Drones Synergies 2018, a global conference and capacity building workshops, concluded recently at the Zayed University in Dubai. The aim of the two-day event was to see application of latest drone technologies in different fields, particularly in precision agriculture, food security, environmental and natural resource management.
The event was jointly organized by the Zayed University, the International Center for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA) and the Falcon Eye Drones (FEDS). In keeping with the spirit of the Year of Zayed, Drones Synergies 2018 was a non-profit and non-commercial event, fully sponsored by its organizers. and complimentary for invited participants.
The event, which was attended by more than 150 participants, was designed to foster technology and data in driving decision making in today’s data-powered economies, highlight further advancements in drone technologies and note the rise of the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) that propels different stakeholders to innovate processes, systems, and solutions that shape our future.
Six plenary sessions and twenty capacity building workshops were held at the conference to focus on contemporary and crucial developments related to the drone industry and latest technologies. The event comprised of four practical workshops that included field trials and real drone data acquisition, allowing all delegates to gain and enhance practical experiences.
Using hyperspectral drones for data collection was one of the main attractions during the field sessions at Zayed University and ICBA, which according to drone pilots was first-of-its-kind in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region. Prof. Reyadh Al-Mehaideb, Vice-President of Zayed University, said, “We are honored to host this important event at the Zayed University today. The UAE puts much emphasis on the growth emerging technologies represent as we strive to stay ahead of the global trends. Drones will make much difference in the coming years, and we want to ensure that we fulfill its abundant potential. Education, as well as the nurturing of future talents in this field, are only a few steps towards our futuristic vision of shaping smart cities”.
In her opening address, Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, Director General of ICBA said, “We are delighted to co-organize this significant and timely conference on drone synergies. I am elated to see huge participation in this conference, which shows the amount of interest that drones have accumulated in recent years. At ICBA, our scientists are experimenting drones to understand better the issues related to agriculture, such as climate change impact, salinity issues, water resources management, and crop production. Drones have an incredible role in agriculture; it is one of the best technologies when it comes to precision agriculture.”
“In order to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the zero poverty and zero hunger by 2030, we must explore new technologies such as artificial intelligence for remote sensing and data acquisition,” added Dr. Elouafi. Dr Fares Howari, Dean of the College of Natural and Health Sciences, said, “UAE University and Zayed University have joined forces to map and investigate the mineral resources, using field and remote sensing techniques, which provides ground truthing surveys using drone mapping application outcomes and findings that resulted from ZU based project, funded by UAE Space Agency.”
“The drone conference conducted a trial hyperspectral survey for vegetation mapping at ZU campus in Dubai. Hyperspectral imaging, like other spectral imaging, collects and processes information from across the electromagnetic spectrum. The goal of hyperspectral imaging was to obtain the spectrum for each pixel in the image of a scene, with the purpose of finding objects, identifying materials, or detecting processes,” he said.
“Drones Synergies is a unique conference that allows top regional stakeholders realize unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and systems’ full potential. It’s the only conference in GCC region that features project-based learning approach while allowing event delegates to gain practical UAVs knowledge, based on real field trials using the latest drone technology and processing techniques,” commented Rabih Bou Rashid, Managing Director at Falcon Eye Drones.
The event welcomed governmental agencies, prominent academics, and scientists from across the UAE, GCC and the world. It also welcomed industry influencers, end-users from most industries and international experts in the field of AI and unmanned aircrafts.
DJI’s Mini 3 Pro Drone now Available in the UAE
DJI has launched the new DJI Mini 3 Pro in the UAE, the mini-sized drone with an ultralight design and advanced features, is optimized to get incredible imagery with increased flight time and improved safety. This regulation-friendly drone is now available for purchase in the UAE via DJI’s local distributor, Advanced Media Trading LLC.
“We are proud to take the flight experience to the next level with the launch of the DJI Mini 3 Pro. This innovative new drone incorporates the best of our previous mini-sized drones to offer even more advanced features. Combining a streamlined design, ultra-lightweight form, upgraded imaging system, increased flight time, and improved safety features, Mini 3 Pro is designed to enable drone enthusiasts to enjoy the ultra-portability and creative capabilities of the drone. And make the most of every flight,” said Pejman Ghorbani, Head of creative solutions at Advanced Media.
Unlike other mini-sized DJI drones, the DJI Mini 3 Pro comes with a longer battery life extended up to 47 minutes, improved intelligent features and video transmission for a stable live feed at distances of up to 12 km, and a fully upgraded imaging system and visual sensing system. The drone is able to capture stunning video thanks to its 1/1.3-inch image sensor, which supports native HDR.
Whether users want to capture the vivid warmth of a new sunrise or the busy city as the sun sets, the DJI Mini 3 Pro is the ideal choice no matter the scenario. The 1/1.3-inch CMOS sensor has a dual native ISO and supports the direct output of HDR footage. This allows every image to be enriched with a higher dynamic range to reveal the subtle detail in highlights and shadows. Its larger 2.4μm pixels and an aperture ratio of f/1.7, make the footage taken appear true-to-life even in low-light conditions.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro takes standards of aerial photography to the next level by recording stunning 4K HDR video and 48MP RAW photos. The drone allows you to get closer to scenes without disturbing them or compromising the clarity of the footage. This is done through its4x zoom and it can also slow the footage down with dramatic 1080p/120fps slow-motion video. D-Cinelike Color mode provides richer color possibilities and more flexibility when editing while giving users you more visual information.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro’s ultra-lightweight form factor has been designed around the needs of today’s creator. The drone provides endless creative opportunities to make content even if the user is constantly on the move. The DJI Mini 3 Pro allows them to capture cinematic footage whenever inspiration strikes. Weighing less than 249 grams and featuring a foldable and compact design, the drone is easy to carry and use in any environment. This also makes the drone regulation-friendly so it does not require registration in most countries and regions.
The DJI Mini 3 Pro is just as powerful as it is portable. Its Intelligent Flight Battery is ultra-lightweight yet efficient enough to provide extended flight times of up to 34 minutes, allowing users to capture and explore more of their surroundings. Once upgraded to Intelligent Flight Battery Plus, the drone provides extended battery life of up to 47 minutes to cover any aerial photography needs.
The drone allows users to navigate the skies with minimal effort. Its Tri-Directional Obstacle Sensing system makes the DJI Mini 3 Pro the safest model in the company’s Mini series of drones. Equipped with forwarding, backward, and downward dual vision sensors and an all-new aircraft design, it offers a broader sensing range and enhanced safety. Simultaneously, the newly upgraded Advanced Pilot Assistance Systems (APAS 4.0) detect objects in the aircraft’s flight path in real-time. This allows the drone to avoid obstacles and maneuver around autonomously and seamlessly even in complicated environments.
Whether it’s urban or outdoor adventures, the DJI O3 Video Transmission System allows you to ensure a 1080p/30fps live feed at distances of up to 12 km with its upgraded antennas and additional anti-interference capabilities. Meanwhile, the DJI RC-N1 Remote Controller provides smooth flying and responsive control with a maximum video bitrate of 18 Mbps delivered at an ultra-low latency of 120 ms.
Designed to boost creativity and facilitate instant sharing of unforgettable content on the go, the DJI Mini 3 Pro offers an extensive range of intelligent features so you can add show-stopping moments and creative flair to any video.
The programmed flight modes and image capture modes include:
- True Vertical Shooting: Quickly switch between landscape and portrait in just a tap to take detailed social media ready shots instantly. The re-engineered camera gimbal rotates 90°, so users do not have to compromise on image quality.
- MasterShots: Simply select your subject, and the drone will execute a sequence of pro maneuvers, generating a short cinematic video that is ready to be shared with the world. This is a game-changing tool for any beginner aerial photographer.
- FocusTrack: Find creative ways to follow your subject. The suite includes three powerful storytelling tools: ActiveTrack 4.0, can seamlessly track the subject and keep it in the frame, Spotlight 2.0, allows the pilot to control the drone’s movement while the subject is locked into the frame, and Point of Interest 3.0, provides an autonomous flight path around the subject.
- Hyperlapse: Speed up time with just a few taps by creating a striking hyperlapse or timelapse video. Whether it’s moving traffic or rolling clouds, capture the scene and inject some drama into your video.
- Panorama: Capture the vastness of any landscape with Wide-angle, 180°, Vertical, and Sphere panorama shots.
Allowing you to instantly share your creations, the DJI Mini 3 Pro supports high-speed Wi-Fi downloads at up to 25 Mbps. The DJI Mini 3 Pro is now available for purchase in the UAE at Advanced Media Trading’s showrooms and online. The DJI Mini 3 Pro retails for AED 2,951 and includes the drone, one battery and all the cables and parts needed to get into the air. The DJI Mini 3 Pro with DJI RC retails for AED 3,428 and includes everything from the standard set with the addition of a remote controller.
Insta360 Brings 360-Degree Filming to Drones with Sphere
Insta360 has launched Sphere, an invisible drone 360-degree cam to turn a DJI Mavic Air 2/2S drone into an all-powerful content production tool. With the camera attached, the drone becomes totally invisible in 360-degree footage, while the lightweight structure and intuitive operation make 360 aerial filmings easier than ever before.
Insta360 Sphere offers immersive footage, without the need to buy a new drone or have professional flying or editing skills. Powered by Insta360’s industry-leading software, Sphere unlocks endless ways to create killer content from drone footage. Insta360 Sphere is available to order today in the U.S. and Mainland China for $429.99.
“From awe-inspiring landscapes to urban vistas, drone pilots have been capturing stunning aerial footage for years now. But, the key limitation of wide-angle cameras is that they can only capture in one direction. A user’s ability to get the best footage is dependent upon their flying abilities and the maneuvers they are capable of pulling off in real-time,” the company said in a statement.
“That’s no longer the case with Insta360 Sphere. By filming in 5.7K 360, users can adjust the angle and camera direction in their video after the fact. Using the easy reframing tools in the Insta360 app and Studio desktop, anyone can add thrilling rolls and turns to their aerial footage in post, achieving FPV-like footage on an easy-to-handle drone,” the company added.
Shooting with a 360 camera also opens up the option of getting multiple edits from the same flight, in addition to the wide-angle footage from the drone itself. Many drone users are accustomed to mounting a 360 camera above or below their drone to get 360-degree footage. But since 360 cameras film in all directions, this means that half of the video is often obstructed by the drone itself, requiring tedious post-processing or paid video editing software to remove it.
With Insta360 Sphere, the camera’s lenses are precisely mounted on either side of the drone to ensure the drone is invisible in the resulting footage. Insta360’s proprietary dynamic stitching algorithm makes the whole drone (including the propellers) disappear automatically, leaving the user with glorious, uninterrupted shots.
Killer image stabilization is crucial to getting immersive aerial footage. Insta360’s proprietary FlowState Stabilization technology has been fine-tuned for Insta360 Sphere to ensure super steady aerial footage, no matter the conditions. The camera is compatible with the Mavic Air 2/2S and attaches to the drone with an ultra-secure locking mechanism. There is zero impact on the drone’s structural integrity, and it doesn’t impede the GPS signal or remote control system.
Sphere represents a continuation of Insta360’s mission to help people capture and share their lives better, making Insta360’s industry-leading 360 reframing and editing software accessible to a wider range of creators. Sphere users can edit their videos using the same AI-powered features as the Insta360 ONE Series in the Insta360 app. Creative effects like barrel rolls and dolly zooms are as easy as a tap.
Advanced Media Trading Brings DJI’s Air 2S to the UAE
DJI has launched the new DJI Air 2S, which is now available through Advanced Media Trading in the UAE. “With the launch of DJI’s latest innovation, we’re proud to be bringing advanced UAV technology directly to the hands of content creators, drone enthusiasts, and travelers across the UAE. DJI made a great improvement by announcing Mavic Air 2 last year and now, the Air 2S is here to offer even more advanced features, including a full-frame sensor, upgraded Artificial Intelligence system, and most excitingly, compatibility with Motion Control and FPV Goggles. This is a very affordable, yet powerful entry-level drone for content creators seeking to capture cinematic footage with ease,” said Pejman Ghorbani, Head of Creative Solutions at Advanced Media.
The DJI Air 2S is the first drone of its size to capture 20-megapixel still images or video in 5.4K with a new one-inch sensor that was previously available only on larger, less agile drones. DJI continues to enable the effortless creation of imaginative content with the new MasterShots feature. This advanced feature uses automatic flight path planning to set the drone’s course while recording video. Upon completion of the flight, DJI Air 2S automatically merges the footage under one theme to create an eye-catching video.
DJI Air 2S’s 31 minutes of maximum flight time and four-way directional obstacle sensors let the pilot focus on the shot while the drone’s safety systems warn when obstacles are getting close. APAS 4.0 (The Autonomous Obstacle Avoidance System) is the most advanced autopilot system on any DJI drone and when turned on, seamlessly maneuvers around objects autonomously. O3, DJI’s third iteration of OcuSync, brings the most reliable transmission technology in the drone market to this portable, foldable drone so users know their connection is stable. The upgraded FocusTrack mode includes a suite of programmed modes like Spotlight 2.0, ActiveTrack 4.0, and Point of Interest 3.0 that easily mimic the focus, control, and movement of a professional video operator.
Expand your creative vision and capture high-grade footage using a new one-inch sensor capable of recording 20-megapixel still images, 5.4K video at 30fps or 4K at 60fps and 150Mbps. The one-inch sensor is larger than the sensor on the original Mavic Air 2 and offers a larger pixel size of 2.4μm, capturing more information and detail for better photos and videos. Get closer to the subject without moving the drone using a new digital zoom that supports 4X zoom at 4K 30fps, 6X at 2.7K 30fps, 4X at 2.7K 60fps, 6X at 1080P 60fps, and 8X at 1080P 30fps. DJI’s renowned three-axis mechanical gimbal smooths out the footage for professional-level quality and 8 GB of internal storage has been added. Users can choose to record in H264 or H265, depending on their preferences for image detail and storage capacity, and can also choose from three video color profiles, Normal (8 bit), D-Log (10 bit), or HLG (10 bit) to match their video needs.
In addition to standard photo options like Timed Photo, AEB, and Panoramas, DJI Air 2S’s SmartPhoto mode records 20-megapixel photos using advanced scene analysis and deep learning to automatically choose the best of three options that will create the most visually appealing image for you, including HDR, Hyperlight and Scene Recognition. HDR modes merge several images together for a vibrant scene while Hyperlight is designed for low-light scenarios and Scene Recognition can identify several common settings and apply camera adjustments to capture photos that pop.
The DJI Air 2S has the most programmed flight modes and image capture modes of any DJI drone of its size.
These creative options include:
- MasterShots: Professional-level aerial footage has never been easier. After activating MasterShots, the drone will autonomously plan a flight path, choose from three different image capture modes, including Proximity, Portrait or Landscape, and start recording classic aerial footage. Pilots can choose different themes and the DJI Fly app will generate a unique video that’s ready to be shared with the world.
- FocusTrack: Focus on the scene and let DJI Air 2S do the hard work for you. Select your subject by drawing a square around it on your mobile device, then choose from Point of Interest 3.0, an autonomous flight path around the subject; ActiveTrack 4.0, a tool that seamlessly tracks the subject and keeps it in the frame; or Spotlight 2.0, where the drone movement is controlled by the pilot while it locks the subject into the frame.
- QuickShots: A staple DJI feature, QuickShot modes include Rocket, Circle, Dronie, Helix, Boomerang and Asteroid.
Hyperlapse: See the world sped up from the air and in motion with the Hyperlapse option in resolution up to 4K. Content captured in 4K resolution and lower can apply digital stabilization for an added layer of smoothness.
DJI Air 2S uses four high-grade antennas and the latest version of DJI’s proprietary OcuSync transmission tech, O3, to deliver a stable feed at a maximum distance of 12km, even in areas with a high number of signals. A maximum 31 minutes in the air gives pilots more time to capture visually appealing footage while four-way sensors help reduce the risk of collision. The newly upgraded front, rear, bottom and top obstacle sensors incorporate binocular zooming technology to recognize incoming objects from further away at faster speeds.
DJI Air 2S uses the latest and most advanced version of Advanced Pilot Assistance System (APAS) 4.0, which allows the drone to autonomously and seamlessly maneuver around, under and over obstacles. While flying at normal speeds, the newly improved APAS 4.0 offers a wider field-of-view to detect obstacles compared to previous versions. If pilots are flying at higher speeds, as the angle of the drone pitches forward more and the newly added upward obstacle sensor plays a critical part in assisting obstacle detection.
As with DJI’s latest drone models, the DJI Air 2S’s AirSense system warns drone pilots of nearby airplanes and helicopters transmitting ADS-B signals, so the drone can be quickly moved to a safer location. Other standard DJI safety features of DJI Air 2S include an improved Return-To-Home (RTH) feature, which can bring a drone back to its launch point if it loses contact with the controller or reaches a critically low battery level, and the GEO 2.0 geofencing system to advise pilots of sensitive locations and help them automatically keep away from high-risk areas such as airports.
DJI Air 2S uses the latest version of the DJI Fly app, which features a wealth of educational information and tutorials to get new pilots up in the air quickly. The DJI Air 2S is now available for purchase in the UAE at Advanced Media Trading’s showrooms and online. The standard combo retails for 3,849 AED and includes the drone, remote controller, one battery and all the cables and parts needed to get into the air. The Fly More Combo retails for 5,149 AED and includes everything from the standard combo, with the addition of 2 batteries for a total of 3, ND filters, a charging hub and a shoulder bag.
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