Chinese drone maker ZeroTech released a new firmware for the Dobby pocket drone enabling automatic target tracking. I tried this new exciting feature. Watch the video below.
While the Hover Camera is still in development, the Dobby selfie drone is on sale since July. Chinese drone maker Zerotech chose to ship the Dobby drone with unfinished software. Not all features demonstrated in the impressive Dobby demo video the company released in May are actually available. The latest Dobby firmware update brings the first advanced feature.
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With automatic target tracking, the Dobby drone follows a moving object. This actually works and is amazing considering the size and low cost of the Dobby drone. In folded state the $350 Dobby drone is as big as a smartphone and fits into your pant pocket.
I hired my kids to help me testing the Dobby tracking mode. The video below shows my youngest drive with an electric quad and my oldest is filming with another Chinese gadgetry, the $70 4k Action Camera from CamPark.
The Tracking feature is enabled in advanced mode and can be found on the left icon row. Tapping the four square icon in the Do.Fun Dobby app gives you the choice between Target tracking and Face Tracking. The later is still in development. Important. You have to move the camera of the drone to the 45 degrees position before using target tracking mode.
After selecting Target tracking, I just need to define the target by dragging a red rectangle over the screen that contains the target. In this case the target is my son on his quad. After confirming the target, the Dobby drone is keeping the target in view. As you can see in the video below, this works pretty well.
The Dobby target tracking works, but there are big limitations. The Target tracking feature can only be enabled when the drone is at an altitude of 5 meters and has connections to 10 GPS satellites. The main issue here is the height and the resulting video is showing the tracked object from pretty far away. The reason for the large distance is contributed to safety I guess.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the Dobby drone has no obstacle avoidance mechanism. This means it just keeps following the object and could crash in a tree while doing so. The Dobby drone also dropped the target several times while testing. The reason for that could have been the sun as the contrast changed between surface and the object.
To use the Dobby target tracking effectively, you need a wide open space, like a soccer field. It is awesome to see when the tracking works. To find a good use for the feature is not easy.
It will be interesting to see how the face tracking will work as the distance needs to be much shorter. This reminds me, I need to order these Dobby protective guards. This will give me a better feeling when flying the Dobby drone closer to people.
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Besides Face Tracking, Zerotech needs to deliver the Trajectory flying mode, path mode and throw to fly. If you have any questions about the Dobby Drone, feel free to email me. I try to find you an answer. Read my initial Dobby Drone review and learn about how to fly the Dobby Drone in Advanced Mode.