Consumer quadcopters aren’t exactly a new development, but CES 2016 is already shaping up to be the year of the drone (at least if you go by the sheer number of exhibitors). Like many other companies lining the floor at CES Unveiled, ProDrone was on hand to showcase its forthcoming aerial drone, the aptly-titled Byrd. However, whereas most drones seek to distinguish themselves in terms of flight time and autonomous features, the Byrd separates itself from the pack with a host of interesting and innovative features.
For starters, the ProDrone Byrd comes in one of three configurations (Standard, Advanced, and Premium), each of which conveniently folds down to roughly the size of an iPad. They vary in terms of flight time and camera capabilities, with each model becoming more advanced than the next. The Standard offers 25 minutes of flight time and a 1,080p camera, while the Premium model touts 29 minutes of sustained flight time and a 4k camera capable of capturing 12-megapixel stills while utilizing manual or autonomous controls. A 3-axis gimbal also keeps everything in check, whether you prefer the stock option or a different model.
The modular design and powerful propulsion system does more than keep the Byrd afloat, however. It’s made to accommodate a 4.5-pound payload — thus allowing it to carry most DSLR cameras without a hitch — but the heavier payload does reduce the flight time to somewhere between 12 and 15 minutes. Other features, like the dual controllers and the ability to share screens, help make each iteration of the drone more appealing to beginners and professionals alike. And when it’s time to bring the Byrd home, you simply press a button and allow it to safely return.
Robust power and portability doesn’t come cheap, though. The Standard Byrd will retail for $949 upon release, the Advanced for $1,059, and the Premium for $1,399. Pre-orders are currently ongoing, and we’ll likely hear more as CES 2016 continues.