Neurala, a company that creates software enabling robots, drones, toys, consumer electronics, self-driving cars and smart devices (ioT) to become more autonomous, last week released Neurala Selfie Dronie – a platform that may eliminate the need to buy a specialized selfie drone in order to shoot hands-free video.
The software uses an AI/deep-learning module that will empower Parrot Bebop and Bebop 2 drones to capture hands-free videos and follow a subject autonomously.
“We are disrupting the market. You don’t need $1000 specialized self-flying camera drones plus a different drone for your flying hobby,” said Neurala CEO Massimiliano Versace. “You can buy a drone like the $500 Parrot Bebop, add our software, and use one drone for everything.”
The software analyzes what the camera sees and automatically sends commands to keep the video on the subject as it flies.
“Neurala’s approach differs from the specialized self-flying drones that use specialized tracking hardware or the GPS on a phone. Instead, the user selects an object by moving a box on their iPhone, iPad or Android screen,” a company statement notes. “Once the object is selected, Neurala’s vision processing software locks onto the subject visually.”
The software can direct the Parrot to fly two patterns:
Selfie Mode: Flies a maximum 180-degree arc around the video subject and keeps the drone’s camera pointed at the subject;
Dronie Mode: Moves the drone backward and upwards to shoot aerial panoramic videos while still pointing at the subject.
“Neurala software ‘sees’ the subject. He or she doesn’t need to do anything special, carry anything special or act in an unusual way,” Versace said. “Typically, Neurala produces hard core software brains for robots which use vision. That work is really complicated. We are now making it available for consumers.”
The software is expected to be available this month from the Apple App Store and will soon be available from Google Play.
Neurala recently received a seed round of investment of nearly $1-million, led by Tim Draper and Robolution Capital.
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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