- Title: New joystick enables drone flying with one hand
- Date: 6th December 2016
- Summary: HONG SCROLLING DOWN SCREEN ON MOBILE PHONE / SCREEN SHOWING DRONE MODELS
- Embargoed: 21st December 2016 11:49
- Keywords: drone thumb UAV Korea joystick thumb Seoul quadcopter
- Location: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- City: SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA
- Country: South Korea
- Reuters ID: LVA0025BQX5JV
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: South Korean researchers have developed a thumb stick that allows one-handed quadcopter control.
The controller, called 'Shift', was made by Seoul-based venture company 'this is engineering Inc.' Composed of a wireless thumb ring and small joystick, it uses near-field micro sensing technology to send signals to a drone. Most quadcopters are controlled by dual-joystick controller.
"The existing drone controllers need to be controlled with two hands and require a considerable amount of time to practice and be able to operate. However, Shift is a drone controlling system developed for an easy and intuitive control of drones in one hand," CEO and founder of the company, Hong Yoo-jung, told Reuters.
The handheld device can fly for up to 30 minutes and carries a 4K camera that shoots 13-megapixel photographs and has 8 gigabytes of onboard memory.
The user holds the joystick in one hand and pushes their thumb into an unattached ring above. The user can guide the drone by moving their thumb. For instance, by moving their thumb left they will make the drone move in the same direction.
"The drones can be moved to the front and the rear, to up and down, and to left and right with the use of the thumb and rotate with the use of the index finger. So the position of the thumb determines the speed and direction of the drone," Hong said.
"By using Shift extension device, professional aerial photographs can be taken without any extra equipment. It can also be used for FPV (First Person View) drone racing," Hong added.
The controller can be matched with its own drone, but also linked with other company's models.
"We are aiming for a prompt mass production and moving of our product into market by the first half of 2017 for consumers. We are also in the process of signing contracts with other drone manufacturers to allow users to control their drones with our controller," Hong said.
The basic thumb ring and stick will be priced at around $150 USD and introduced to markets in Europe, Americas, and Asia early next year.
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