The DJI Avata could be the company’s first indoor drone. To date, all of DJI’s drones have been meant to be flown outdoors, but that could all be changing soon. Rumors suggest the the company is developing a new drone that’s designed for indoor spaces and capture tight shots in enclosed areas.
Here’s everything we’ve heard about the rumored DJI Avata so far.
DJI Avata: Rumored release date
While initial rumors indicated that the Avata might launch in the summer, it’s now nearly mid-August. A tweet on August 7 from OsitaLV (opens in new tab) shows what looks like the official packaging for the Avata, with the line “it will be released shortly.”
The box of Avata!It will be released shortly. pic.twitter.com/D4frzJCOHRAugust 7, 2022
Pricing has not been revealed, or even speculated.
DJI Avata: Design
OsitaLV, a reliable leaker, posted images on Aug. 6 of the Avata from a number of angles, showing in fairly close detail the rotor shrouds, camera, and battery. There appears to be very little to the frame of the Avata — no doubt as a way to shed excess weight — with the battery taking the bulk of the space.
Earlier this year, OsitaLV posted two images (opens in new tab) of what look like the top and bottom of the DJI Avata. From the first image of the bottom of the drone, you can see two downward-facing sensors and one rear-facing sensor that’s angled downward.
The second photo, which shows the top of the drone, reveals the battery and gives us a glimpse at the camera assembly, which looks like it could swivel up and down.
The most noticeable difference between the leaked pictures of the Avata and DJI’s other drones — many of which are on our list of the best drones — is that this model has rotors that are protected by built-in shrouds. On DJI’s outdoor drones, you can purchase protective cages for the rotors, but those are removable, whereas here, they’re integral to the design. That makes sense, considering this drone is meant to be flown indoors.
In the same tweet, DealsDrone also says that the Avata will weigh around 500 grams (about 1.1 pounds); that’s twice as heavy as the DJI Mini 3 Pro and the DJI Mini 2 — and also means that the Avata will have to be registered with the FAA.
Avata is compact and weighs about 500gCan fly indoorsThe photo quality is much better (guess that the Mini 3 Pro is the same)Greatly improved battery lifeManual mode is not supportedHead chase modeVibration function Touchpad for glasses menuGlasses can connect to phone pic.twitter.com/WUqpjXXEnKMay 15, 2022
DJI Avata: Rumored specs
DealsDrone also suggests that the Avata’s camera will be comparable to that of the Mini 3 Pro, which has a 1/1.3-inch CMOS, f/1.7 aperture sensor, and can take photos as large as 48MP and videos up to 4K/60 fps.
However, in another departure from DJI’s other drones, the Avata’s camera appears to be fixed and not gimbal-mounted, which means that pilots will have to point the drone in the direction they want to shoot.
Other rumors point to the Avata having a flight time of around 18 minutes, which is far below that of DJI’s other drones, but about twice as long as some of the best cheap drones, most of which last 10 minutes at the longest.
Similar to the DJI FPV, the Avata could come with two controllers: A traditional two-joystick setup (though it looks like a slimmed-down version of what DJI currently has) as well as the single-hand controller the company introduced with the FPV. Both controllers appear alongside the drone and the FPV goggles in an image tweeted by Victor Parducho (opens in new tab) on August 8.
@OsitaLV complete set up pic.twitter.com/jT15lnqN85August 8, 2022
DJI Avata: FPV goggles
Based on a number of images and video, it looks like the Avata will come with a new, smaller set of FPV goggles than the ones that came with the DJI FPV. The photo above, which comes from a DealsDrone tweet from Aug. 2 (opens in new tab), shows a close-up view of the goggles.
In the video posted below, from OsitaLV, you can see a pilot wearing a pair of FPV goggles that are smaller than the ones that DJI currently sells.
looks like Avata has somatosensory support, and it was really under KOL’s evaluation pic.twitter.com/PLnhPbkpYaAugust 6, 2022
The packaging tweeted by OsitaLV (opens in new tab) as well as this product brochure image posted by DealsDrone (opens in new tab) reference the DJI Goggles 2, which is something new from the company.
The design of the Avata, along with speculation that it can be used with FPV goggles, suggests that it could be DJI’s entry into the so-called cinewhoop category — small, fast, and maneuverable drones that can capture acrobatic indoor videos. They’re best exemplified by the “Right Up Our Alley” video that was filmed in 2021 by Jay Christensen, who has gone on to shoot a number of other similar videos, such as for the NHL All-Star game (opens in new tab) and for the PGA’s Players Championship (opens in new tab).
As such, the DJI Avata will be a lot different — and probably a lot more expensive — than the Snap Pixy, another recently announced $230 handheld drone that’s meant to take selfie photos and video.
DJI Avata outlook
It’s very early to speculate on the success or failure of a rumored drone. However, if it were to launch, the DJI Avata looks to cater to a very specific drone pilot — even more niche than the DJI FPV drone, which the company released last year. The Avata could also be released alongside a new set of FPV goggles, which will be needed to fly this drone indoors and around tight spaces.
Like the FPV drone, the Avata could be DJI’s way of introducing a drone to those who want to try their hand at indoor drone videography, but don’t yet want to build their own drone. Whether that’s a successful model remains to be seen.