Walkera Voyager 3 - prepare to be transformed


#1

Walkera have just announced the upcoming new drone platform, the Voyager 3 which does remind me of another drone that was released recently… From the picture you can see that it does share some similar design aspects to the DJI Inspire 1, but instead of having the arms move up and down like the DJI Inspire one, here the actual camera gimbal unit moves down when the legs retract. Only time will tell which design is better but in my opinion I like the idea of having a stronger arm mounting system like walkera have gone for as the arms are usually the part that take the most of the brunt in a crash…

Enough of me rambling on, here is a demo flight video of the Voyager 3 quadcopter along with some main features (like GPS and GLONASS dual navigation system) allowing the quadcopter to use both the GPS based system and the Russian equivalent (GLONASS) for much better GPS signal/reliability

Walkera have also mentioned that it will also be based off the arducopter code which is really cool. The recently released scout X4 also uses a modified version of the arducopter firmware, but recently Walkera have become one of the partners of the dronecode project so I am hoping that it will mean that there will be an increased compatibility with the arducopter/ardupilot ecosystem.

Voyager 3 Specifications (so far)

  • Dual Band navigation (GPS and GLONASS
  • 4K camera on 360 degree brushless gimbal
  • Detachable gimbal
  • Built in real-time video streaming (analogue)
  • Integrated LCD screen to show system status and pre-flight checks
  • 25 minute flight time

Voyager 3 Pricing

The voyager 3 quadcopter will come in a ready to fly spec, which includes

  • Ready to Fly version (with 4K camera, gimbal, ground control station, Devo F12E) - $2,399 (about £1,575 +VAT)

As an alternative to the DJI Inspire 1 (£2,380), the voyager 3 comes in at over £800 cheaper. Although the Voyager 3 quadcopter does not come with integrated HD streaming video, the actual onboad camera should shoot similar quality video and the dual band navigation make this a viable alternative in my option (on paper at least). We should get a sample for testing within a few weeks so we can see how good the gimbal and camera are.

Either way this is sharping into what could be a great open source alternative to the DJI Inspire 1! Hopefully we will get a hold of some footage from the 4K camera on the Voyager 3 soon.

When will it be released?

We expect this to be released sometime around March this year, but to sign up to be notified when you can purchase one visit our Voyager 3 page here


#2

So walkera have been showing the Voyager 3 to the public at CES 2015 so a whole bunch if actual photos have been popping up over the internet and here are a few of them. I tend to think it looks better in the photos than in the render

And lastly, here is a great video from FPVGuy who got to have a propper look at the quadcopter at CES! Looks cool :smile:

And here is one from the top

What about the DJI Inspire 1 Patent?
I previously was wondering how they managed to get away with teh patent that DJI files about having the arms moving up and down. However from the video the arms are actually fixed but there is a mechanism inside that when you retract the legs, the entire gimbal/camera unit moves down to keep the arms and props of the quadcopter out of the camera view, so its a different approach, and might even be better as now the arms can have a much stronger fixing mechanism


#3

Patent issue? not at all, check the video… the arms are locked and don’t Move, only the undercarriage or landing gear swings up.
Looks Very nice, I think Inspire 1 has some competition.

The only reservation I have, is the landing gear ‘feet’? these look like they could get tangled in grass or plants on take off etc, too fiddly for a quad, needs a little more thought.

Steve


#4

Just as an update as to when the Walkera Voyager 3 will be released…

Walkera have sent out a couple of test units to some people for beta testing and the initial feedback has resulted in a delay of the Voyager 3 being released. Although annoying, this is a good thing instead of rushing a premature product to the market…

However Mat from Walkera Australia has shared this initial video of his Voyager 3 unit and points out some of the initial issues. Walkera have told us that the R&D team are currently working on making some more improvements an refinements before releasing the next batch of test units. I feel this is a better approach is a good one so that when the Voyager is released it will be a nicely refined quadcopter! I just hope that they also spend some time to improve the documentation as the Scout X4 documentation was not the best for new drone pilots.

Here is the video from Mat describing the initial test results.