LA100 fully autonomous UAV brings aerial photography to non-flyers
By Darren Quick
November 22, 2012
Micro UAVs have proven a boon for photographers looking to spread their wings into the aerial realm. Similarly, wearable actioncams, like the GoPro line, have enabled amateurs to capture professional quality images and video from angles hitherto the province of seasoned professionals with expensive equipment. France’s Lehmann Aviation is bringing these two technologies together with the LA100, a fully automatic UAV designed specifically to carry a GoPro HERO3 camera.
Like the Swinglet CAM UAV, the LA100 follows a pre-programmed flight path, but unlike the Swinglet, the LA100's flight path can't be customized or overridden by remote control. This is because the aircraft is targeted specifically at users with no piloting background. After a few minutes of capturing footage from a height of 80 to 100 meters (262 – 328 ft) with no input from the user on the ground, the hand-launched LA100 returns to the launch site for a horizontal landing.
With the ability to fly at speeds of 20 to 80 km/h (12 – 50 mph) for periods of up to five minutes, the LA100 has a range of up to 0.5 km (0.3 miles). It can also fly in winds of up to 45 km/h (28 mph) and in temperatures from -25° C to 60° C (-13° F to 140° F). The UAV has a wingspan of 92 cm (36 in) and length of 45 cm (18 in). Made mostly of foam and carbon fiber, the LA100 weighs around 850 g (30 oz), including a mounted GoPro camera.
A camera can be mounted on top of the wing to capture oblique images or at the bottom of the wing for vertical images. It can also fly with two GoPros on board at the same time. However, buyers will have to supply their GoPros as they aren't included in the purchase price.
The LA100 is priced at €990 (US$1,275) and will come ready to fly from December, 2012. Lehmann Aviation says it plans to roll out hardware and software upgrades for the LA100 on a regular basis.
The video below shows the LA100 and some of the aerial images captured with it.
Source: Lehmann Aviation