South Korea releases a foldable drone

DJI introduced a new foldable drone Mavic Pro in Korea.

The local affiliate of the Chinese unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) maker said that the new device, which offers more diverse flight and video-recording technologies than previous models, will speed up the penetration of drones in the consumer market here. But its high price ― 1.23 million won ($1,104) ― and stubborn regulations on drone flight here are expected to put a strain on the company’s drive.

“Over 560 million videos have been created using DJI’s devices and applications, and we are introducing Mavic Pro to facilitate content creation,” DJI Korea’s country manager Moon Tae-hyun said during a press conference in Seoul, Wednesday. “Mavic Pro has a foldable structure that makes the device easily portable, and offers improved intelligent flight and video-recording features that even beginners can use with ease.”

Mavic Pro has five camera sensors and supports dual-band satellite connectivity, and thus can accurately position itself both indoors and outdoors. It is also capable of automatically avoiding obstacles ahead. The new drone’s connectivity covers a 7-kilometer radius and 50-meter altitude.

Its detachable lithium-ion battery supports 27 minutes of flight while it can fly up to 65 kilometers per hour in sport mode, according to DJI Korea.

In terms of video recording, it can produce 4K 30fps videos and 12 megapixel still photos. It also has a three-axis image-stabilizing gimbal.

Mavic Pro also has the intelligent flight features of DJI’s flagship consumer drone, the Phantom 4.

The Terrain Follow feature keeps the device at a fixed altitude over uneven terrain. The Active Track feature enables the drone to follow a subject automatically while the Circle feature allows the drone to wheel around the subject even while in motion.

The country manager said DJI has applied its exclusive machine-learning technologies for these new features.

“Within the 7-kilometer radius, the drone recognizes a pixelated image of the object, which is our own technology,” Moon said. “This is what we call simple machine learning. With this, the device learns characteristics of the subject through its pixelated image and uses the information to maintain the automatic tracking features.”

DJI Korea said it started receiving pre-orders for Mavic Pro on Sept. 28 and will launch the device through offline channels in November.

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