It seems like there is a new drone being announced daily from a variety of sources. Some come from manufacturers we know and other from companies new to the drone manufacturing scene. Of course by that I mean new to the mainstream.
With that in mind, I’d like to take some time and introduce you to Outdoor Robotics, a New Smyrna Beach, Florida based company who is introducing their own drone to the mainstream. This is no ordinary drone though. It’s modular. But first, who is Outdoor Robotics?
Well, you already know that they are a Florida based company. But, Outdoor Robotics is a subsidiary of Grimmster Technologies, founded by Charles Grimm. Mr. Grimm is a Canadian transplant. He came to Florida for a vacation and fell in love with the area. After moving here, he set up Outdoor Robotics specifically to design, innovate and develop a modular UAV. Their goal was to design and develop a modular drone system that anyone, no matter their experience level, could assemble, fly and modify.
Outdoor Robotics created their MOD, Modular Component System, using a proven open sourced flight controller and have made it easy for all to start using the system. They are continuously creating new parts, pieces and airframes for the MOD and they make it easy for people to 3D print their own custom designed MODs. Currently, they offer four main airframes that range in size from 13″ to 17″. They have interchangeable parts such as landing gear have the ability to carry as many four GoPro cameras. Yes, that’s right. Four! That’s a great way to capture footage from all sides! Mr. Grimm also notes that they are designing brackets to allow for the use of other action cameras.
As of now, the cameras will be fixed mounted and not stabilized by a gimbal. Depending on how the system actually flies, that may not be terrible. It will clearly depend on the vibrations and whether they are allowed to make to to the camera. No word on the possibility of adding a stabilized gimbal but it’s fair to assume that with the customizable product, there will be some sort of stabilizing option.
If you visit the Outdoor Robotics website today, you will see that they have three versions of their MOD listed for pre-order, the MOD V, MOD i and the MOD O. They start at $199 for a kit and there is a RTF option that will cost you $799. The specs vary from model to model but they all seem to use the same flight controller and offer the ability to customize any particular part that you desire. This is system truly is modular and allows for a COMPLETE custom setup per the user’s needs.
Pre-ordering a MOD unit is a straight forward affair via the Outdoor Robotics website. They already have a “3D Print Shop” full of customizable parts for their aircraft. You can change almost everything on the drone including colors to make it a one of a kind setup. The listed ship date for all pre-orders is January of 2016.
I plan to keep an eye on this company to see how they do. Supporting drone manufacturers with great ideas is one way to help them innovate. Outdoor Robotics seem to understand this concept thoroughly. The only question remains is if there is a market for the product. I hope that if you are reading this article now, you will visit their website and see what they have to offer and share the links. Let’s help these guys show the world what is possible!