New ‘Tello’ Toy Drone Incorporates Intel, DJI Technology

Ryze Tech, a drone start-up, has completed the development of an intelligent toy drone based on both Intel and DJI technology.

Called the Tello, the drone weighs around 80 grams and has a body that is approximately the size of a smartwatch. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) can be activated with a quick toss and return to land in the palm of the user’s hands in a matter of seconds, says Ryze Tech.

Tello houses an HD camera and comes with a pre-programmed, one-touch flight function called EZ Shot, letting users capture 360-degree video, fly in a circle and command Tello to fly “up and out.” The HD camera transmits video to a smartphone or tablet, and it will also be compatible with select third-party VR headseats, the company notes.

Offering up to 13 minutes of flight time, the UAV also comes with a changeable top shell, flexible propellers, propeller guards, a collision-detection system, auto takeoff and landing, and low-battery alerts.

Notably, the Tello uses Intel’s vision processing unit (VPU) and DJI’s flight stabilization technology. The Intel Movidius Myriad 2 VPU receives real-time data from Tello’s five sensors so that it can see the world around it. With this dedicated vision intelligence, Tello can hover with accuracy and land on the user’s palm.

“The Tello is an impressive drone with so much intelligence packed inside such a small package,” comments Remi-El-Ouazzane, vice president and Movidius general manager for Intel’s New Technologies Group. “The incredible vision processing capabilities of the Intel Movidius Myriad 2 enable Ryze to miniaturize the drone and eliminate the need for multiple processors dedicated to each flying function. This is just the beginning of a promising toy market featuring robotics, AI and computer vision technologies.”

In addition, engineers at Ryze have made Tello programmable with Scratch, an MIT-developed coding system that allows kids and teens to learn the basics of programming. Users can program their Tello to string multiple flips into a single command or create their own flight patterns using MIT Media Lab’s easy-to-use, block-based coding interface.

“The idea of making play an essential part of learning and putting this concept into a drone makes the Tello more than just a toy,” says Paul Xu, DJI’s vice president. “It’s an opportunity for kids and young engineers to discover the ingenuity and science behind aerial technology. Once they learn how it works, they will be able to do great things with it. We’re excited to see the Tello come to life and congratulate Ryze for their accomplishment.”

Priced at $99, the Tello will first be available in China by the end of January through and at select resellers. The drone will be available in the U.S. and other markets after March. Heliguy, for one, is now offering pre-orders on the drone in the U.K.


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