Israel-based tech startup Percepto is developing a camera and integration device that will work with GoPro drones and connect them with new “Hollywood-director” level apps. Users will be able to download apps to a smartphone device and control their drone cams with advanced moves as well as develop open-source apps themselves.
Currently, the company has developed apps that include “follow-me” capabilities. They hope to collaborate with developers to create other apps from collision-avoidance to gaming.
However, the fledgling company is entering a field already full of heavy hitters. As Wired’s Klint Finley points out:
“The most obvious comparison to Percepto is Intel’s RealSense 3D camera system that wowed audiences at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, and is already being built into drone company AscTec’s Firefly line. But Perceptro isn’t just a camera. It’s also the software and algorithms required to enable the drone’s vision. [Co-founder Dor] Abuhasira claims that Percepto’s system is better suited for outdoor and long-range use than what Intel demoed earlier this year.”
The concept is simple: Users can attach a Percepto box (described as a “tiny black box that consists of a Tegra K1 based processing unit and a camera”) to their existing GoPro-capable imagery drone (currently available for IRIS, Phantom or DIY models) before replacing the GoPro mount with a special Percepto mount that pairs the GoPro with a special Percepto finger camera. Using a connection kit, the Percepto box can then be integrated into the drone’s receiver and flight control.
The company has tested Percepto with the 3DR Pixhawk and DJI Naza controllers and Abushira says the devices can be connected to any drone that connect it to every drone that features PPM input flight controllers. Users must also be aware of payload limitations since Percepto weighs around 5 ounces.
Abuhasira hopes that use of the device will help launch the “Percepto Marketplace,” an open-source app bazaar which will enable users to “create, upload and use existing apps from one centralized place.”
With an expected October ship date for early-bird investors, Percepto is already well on its way to meeting its funding goal. You can contribute to the campaign right here.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
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