DJI patent reveals rugged remote control car with camera

DJI is best known for its drones, but the company may also be popular for another reason in the future: remote-controlled camera cars. Similar to drones, these land-based vehicles would enable operators to remotely control a small car equipped with a stabilized camera, making it possible to get action shots from the ground and to keep tabs on one's property without the regulations and restrictions of flying in the sky.

Camera drones are often used for two purposes: surveillance and creation. These aerial vehicles are excellent for assessing damage from the distance, surveying parcels of land, monitoring changes to the landscape, looking for illegal settlements on large pieces of property, and more.

Drones are likewise useful for content creation, making it possible to capture unique action shots and aerial footage. However, UAVs also come with a downside: extensive regulations and restrictions. These rules make it difficult to use drones in many places, something also considered bothersome from a privacy standpoint.

Land-based vehicles may be an excellent alternative for someone who plans to use them on their own property. A camera-equipped remote-controlled vehicle could be driven all over a piece of land even if it is located somewhere off-limits to drones. As well, these vehicles would alleviate privacy concerns raised by drones and make it possible to record many types of footage for which a drone isn't suitable.

Two new DJI patents issued in China detail a camera car like this, one that features rugged 360-degree wheels and a camera that can be extended upward. The vehicle is remote-controlled and has a stabilization system that would work with other systems to keep the camera footage stable. Few other details, the illustration aside, are provided in the patent, but its presence indicates that DJI may be planning to launch a land vehicle in the future.