhere.



The Solo platform will also expand on the hardware side to include an official line of new accessories developed through 3DR’s Made for Solopartnership program. The open gimbal and accessory bays, together with the processing power of Solo, enable any company or individual to develop new hardware for the platform, efforts that 3DR encourages and supports with Made for Solo. New Solo hardware accessories in development include a Kodak 360-degree virtual reality camera; aerial lighting from Fiilex with lights that users can tailor in the Solo app; new Ribcage modified GoPro cameras and camera kits from Backbone with custom weight kits to work with the Solo Gimbal, and more.

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  • What about Google Earth API support ?


    Therefore, after careful consideration, we have decided to retire the Google Earth API. Per our deprecation policy, the API will be supported until one year from today and will be turned off on December 12, 2015.
    Posted by Ken Hoetmer, Product Manager, Google Maps APIs


    What other Earth mapping system is offered as a replacement ?
  • 3D Robotics

    The simulator (iOS and Android) has been out in beta for a few months, but will be officially released to all next week

  • When will the simulator be available? I would love to try it. Or if it already is how do we get hold of it?

  • Moderator
    We wrote the solo into our exemption 333 just in case it ever became appealing enough to pick one up.
    Heading back from Portland now, Solo in the back seat.
  • It would be nice if you guys sell the onboard computer as a standalone package, so people would be able to use solo controller and tablet integration to carry something much bigger than just a gopro... 

  • Great stuff! Looking forward for survey mission shutter control on other camera options.

  • Great work, I'm really loving the Solo platform. 

  • I think I'm going to need to get a Solo for myself.

  • 3D Robotics

    Erik: Totally agree. Watch this space

  • Great news. Love the multi cable cam and the ability to save shots. Will probably eliminate the need for Tower for me by 85%.

    Meantime, I've been hoping for a Follow Me Cable Cam.

    In other words set up a known safe path, but have the Solo follow and aim camera while it sticks to that path. Would be great for following through a canyon or even along a dirt road where an inadvertent turn (i.e. heading change) can "swing" the Solo into the mountain side or trees. Would also be great for skiing with elevation change built into the cable.

    If the Solo could follow a subject, but stay on a cable, that would be super great. I've got a million uses fo that. Would definitely allow some shots that are still impossible to get without two operators and a lot of skill.
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