Autel Robotics has taken the opportunity of the IFA technology show in Berlin to announce six new versions of its EVO II drone, as well as a new Live Deck 2 video streaming accessory. There will also be two new controllers – Smart Controller V3 and Smart Controller SE – to accompany the EVO II V3 series.
The EVO II series is Autel Robotic’s key professional folding drone, a similar size to DJI’s Mavic 2 or 3. Ever since its release in 2020 (see our Evo II review), the drone has received alternative cameras and additional accessories for the professional market. It offers optional support for RTK positioning (map-level detail) and thermal imaging.
The V3 promises higher resolution imaging (Autel gave no specific resolution yet), better low-light performance, better thermal camera performance and additional accessories.
Promised improvements to the EVO II include better heat dissipation so the drone lasts longer, the use of multiple global navigation satellite systems for better positioning accuracy and improvements to long-range transmission.
Because of the number of variants of the EVO II V2 currently available, and the fact some of the changes will be internal, the new V3 will effectively be six different products. These are:
We don’t know the exact specifications for the V3 yet, but the existing EVO II pro weighs in at 1191g (42oz) and has 40 minutes battery life and a 6K/30fps camera already. The Enterprise editions allow swappable accessories including a search light and a loudspeaker. The drone is also offered as ‘Dual 640T’ which sports a thermal imaging camera. Given we’re not expecting the external appearance to change dramatically, we’d expect weights to remain the same.
The improvements to the drone’s range likely explain the need to introduce new controllers. Autel also already offer a Live Deck, so the EVO II Live Deck 2 will likely be compatible with an improved radio system. All the EVO II V3 drones will be compatible with the new Live Deck 2.
The original battery-powered Live Deck featured an antenna and allowed the connection of up to three live outputs. With HDMI, Ethernet and USB 1080p video at 60fps could be viewed on a monitor or fed to a broadcasting server, and we don’t expect these features to be removed.
Autel is exhibiting at the Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas starting today until the September 8, 2022, so if you’re in Sin City you’ll be able to ask about the EVO II V3 in person.
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