The new DJI product is a $ 500 tank to teach children's programming.


Just over a month ago, DJI crossed the boundaries of the world of suspensions and drones, launching Osmo Action, a new sports camera that challenged GoPro. Now the Chinese manufacturer has decided to test power in another new category of devices: combat training robots. At first glance, the RoboMaster S1 looks strange, but DJI immediately noticed that robotics is an important part of their DNA. Founder and CEO Frank Wang studied robotics at school and in recent years the company has conducted a series of robotic fights under the banner of RoboMasters in China.

Using someone else's brand, the S1 offers a very consumer-oriented approach in the spirit of company offerings such as the DJI Mavic quadrocopters. The name S1 (short for Step 1) also marks the company's first major step in the world of education: the product comes in 46 pieces dismantled and requires programming training to reach its full potential.

The S1, focused on age from 14, is actually a rather impressive little robot. It has four wheels and is capable of speeds up to 13 km per hour. At the top is a controlled tank tower, which shoots helium balloons. There is also an infrared weapon for battles that do not involve physical shooting.

On board are 31 sensors, six of which are designed to detect beats during battles. The integrated camera allows users to control the robot in FPV mode through a special application, and the machine vision system helps the device detect obstacles and receive signals from other S1 robots.

There are also half a dozen different intellectual functions, including Follow mode (for other S1 to move behind the robot), gesture recognition support, S1 detection, clapping, line tracking, visual navigation. In addition, users can manually control the robot through the application.

The hardware device is not intended for deep modifications, unlike many RoboMasters analogues, but the presence of six PWM ports on the back panel means that more advanced users can connect third-party devices to their robot. You can use the Scratch 3.0 and Python languages ​​to program functions such as fire return when the tower automatically rotates in the direction from which the attack was made.

The robot is now on sale for $ 499. The company will also provide the PlayMore Kit next month, which includes an extra battery, a controller and many more helium balloons.

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