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Have you ever wondered what happens when your UAV stalls in mid-air? It’s probably not something you want to think about, especially if your aircraft is carrying expensive camera gear. Enter the DJI DropSafe. While details are scant, based on the video that's circulating on the Internet (and embedded below), the DropSafe appears to be a parachute—a "drop speed reduction system," according to DJI—that deploys automatically or operator-triggered in the event of malfunction.
Obviously this system isn’t foolproof. For a parachute to be effective the aircraft will need to be above a certain altitude, which may be problematic since UAVs are inherently low-flying. But it beats hitting the floor at the UVA's terminal velocity and increases safety for people on the ground.
As to what UVA models this will work with, DJI's demo video shows the Spreading Winds S1000. And they state it will work with the A2 and WooKong-M (WKM) flight control systems. The added weight probably means we won't see it for the Phantom quadcopters right away; though I wouldn't be surprised if we see a scaled down version in the not-too-distant future.
So when can you get your hands on one? That we don't know, as it has only just been made public. We also can't say how much it will be or exactly what its limitations are. However, for shooters mounting professional camera gear this will almost certainly seem like a smart investment.
Learn all about the legal issues surrounding drone use in our "Are Quadcopters Legal?" article.