All posts by Callum Tyndall

Drone-enabled fly-fishing now a reality with DJI Phantom 4: Fishing Edition

The future has come to the forward thinking fisherman’s toolkit, in the form of the DJI Phantom 4:  Fishing Edition. While DJI’s Phantom 4 has been a huge hit, becoming one of the most popular drones of 2016, this is the first time it has been sold with custom fishing accessories included.

The package, which was created by UK drone retailer DronesDirect, includes an integrated electronic fishing spool that allows users to fish remotely, with the drone operable up to 100m above water level and up to 2km away.

Additionally, the drone contains integrated sensors to indicate when the bait has been bitten, automatic stabilisation against winds up to 20mph and a camera that allows for remote viewing of live footage. Finally, the Phantom 4 boasts a return home feature that allows it to automatically return to its commander, avoiding obstacles along the way.

“For those who enjoy fishing, the DJI Phantom 4: Fishing Edition is a bespoke package not to miss out on,” said Tim Morley, managing director at DronesDirect.

“It is a sure way to add extra excitement and an additional fun element to a great hobby, whilst allowing users to sit back, relax and reap the rewards of this drone fishing buddy.”

“The new way to fish allows users to tap into schools of fish up to 2km from shore without the use of a boat. It also enables adventurers to explore areas of sea and terrain not covered by existing maps and plans. We have enjoyed creating the perfect fisherman’s companion and are delighted to be offering this package to the public.”

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Images courtesy of DronesDirect

The price of this companion package? Just £15,000, bringing you the drone itself, along with an integrated electronic fishing spool, fishing wire and hooks, as well as the usual remote controller, battery and accessories that Phantom 4 is normally packaged with.

Whether that’s a price that many will be willing to pay remains to be seen. Drone enthusiasts have already proven that it is possible to develop home-made attachments to enable drone fishing, which suggests that while there is an interest in such a product, it may be too steep a price to match the need.

They say that if you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day but if you teach him to fish, he’ll eat for life. Presumably, if you teach a man to fish with a drone, he’ll make YouTube videos of it. He may however, also catch fish weighing up to 200g without ever having to stray too far from the comforts of the shore.

The Pokédrone is what happens when AR and quadcopters collide

Pokémon Go is what we can now call a legitimate phenomenon, dragging people all over the world out of their homes in frenzied attempts to chase down the virtual creatures. TRNDLabs has decided to make this chase slightly easier with the creation of the Pokédrone.

Undoubtedly, you may have already heard the stories of people’s improvisational attempts to increase their standing amongst the rankings of Pokémon Masters. Improvised drones, your dog’s back, the commitment people have to catching – and indeed hatching – them all have reached impressive levels of insane ingenuity. It’s not too hard to go online and find stories and pictures of players going far beyond expectations in their determination to catch that oh so rare Mew.

There are of course, what may be deemed health concerns around people’s new obsession with the game. While it’s wonderful to see how it has brought together communities and got people out of the house, it’s slightly more concerning to people diving into the middle of traffic or swimming out into lakes rather than let that one Pokémon, if you’ll pardon the pun, go. The commitment is impressive but there comes a point when you have to wonder, couldn’t this be easier?

The answer of course is that it shouldn’t be easy. If you’re going to be the best there ever was, you’re going to have to work for it. You don’t catch them all without being willing to catch a little traffic.

That said, in order to avoid endorsing diving between cars in an attempt to snare one of the elusive legendary birds, it’s for the best that there are people out there working on ways to make the Pokémon Go experience slightly less hazardous.

Enter the Pokédrone, specially designed by TRNDlabs for Pokémon Go players. Once connected via WiFi to your phone, the Pokémon Go app uses the Pokédrone’s GPS and camera instead of the phone’s GPS and Camera.  Beyond that, it has, as described by the company’s site, been designed for easy use for all, regardless of any prior experience with drones.

“With the Pokédrone’s auto take-off & land function there is no need to worry about your drone-flying skills. The drone can also hover in one place making it super easy to catch ‘em all for everyone who is more into Pokémon than drones,” TRNDLabs said.

Images courtesy of TRNDLabs

Images courtesy of TRNDLabs

The primary function of the drone is addressed at getting to spots that would be otherwise hard to reach. Of course the aforementioned swimming to the middle of a lake method is still an option if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, but for those who prefer to do their catching from dry land, TRNDlabs’ creation offers the chance to increase your catching capability and cut down on the times when you have to walk away from a rarity.

You can stay updated on the drone’s progress at TRNDlabs’ site and see the prototype in action below. Until the release though, maybe stick to parks and pavement when on a Pokéwalk.