Drone manufacturer PowerVision was at IFA 2017 showing off a number of new products, including their PowerRay underwater drone. But it’s a product launched last year at the show that caught our attention at the PowerVision booth. The PowerEgg drone.
A winner of an iF Design Award 2017 and a reddot Award, the PowerEgg drone has a very unique design that’s very apropos of it’s name—it’s egg-shaped—but it’s meant to serve a very specific purpose: portability. The drone becomes one of the most portable large-scale, professional-grade products that I’ve ever come across. The legs and propellers actually fold up into the body of the drone when not in use to create the egg-like shape. At just 4.6 pounds and roughly 11 inches tall, the folded up drone is very compact and light, making it easy to fit in a backpack unlike most drones on the market that don’t fold up and are half the size.
When in use, the PowerEgg is simple to use and has a solid feature set. The device can fly for 23 minutes on a single charge (lacking but still on par with what the industry standard seems to be). PowerEgg can get up to 13,000 feet in the air, it has a full 4K UHD camera that rests on a three-axis gimbal, and it can take still photos and 360-degree panoramas, among other features.
But what stands out is how the drone transforms in mid air. The propellor arms fold out, and when the user begins to fly the drone, the legs will actually fold up into the body of the drone, making it look like there’s an enormous egg flying in the sky. Then, when you set the drone back down, the legs will reemerge, allowing the PowerEgg to rest itself easily on the ground.
One thing that’s a little strange about the PowerEgg is the method PowerVision opted for to maneuver the drone. Rather than use a standard two-hand controller, there’s a remote control included in the box. For those familiar with the Nintendo Wii, the PowerEgg remote looks a lot like a mix between the main Wii remote and the joystick. It has all of the functions that you’d expect out of a drone remote—a liftoff and return home button, an omnidirectional pad, a way to adjust height, a way to control the camera, and more—but it feels slightly off controlling the drone with just a single hand. It takes some getting used to but works just fine.
Either way, it’s rather refreshing to see a manufacturer in the drone industry take a unique approach to the design of a product that’s otherwise been pretty stale to this point. PowerVision recognized a serious pain point for the high-grade drone consumer—portability—and they cranked out a solution.