3D Robotics

3689695607?profile=originalHere's a primer on custom geofencing with Solo, which has never been easier. It has just been released in the new 3DR Solo app for iOS and will be coming to Android soon: (Correction: all the other features in the latest Solo iOS app, such as rewind, are coming to Android in the next month or so, but we do not have an Android ETA for geofencing yet. Sorry for the confusion on that -- I read the internal roadmap too fast and missed that)

On your map view, you can enable or disable geofencing. When it’s on, you will have four points (like dropped pins) that you use to make a virtual quadrilateral flight cage around your drone. Solo uses GPS to set and obey this boundary. You can move your four points to change the shape, size and location of your quadrilateral at any time in flight, blocking off any objects or areas you choose. This also means that if you want to fly in another area, simply move your pins on your screen and you’ll create a new safe zone — or you can turn the geofence off altogether.

Why this is important:

  • It works.
  • Safe: Because it’s a hard fence, it really does keep your drone away from objects, even power lines.
  • Customizable: If you don’t want that hard fence there, you can move it to where you want it, or easily disable or enable it.
  • Engaging: Perhaps the most important advantage. Instead of stopping you from thinking about the environment around you, like hardware sensors would do, geofencing keeps pilots engaged and aware. This level of interaction with your drone and with your environment is critical for any truly holistic approach to drone safety, as opposed to blindly trusting an imperfect technology.
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  • Well after reading this blog, I'm not sure that I bought the right drone! I for one don't think 3dr should abandon their retail customers. I have the solo and am very satisfied with it. But it sounds like 3dr is going to leave most of us just blowing in the breeze, most people cannot and do not want to pay $400.00 + dollars a month for commercial or enterprise solutions. 3dr need to understand that retail customers are the most valuable customers, the retail customer is what built 3dr, and most retail customers would continue to support 3dr. I really do hope that 3dr rethinks their position on going strictly commercial.
  • Hi Chris A, I love my Solo (and my 6 other pixhawk flying machines) and I'm an avid Android user, I'm not sure I agree with the above comment about AR being particularly hard to on the hardware on Android.  It is unlikely that I'll invest in a IOS device.  I like that you are trying to match it feature for feature, so us Android users don't miss out.

    This is one of the reasons why you have a supported hardware list, anything else is just up to the user to be aware of (if you have it as a setting then they can choose if they want it).  Heck do an device lookup and put a warning on it if they turn it on, "using this feature may slow your device, use an approved device for better performance".  To further this point since Pokemon Go is widely used on Android, yes it drains the battery faster but no more than if you sit there watching a video - similar reports on IOS and Android so I don't think that Apple has any magic hardware that does that any better.

    Also there are now a number of sdk's for AR (Wikitude and Qualcomm's Vuforia to start with ) that support both IOS and Android, so you can keep a similiar code base.  Naturally there will be slightly different ways of calling the SDK on the two different platforms but the data being fed to them will be the same....


  • 3D Robotics

    Steve: Thanks! Really appreciate the kind words. 

  • 3D Robotics

    Chris M: Yes, many Android features will continue to trail iOS features in release time, since the same team works on both and has to sequence them, but we are going to try to maintain as much feature parity as possible. But to answer your question directly, iOS is the preferred platform and Android releases may not have 100% of the same features. That's actually quite common for apps that make significant demands on hardware, and the latest iOS Solo apps will be increasingly dependant on the graphics capability of iOS devices, which is not matched by all Android devices.  AR is a good example of that. So bottom line: we're going to do our best to match iOS features on Android (I'm an Android user myself!) but we can't promise 100%.

  • Mr. Anderson,

    First time texting you,

    But feel like i know you for all the years i been reading about you.

    Hobbies that turn in to a business, are never enjoyed the same way again. Like first love....

    So please take heart, when Solo owners are inquiring about the Love they have for your company's best product to date.......Solo

    I know.

  • @Chris Anderson, Could you give a clear and broad statement on the future of Android app support and development for the Solo? There has been a lot of assorted information trickling out from various sources, but right now the community is in limbo on this issue and 3DR is taking a beating on social media from users in this important market segment. The 3DR PR department is only fanning the flames by publishing press releases that promote new features with no mention that the features only exist on the iOS platform with smaller market share than Android.

    Specifically, we'd like to know:
    a) Will Android continue to receive first-tier development and support of new Solo features (boat mode, etc...)?
    b) Can we expect Android to have feature parity with iOS, or is iOS now the preferred platform?
    c) Is 3DR committed to bringing AR and geofence to Android at some point in the future?

    Some transparency on why the Solo 2.4.0 Android release plan failed so miserably compared to iOS would bring a lot of goodwill to 3DR, and a statement of your commitment to Android would result in regaining a lot of customer loyalty. 3DR was bred from the open-source community and we'd love to hear your continued commitment to that same community regarding Android support.

  • Guys you have to remember that they lost a key dev only a few months back.  Be it that it was a choice at that stage to not continue with Android and they have changed or it was that persons decision to leave as they got a better offer we need to give them time to ramp back up.  Chris A has indicated its on the roadmap for android, he hasn't said it isn't on the roadmap.

    @Chris A, I know its hard but maybe an a rough indication would be good.  Say within X months, or something along those lines.

  • will be coming to Android soon: (Correction: all the other features in the latest Solo iOS app, such as rewind, are coming to Android in the next month or so, but we do not have an Android ETA for geofencing yet. Sorry for the confusion on that -

    Wow, bummer, you are not forgiven....;)   

  • Thanks for the info Chris. A lot of people don't understand that this is what a company needs to do if the company wants to continue to be a company. There has to be some profit in releasing a non enterprise R10C though? :)

  • Ok, last one.

    Since I am on both sides of the consumer/enterprise fence. (looking at Solo for mapping solutions, and will be getting my Part 107 ASAP) Will 3DR be using the same hardware (shell, batteries, motor pods, etc) in their enterprise solutions?

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