Drones Drones & Vehicles
GoPro Launches Karma, Their Compact, Folding Drone

After years of speculation, GoPro has finally entered the drone arena.

Their first rig, foldable and sleek in a slim backpack case, is designed to be brought with you anywhere you go — the same concept that has made their compact action cameras so successful. It most notably features folding arms and a front-mounted gimbal, which pops off and connects to an included handle for manual, motion-free video. The controller is a clamshell design with a little screen and physical sticks. It includes a variety of automatic features as well.

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Pricing is competitive with offerings from DJI and 3DR — the backpack with drone, controller, and handle costs $799, or $999/$1,099 with the also-announced Hero Session 2/Hero 5 Black. That latest flagship camera now offers housing-free waterproofing, GPS, and voice control.

The Karma page on GoPro’s site shows that it has a maximum distance of 1,000m, and a top speed of 35mph, with communications at 2.4 gHz. It’s not clear yet if this is via Wi-Fi or radio — we’ve struggled with Wi-Fi-controlled drones in our tests, so if that’s what Karma uses, it will be interesting to see if GoPro has figured out how to keep connectivity as reliant as that with radio-based controllers.

Karma will be available October 23.

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Mike Senese is the Executive Editor of Make: magazine. He is also a TV host, starring in various engineering and science shows for Discovery Channel, including Punkin Chunkin, How Stuff Works, and Catch It Keep It.

An avid maker, Mike spends his spare time tinkering with electronics, doing amateur woodworking, and attempting to cook the perfect pizza.

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