The Cocoon Voyager Quadcopter $79.99 was essentially my entry into the FPV (First Person View) arena with drones and piloting. Previously drones I’ve had are smartphone app assisted or don’t really require me to see what the drone see’s. Also, despite my research on drones and their values in society, I’m a learning novice when it comes to Piloting the devices. This $100 drone from Aldi was the perfect opportunity for me to practice my piloting skills and eventually try my skill at FPV flying, which is something I am fascinated by.
Some technical aspects to be excited about (in terms of the price) include:
- 2.4gHz transmission – which means the range is great and not too dissimilar to a racing drone
- 720p (HD) Video – live feed is a little less due to the connection speeds however on review these pictures are clear enough for intermediate use
- 6-Axis Gyroscope – this means reasonable control however with my personal one, crashes are frequent that does affect this feature.
- Built in flip features – With the click of a button and the joystick pointed in the desired direction, 360 flips are possible that are fun and safe.
- Spare Parts in the Box – Crashes are inevitable and the team at Cocoon have you covered with a spare set of propellers and covers, with more available online
Testing the flight of this quadcopter it was a real experience, as the climate and proximity of space play huge rolls. The actual drone is only 150g (approx) heavy, which means wind factors play a part in piloting troubles. This drone is without sensory technology or GPS assistance so the piloting is up to you (and is also where the rotor guards are a great addition). I would recommend a oval or playing field for beginners as small touches and a “feel” of sensitivity is good to have before trying advanced terrain.
I got around 10mins flight time that included take off and landing, which use the majority of the devices battery span. On the box it recommends charging the quadcopter battery for approx. 100mins but I was able to gain full charge in around 60-70mins. The range of this drone is detailed to be around 50 meters, but due to the navigational piloting skill required and climate factors, I wouldn’t recommend testing this. The lights start flashing if the device becomes low on battery or out of range and will slowly descend. Again, make sure you’re present when this happens, if a gush of wind takes it there’s not stopping how far away it could land.
The FPV app is available on android and iOS markets free of charge and is a great addition to this drone. It stores the videos/ photos from the camera on the app which can then be shared or downloaded to a device. It links with the quadcopter once powered up and relays the front of the drones view to a clamped mount on top of your remote control. To start/ stop video and take photos a button is pressed on the app once for each function.
Lastly, the remote control has two modes for piloting skill level and inversion settings for the josticks. It runs off 4x AA batteries that are included in the purchase.