Easy-to-Fly Drone Now for Sale
A person launches an LA100 drone. The company that makes the drone, Lehmann Aviation, says it's the first unmanned aerial vehicle designed for people with no piloting experience.
CREDIT: Lehmann Aviation
Looking for a $1,280 (990 euros) stocking stuffer? One French drone-making company is now selling an automated aircraft meant for the masses. Lehmann Aviation's LA100 is designed to hold a camera and snap photos during five minutes of autonomous flight. Lehmann says it's the first drone for people without a piloting background.
The company is selling the toy as a way to take interesting birds-eye photos. "With our UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles], we want to bring to people the opportunity to have a better understanding of the Earth. LA100 is like aerial binoculars," Benjamin Lehmann wrote in an email to MIT Technology Review. The LA100 webpage also links to a Facebook account with photos of snowy Icelandic landforms. (The Facebook photos that show people's houses or road patterns are generally taken with more expensive and sophisticated Lehmann Aviation models.)
To launch the LA100, users just need to throw it into the air. It follows a predetermined flight pattern, then returns to its owner. To take photos, users will also have to buy a GoPro camera to strap onto the drone. GoPros start at about $200.
The drone has a wingspan of about three feet and weighs a little less than two pounds. It generally flies 262 feet (80 meters) to 328 feet (100 meters) off the ground.