3D Robotics' new software puts drone on a leash

This week the folks at 3D Robotics have revealed a new bit of software that'll make piloting a drone a much more pilot-conscious sort of situation. Instead of going wild, flying all nimbly-bimbly between trees and rocks and buildings, 3DR's software is going to make your experience smart. Four different elements allow this software to make your drone piloting experience top-notch. Augmented Reality, Custom Geofencing, Rewind, and Zipline. This software also includes a "Pano" camera shot feature and has an updated "leash" mode which has the drone follow its pilot as he or she walks.

The first image you're seeing here represents custom geofencing. This means that you'll be able to draw a line that'll virtually block their drone from going places it should not go. This can be done before flying begins or as a drone is already in flight.

Next you'll see a representation of augmented reality with 3DR's software. Here you'll find the ability to mark your home, mark a point of focus which you wish your drone to orbit, and take Smart Shot photos with augmented reality images embedded within.

Pano is another new Smart Shot feature, allowing users to "easily design and capture an aerial panorama" with their drone. The drone automatically pans and snaps photos to make a panorama from wherever it may fly.

The Rewind feature has your drone re-trace its steps for the last 60 feet of its flight. This will be particularly useful if you've found your way into a tight space that you're not certain you'll be able to find your way out of.

Zipline allows you to trace a line in any direction your drone's camera is facing. Your drone is then allowed to fly up and down that line, never leaving the line you've traced. This feature can be used in concert with a "spot lock" feature that'll fix your drone's camera on a certain spot while it flies down the line you've drawn.

The folks at 3DR have suggested that they're not all about making you purchase a new drone every year like their competitors. Instead, they're putting effort into making their drone collection one that's updated with new software and features through the future.

"We didn't design Solo as a product, but as a platform — which is industry jargon for 'ongoing experience," said Colin Guinn, CRO of 3DR.

"This means that instead of pouring our innovation into a whole new drone to sell you, we keep developing on Solo, so the technology in the drone you have today just gets better as time goes on. Solo has delivered on that promise, a drone that's evolved ahead of the technology curve and anticipated with what serious pilots and creatives really want in their drone."

The folks at 3DR sell their Solo Drone for $799.95 – or $1,149.95 with a pre-installed Gimbal with a 3DR backpack. There's also a version without the backpack that'll cost you $999.95 – that includes the Gimbal.