Over the years, drones have gone from huge unmanned machines for military applications to pocketable quadcopters anyone can play with. With the help of cutting-edge flight systems, these have turned into versatile imaging platforms for casual users and professionals. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more exciting, here comes the Drone 1 concept.

Even with the staggering number of alternatives available, it seems DJI has cornered the market for aerial photography. Its most popular range is the Mavic series thanks to its foldable system. This makes it easy for users to transport and quickly deploy. Still, others like the Drone 1 have the potential to offer something unique for consumers.

Against a handful of innovative ideas from brilliant minds across the world, Maya Prokhorova manages to bag a coveted prize. She bested the others to earn the Red Dot Concept Design Award 2021 with the Drone 1. Instead of folding rotors and arms, her approach focuses on exceptional portability and intuitive functionality.

To activate, users just need to twist the two sections into the shape of a cross. A locking mechanism should keep it in place and activate the rotors. When not in use, it measures 7.1” x 2.4” x 0.80” (L x W x H). To make it lightweight (0.44 lbs) yet durable, aluminum is the go-to material here. We can only assume that composites will likely be involved as well.

The designer notes that the Drone 1 will pack multiple sensors to aid in flight. There’s a gyroscope, high-precision barometer, geomagnetic sensor, and optical sensor. Its 4K camera sits flush on the bottom and opens when you need it. We can also spot vents for the battery and a USB-C charging port on the side.  

Check it out

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Images courtesy of Maya Prokhorova