The Online Drone Community Spins Up!
Team Fluidity attended the SpinUp 2019 event held in Austin, Texas on October 19, hosted by Kelly Shores. Kelly is a well-respected member of the online drone community, recognized for the compelling and useful drone-specific content he creates and posts on his YouTube channel, Ready Set Drone.
The event was well attended by drone enthusiasts and drone tech YouTubers as they came together to share their passion of flight. This is the second year for the event, and it’s the only event that’s fully dedicated to the online drone community.
Austin couldn’t have been a better canvas to share ideas, food (and guessing just a little bit of drink) and of course, the main event – drone flying. Videos and social media posts of the attendees’ adventures while in Austin can be found via #DroneSpinUp.
“The FT Aviator is from Outer Space”
The speaker line-up at SpinUp 2019 was impressive, consisting of drone-related companies, social media experts and professional aerial photographers/videographers. Fluidity Tech’s Founder and CEO, Scott Parazynski, kicked off the day as the first speaker. He elaborated on his incredible background, shared how he came up with the idea for the FT Aviator drone controller and gave a full explanation of how it works.
Scott is the son of a rocket scientist. He is a physician, pilot, inventor, entrepreneur and former NASA astronaut. Who better to bring something new and innovative to drone pilots? The FT Aviator is grounded in Scott’s real-life aviation and medical robotic experiences. He brings a unique perspective and understands what it takes to create precision movement through 3-Dimensional space.
Scott explained how there has been little to no innovation in RC flight control since the inception of radio-controlled aircraft in the 1930s. And how the traditional two-thumbed controllers are prone to cross-coupling, or inadvertent movements. The FT Aviator drone controller solves this and offers DJI drone pilots additional unique features and benefits. It reduces pilot workload and training time, has built-in tactile and visual situational awareness cues and provides essential camera features at the pilot’s fingertips, not buried deep in an app.
While the SpinUp crowd has most likely mastered the complexity of the two-thumbed drone controller, a large percentage of drone pilots have difficulty learning to comfortably and safely operate them. Thus, many drones are relegated to a closet. The FT Aviator makes drones accessible to all pilots including those in public safety, who don’t have the hours and hours needed to perfect two-thumbed controllers.
With its joystick design, the FT Aviator is more intuitive and provides a fun, easier-to-learn flight experience to professional and novice drone pilots. It’s currently for sale on the Fluidity Tech website.
Dedicated to Continuous Innovation
Over the last several months, Fluidity has been capturing feedback from early FT Aviator customers, who we affectionately call our Pioneer Pilot crew. The Fluidity management team interacts directly with the Pioneer Pilots through the Fluidity website and over the phone. It can be very time consuming and, at times, quite a challenge, with the many hats worn at a tech start-up.
However, these interactions are also extremely enlightening and provide the data necessary to understand the FT Aviator user, how they interact with the product and what we can do in order to provide a better flying experience with the drone controller. Fluidity also requests feedback through anonymous customer surveys.
Once FT Aviators were shipped and into the hands of early adopters, we quickly learned that Fluidity customers wanted Airdata integration in order to keep track of their flight data. They also communicated the need for more cinematic flight and camera controls. With this feedback, the Fluidity team went right to work on the first app and firmware updates.
In addition, the team recently updated to the most current version of the DJI Software Development Kit. The DJI Software Development Kit had been responsible for incorrectly displaying an electromagnetic interference message when using the FT Aviator with certain Mavic models. The version update took care of this for the Mavic Pro 1.
Scott announced these app and firmware updates at SpinUp 2019:
- Airdata integration
- Map Toggle / Resizing
- Adjustments for smoother cinematography
- Slowed down the camera tilt speeds
- Adjusted flight speed settings 1 and 2
- Balanced roll & yaw for much easier orbits
- Adjusted flight control curves
- Updated to DJI Mobile SDK 4.11
- Solved EMI issue on Mavic Pro 1
- Several app UI improvements
And we aren’t done. Fluidity will continue to add functionality and tweak flight and camera controls over time, through app and firmware updates, based on user feedback. We can’t do it all, and we can’t do it at one time, but we will continue to evaluate customer needs and how we can meet those needs.
At the end of the day, what everyone wants to know is how the product performs. 70% of the FT Aviator Pioneer Pilots have rated flight control as good/very good. 87% are satisfied with the build quality. We are humbled to be recognized through industry awards and balanced product reviews. There is still much work to be done, but the initial response for this new concept and product for drone control has been enthusiastic and well-received.
Kelly was gracious enough to give Fluidity the opportunity to fly the FT Aviator with SpinUp attendees. The weather was beautiful, the mood was great, and a fun time was had by all. Team Fluidity enjoyed the conversations and flight time with everyone at SpinUp 2019 and hope to participate again next year. Onward and upward!