I got invited into the cape.com drone flight beta. This technology involved is very cool. Basically you can remotely fly real drones from your laptop or phone anywhere in the world. You can select 1 of 7 locations in North America to launch the drone, and you can fly around for roughly 5 minutes or so. It’s free for the beta, I imagine you can fly for longer and at more diverse locations in the full release.
The first flight was a failure, I couldn’t figure out how to actually launch the drone. Keyboard control instructions pop up onscreen and you have to press the Enter key to initiate the launch. I didn’t realise that until the next flight. Before you start controlling the drone yourself it will autopilot itself of the ground and up to an altitude of at least 16m. From there you get given the controls. I was quite impressed with the latency all things considered. There is a definite lag, but nothing that stoped me from feeling like I wasn’t in full control of the drone.
It was a pretty cool experience, the whole thing works so seamlessly. I remember years back being impressed by seeing webcam live feeds through the browser. Now I’m viewing a webcams mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles remotely controlled in my bedroom, quite surreal.
The top right map shows a green dot if another drone is in the area. You can’t see it so great in the pic above but there was another guy piloting a drone just in front of me.