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Quick Manufacturing Update

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Quick Manufacturing Update

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Vantage TeamWe’ve had a few more bumps in the road on the way to production. The primary issue has been the discovery of some critical corner case bugs with our Wi-Fi module. Thankfully, our vendor has been great in addressing them and after a few weeks of long nights, we believe we have the issue solved, although additional testing and tuning is needed to be certain.

Vantage continues to expand our Beta program as well as our rigorous internal testing, which has been tremendously valuable in continuing to uncover bugs and manufacturing quality issues.

Here are a few specific examples of details we’ve been working on:

  • If the phone’s location estimate jumps unexpectedly when flying on the edge of a phone-centered geo-fence, it can make Snap do some alarming rapid movements. We’ve fixed this.
  • Our sonar module is now working superbly we now are tuning mode and speed specific ground avoidance behavior to make sure Snap hit the right balance between avoiding obstacles and smooth video.
  • Deceleration behavior when going from max speed to zero was a bit too abrupt and can induce jarring video. We have tuned this for smoother ease in and out.
  • Even high end GPS modules like the one we use in Snap can occasionally have large position estimation jumps in certain circumstances, which can make Snap dart off unexpectedly. We have created logic to detect and handle this so you never need to know about it.
  • Our EIS (electronic image stabilization) does not currently perform as well as we think should. We’re working with our chip vendor to improve this.

Here’s one example of the latest code in action:

We are currently doing a build for 20% of our pre-orders, which is well underway, albeit a bit delayed due to continued delays for one last PCB. We currently expect to begin shipping from this build in mid-May, barring further delays or new bugs.

Thank you for your continued patience as we work to finalize Snap. We know these continued delays test the patience of the most loyal customers. We are working as hard as humanly possible to work through all of the issues and ensure that Snap is worth the wait.

Tirelessly,

Tobin, Joe, and the rest of the Vantage Team

 

  • John

    Reply

    Thanks for the update. Continue to k
    Keep us informed please?

  • Nick

    Reply

    Cool, now, the expected date to fulfill preorders is around? Any estimate? If you are already doing 20% you may have a speed of production more or less tested…. ?? Loved the 4 snaps in the air flying photo. Oh and by that 20% you expect to cover preorders until about what time of purchase?

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Nick, we are glad you enjoyed the photo of 4 Snaps, that test day was a lot of fun. Our commercial manufacturing is up and running, and we are constantly to find new ways to improve our speed in our production process. I don’t have the list in front of me, though I believe that due to the surge of orders in the first month of preorders, the 20% will not reach the 2016 orders.

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    Sad to hear about the further bugs that have been found but that’s what Beta is all about, however I’m pleased that you are managing to solve them.
    Fingers crossed for less bugs & more production going forward!.
    Is that last photo classed as a squadron of Snap’s or an invasion force?.
    Joking aside please keep your noses to the grindstone as we wish to join you soon flying our own Snap’s.
    Cheers

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Gizmo, it is unsettling news, though we are dedicated to building you the best product we can. Thank you for your understanding and as always for your continued support. We want you flying your own Snap as soon as possible.
      As for “what do you call four Snaps flying in formation?” that is a great question and we would love your input the correct phrase. Is it a flock?

  • Tibor

    Reply

    Almost there guys!! Fight the good fight!

  • Neo302

    Reply

    Regarding the EIS, does this issue require new chips or only software? Patiently waiting b/c as a developer / architect, I can imagine building a drone is insanely difficult.

  • Ken

    Reply

    Does Mid May mean sometime next week? Hope so!

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    Great update thanks, and awesome news u have been building pre-orders ?? Woohoo ✅
    Just wondering if the jump in GPS location is a software issue or is it a satellite thingy to do with atmospheric effects of the signal transmission?? (A short non-technical ans is fine ?)

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Well, I suppose you could call everything related to GPS a “Satellite thingy”. But, we fixed it all in software. Thanks Russell.

  • Jim

    Reply

    It would be super helpful to use pre-order dates rather than a percentage of pre-orders to let customers know of your progress. None of us knows how many pre-orders were made and if the distribution of pre-orders is linear or skewed in some temporal sense, rendering the 20% figure essentially meaningless. So rather than saying you are building 20% of pre-orders, say you are building all pre-orders that we’re placed on or before September 1, 20XX.

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Jim, you make some great points and I am going to share your point with the whole team. I don’t have the list in front of me, though I believe that due to the surge of orders in the first month of preorders, the 20% will not reach the 2016 orders.

  • thi ha

    Reply

    Hi,

    If I pre-order today, when will I get it or when will you ship it?
    I know my turn will come after all the people who backed this projects and those who pre-ordered before me.
    Any estimate?
    I don’t wanna buy Mavic Pro since Snap seems more portable except a bit pricey.

    Thanks

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      We do not have specific dates as of right now. If you pre-order today, our current estimates shipping it to you early to mid summer timeframe.

  • art cassata

    Reply

    IT HAS BEEN ONE YEAR SINCE I ORDER MY DRONE…..THIS IS GETTING TO THE POINT OF RIDICULOUS ! I GET THE FEELING WE ARE NEVER GOING TO SEE ANY DRONES…..I SURE HOPE THIS IS NOT SOME SORT OF SCAM NOT SURE WHAT TO DO NEXT…..NOT SURE IF MY AMERICAN EXPRESS CARD WILL CREDIT MY ACCOUNT BACK IF I CANCEL THIS ORDER. IT’S BEEN SO LONG SINCE MY SO CALLED PURCHASE

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Art, Snap is real and it is amazing. We understand your frustration, but this is happening. We have started our commercial manufacturing process and are planning on starting shipping this month.
      If you do decide to cancel your order, we will work with you to make sure you get your money back. Everyone who has cancelled has gotten their money back in full.

  • art c

    Reply

    I totally agree with JIM……are we ever going to see any TRUE shipping details??? Every few month you keep putting us off a few more months !!!! and this had been going on for A YEAR NOW !

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Art, we completely understand that this process can be frustrating. We would love to have that information to give you. We are working with a huge network of partners, and we are sorting out all kinds of bugs found through our Beta program. The process has been substantial, but timetables can only be based on estimates. We hope that you can accept that we are working with educated guesses.

  • Eugene

    Reply

    Would the May pre-order shipment include Android customers, or are you still on iPhone only? Thanks.

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Eugene, The May pre-order shipment will include all platform customers. Beta testers were for the iOS platform only. The Android app is working and we are continuing to build it up.

  • Mark Kedrowski

    Reply

    The video above all of your bike ride seems at a much slower frame rate. Is that something added by Vimeo? Or, is it just shot that way?

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Mark, that is a great question. The video above was shot in 4K at 30 FPS. Vimeo does sometimes change the picture due to buffering. So, it could be a bit of both. You can download the original video from Vimeo and then view it without buffering causing any issue.

  • Paul Hara

    Reply

    That tracking shot is the best video to date. The quality of the video looks great and the smoothness of the tracking looks great too!

  • Jason

    Reply

    I’m in it to win it, look forward to Snap when she shows up. Appreciate the update and explanation. All the best to the VR Team!

  • Georgie

    Reply

    I know you guys have a two axis gamble, developed in house, in Snap… but that footage looks awfully juddery! Are you expecting to improve image quality/smoothness in any of these bug fixes? A lot of small drones now (Mavic or Karma) are filming on cinematic scales.

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Georgie, we are always working on ways to improve our video quality. As for the issue you are concerned about, could you please let me know the specific video, time and location of the occurrence? I would like to look into this further, see what you are seeing. Thank you.

  • Lindsay

    Reply

    You mentioned GPS jump, which I’m glad is solved (it had been a concern).
    What about GPS loss? I experienced this with a friend’s quad. A very short duration loss of GPS just after take off. It was only a couple of seconds, but long enough to cause the Quad to switch flight modes and drift off in to a nearby tree before I could get it higher up! Very disturbing and a little scary.

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    @Ron,
    Now that is a good question to open up to the floor.
    I think Flock is to much like Baa Lambs…
    I’ll stick with my idea of a “Squadron!”.

  • Philip Coccari

    Reply

    I have been watching your progress patiently. I understand how difficult it is to bring a new product with this much technology to market. I appreciate the transparency and I am HAPPY to wait untill you get it right. The WORST thing you can do is bow to pressure and release an incomplete product. We all know what happend to GoPro Karma!! Keep up the good work!!

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Phillip, thank you for your continued support. We want to deliver an amazing product that will bring our customers joy for a long time.

  • Terence

    Reply

    Thanks for update.

  • Scott

    Reply

    $5 says we don’t have anything “official” from these guys again until mid June. And when I say “official,” I mean another “update” announcing yet another delay, but saying they are close to “50% done with fixing the bugs on the full lot betas that will be shipped out to the remaining testers,” or something in that nature.
    Again, I predict a fall shipping date.

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Scott, I understand your frustrations, and we will work to be more forthcoming with updates. We at Vantage have overcome the bugs we have faced and will continue to do so. We thank you for your continued support and your participation in this blog. As stated in our blog we plan to start shipping soon.
      Get ready to send us $5. 😉

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    Hi VR, just want to confirm previous advice from James last year that you will give us a couple of weeks warning before the pre-order sale finishes and full price commences.
    Can’t wait to get snap ??

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      We will give a notice of when the window will be closing. The exact length of the window has not been established yet, though you will get a heads up.

  • philip

    Reply

    Thanks for the update – not really surprised about the further setback and sceptical too about the new dates..but hopeful. Would be nice to have indeed an indication by order date of an expected shipping and also (hope so) if European orders will ship at the same pace as US orders…

    Keep it up and keep us posted please !

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Phillip, thank you for your continued support, we are also super hopeful. As for European shipments, we are still working out all the details with our distribution chain, and have not seen any major set backs yet.

  • Frank Fan

    Reply

    Hi, does the snap drone has some kind of obstacle avoidance system built-in? Since when I watched the video from the small park, seem to me that the drone is avoiding the tree and brushes , or is it just the human control?

    Thanks for the video

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      We are glad you enjoyed the video. I think I know the video you are talking about, and it is human control. The Snap currently has ground avoidance, and we are working to have obstacle avoidance as an accessory. Our obstacle avoidance will be 360°.

  • Jim

    Reply

    Since I placed my order in April 2016, and based on that information, it does not seem likely that I’ll have my Snap by June 17, when I leave for Alaska. That’s a real bummer.

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Jim, we’re bummed too. We are working tirelessly to get Snap into your hands, and we are quite close. Thank you for your patience. We hope you have a great trip and hope that we make the next one.

  • tahazcity

    Reply

    “FLIGHT”

  • Philip Hartog

    Reply

    “As for European shipments, we are still working out all the details with our distribution chain, and have not seen any major set backs yet.”

    so can you address my point – will you ship internationally simultenously with domestic or is there a delay foreseen for those shipments ? my order dates back to 9/9/15 – so I guess it is one of the earlier orders…

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Philip, we currently do not see any setbacks. However, shipping internationally is a different beast to tame than shipping out to the same country. I am just trying to acknowledge that there are different obstacles.

  • Scott

    Reply

    Ron,
    Thanks for the reply. Yea, I’ve been getting on you guys, and I’ve admitted in the past I’ve been a pest..
    You’re on on that $5.

  • Lindsay

    Reply

    I guess I should be more specific in my questions…
    What does Snap do IF it loses the GPS signal altogether? GPS drift is one thing, but what does the software decide to do on a total loss? EG you flew the snap in to an aircraft hangar or the GPS satellite network was destroyed by aliens?

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Lindsey, If Snap loses GPS signal entirely, then Snap lands. You can fly Snap without GPS, but it would not be able to hold position. If Aliens take out the entire GPS satellite network, we all have bigger issues to worry about. Though Snap could still be used to take great video of the end of civilization as we know it.

  • DJ

    Reply

    I ordered 12/31/2015. What’s the shipping eta?

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      DJ, we have started our commercial manufacturing process. You are commenting on a blog update that gives you the latest shipping information. To give you the best picture though, I will say that we plan to start shipping the earliest of pre-orders any day now and orders placed this week, we plan to ship by the end of July. Hopefully that will give you a better estimate of when you will be shooting with Snap.

  • 777

    Reply

    In your latest Vimeo video, it appears that the camera is making slight but somewhat noticeable movements. Is this a software related thing or is it cause by the wind pushing against the gimbal?
    Would like to see some shots with EIS enabled as well. (When it is working)

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      777, I would love to answer your question. Please let me know the name of the video and about when these occurrences are happening so that I may best answer honestly. Let us just make sure we are looking at the same thing. Thank you.

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    I am pretty close to pulling out and going with DJI. Your video is really not that great. It looks like an iPhone strapped to a Quad. It is terribly shaky and in no way smooth as silk. Your drone is stuck in a 2015 world. Aren’t you half smart enough to figure out EIS? That was going on like a decade ago. What are you even doing? Oh and ALL of your videos are totally washed out.
    Does no one else see how terrible the quality of the videos are?

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Paul, We are working tirelessly to get Snap into your hands, and are quite close. We have invested an incredible amount of our lives over the last few years into this project. These delays can be grueling, but they do not negate the fact that this project is really coming together. If you would like to pull out, we will gladly refund your money. Just email your request for a refund to contact@vantagerobotics.com along with your transaction number.

  • Bolt50

    Reply

    I agree with you 100%.

  • tahazcity

    Reply

    Build your own Paul, your so smart!

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    ??????????????

  • art c

    Reply

    Thanks Ron…. NO I don’t want to cancel my order. I am willing to wait for your great product – it’s just, like everyone else I guess, just getting so frustrated with the continue extensions on shipping dates.

  • Robert Good

    Reply

    Still patiently waiting
    Any chance of playing with the app to get a feel for it?

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Robert, thank you for your patience and continued support. We are not releasing the app just yet. The app contains tutorials, videos, and a full manual to help you get comfortable flying
      To start getting a feel for the app here are a few links to check out if you haven’t already. Please keep in mind that the app has gone through some minor changes since these were made.
      Here is a link to a video of the app:

      Here is a link to an earlier blog posting covering the app:
      https://vantagerobotics.com/news/end-january-updatefaq

  • Chris

    Reply

    I got to see my first Mavic yesterday, the owners maiden flight. It is so small, so quiet, so stable in a hover it is surreal. Pity it was also very fragile looking and so overly complicated she couldn’t work out how to even turn it off when she realized the camera will not stream video. 2 hours of fiddling and only got a 30sec hover out of it.

    No thanks, I’ll wait for Snap.

  • 777

    Reply

    You can see some slight, but very noticeable movements in the footage. Maybe this would be fixed with the EIS?

  • thi ha

    Reply

    Thanks for the reply.
    I have two upcoming trips in June.
    So I decided to go for Mavic Pro.
    Anyway good luck and smooth manufacturing and shipping!!!
    Cheers.

  • Jeff

    Reply

    Will any units ship by Friday? We just hit them middle of June…

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    @Ron,
    Just checking that James is still there in the background as I sent him an email last Thursday & he is normally pretty quick at replying?.
    Thanks!.
    P.S Ron what do you know about Aliens invading earth???, is this why you were practising flying a Squadron of Snap’s Earlier.Tee-Hee

  • Ryan H

    Reply

    So I just wanted to echo Jim’s comment from earlier about giving shipping updates in regards to the date of pre-purchase. I made my pre-purchase in September of 2015, over a year and a half ago, and although I still have my records, I have not been contacted by Vantage for shipping information. As such, I’m becoming increasingly paranoid that my order history was lost. I can believe that I was not in the first 20% of pre-purchases, but shipping updates that refer to dates of order would be helpful in allaying the concerns of myself and many others here. I have not canceled my pre-order since I think you will have a superior product to your competitors, my faith and trust in an untested company that has a history of failing to live up to deadlines is diminishing with each vague post.

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Ryan, thank you for the faith, it is not misplaced. I can say that we plan to ship out the earliest of pre-orders any day now. I can also say that we plan to ship orders placed this week by the end of July. I hope this helps paint a better picture of when you will be shooting with Snap.

  • philip

    Reply

    quote:
    So I just wanted to echo Jim’s comment from earlier about giving shipping updates in regards to the date of pre-purchase. I made my pre-purchase in September of 2015, over a year and a half ago, and although I still have my records, I have not been contacted by Vantage for shipping information. As such, I’m becoming increasingly paranoid that my order history was lost.

    This only demonstrates only underlines that a real start of the shipping process is still some time out…too bad they just don’t inform us in a timely and open manner…

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    I don’t know why I even try anymore…but here we go. I hope there is a reasonable answer. Please don’t give me a non-answer spin.
    Is there electronic image stabilization in Snap?
    When will the electronic image stabilization work?
    Thanks

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Paul, here is the honest truth. Snap has EIS. The current version is good but we believe it can be better. There are some scenarios when there are edge cases. We are working with our partners to design a firmware update that will improve EIS and plan to have it tested and ready to update within a few weeks.

  • Scott

    Reply

    Mid may guys…. what’s the deal? Every day that goes by is a day closer to my estimate of a fall shipping date.

  • Ken

    Reply

    How do I find out if I’ll be in the first 20% shipment? I sent an email, but no reply yet.

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Ken, we try to reply quickly to all emails. Our goal is to reply within 2 business days. I personally responded to your email in less than 24 hours after I received it.

  • Steve Nachlas

    Reply

    I’m confused. We placed what I thought was a pre-order in early March 2016. Is that time frame not considered a pre-order? We’re just trying to get an idea of when orders from that time will ship.

    Thanks

  • Steve Nachlas

    Reply

    I totally agree Jim, and this is what I have been thinking as well. We have been waiting patiently ourselves since early March 2016. I know some people placed pre-orders well before that. I would just like to know at what point, for example, the orders that were placed around the time that we placed ours are going to be shipped as well. Not to be greedy, but it seems like the folks who ordered way back in early 2016 or even late 2015 have a little more invested than people who are ordering right now and are getting the same price for a pre-order as those really early adopters. The website says that orders placed now will have the pre-order price of $895 and will ship spring of 2017. Sounds to me like the same thing the early adopters from late 2015 are getting.

  • Steve Nachlas

    Reply

    Ron, I am sure you feel a lot like Sean Spicer right now, and I am sure that the job of fielding these questions is difficult. But I also feel at this point that Vantage Robotics needs to be very honest with potential customers. If you know that new orders as of right now won’t be shipped until mid-summer (or beyond) 2017, then why does the website still say that orders placed now will be shipped Spring, 2017? I would find it interesting if orders placed now even ship before the fall. And if you do ship the new orders as early as Spring (by the way, we are well into spring right now), then I think that people who have had skin in the game for a long time deserve some type of compensation for their loyalty and long term commitment.

  • david

    Reply

    we can buy on ebay DJI Mavic Pro, with a lot of extras (more than VR), and avoiding obstacles feature included (not waiting for future upgrade and extra cost). Ron, what reasons do you have in order to convince me that waiting for VR is worthy?
    Regards

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/DJI-Mavic-Pro-Foldable-Fly-More-Combo-with-Two-Extra-Batteries-Shoulder-Bag-U5Q7/132180226324?_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851&_trkparms=aid%3D555018%26algo%3DPL.SIM%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D40130%26meid%3D51e06d199d0e4f02b7c1bfe9e7cbc0b5%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D6%26sd%3D152524757906

  • Scott

    Reply

    Come on guys… this is going from ridiculous to absurd.

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPT-K6FUf0A
    The Mavic Pro video looks 10X better than the Snap. It is smooth. Not a single video you have posted is nearly as steady. Please give me a reason to stay with your shaky video drone. Really! Your videos you post are very very very jittery when compared to the Mavic Pro.

    Show me what you got Ronald.

  • George

    Reply

    At a lecture last month, Tobin Fisher stated thatb200 units would be shipped in May, and production and shipment would double every month after that. Can you confirm this projection?

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      George, the plan is still that. We have started our commercial manufacturing process and we are planning on doubling production every month for the first few months.

  • philip

    Reply

    I must say I looked at alternatives too – this is getting so out of control as far as delays and another summer break coming up. Mavic looks great and has a lot Snap will not have, but Snap should also offer some stuff Mavic won’t.
    My impression is Snap will be good for use indoors (or close to people) too – recording indoor sport events for example, and with Mavic that is way too dangerous…
    So – I asked before – if anyone knows a good alternative to Snap and Mavic, please let’s hear it.
    If the information on shipping stays at it is now – unknown estimate of European order made early September 2015 !!) I will get a Mavic by mid June and be ready for Summer.
    Too bad they wasted our time and our confidence this way…

  • Toby

    Reply

    How’s it going guys? Would we be able to get another very quick update on progress please?

  • chuck peck

    Reply

    How about ‘Snap Squad’ . . . ?

  • Frank

    Reply

    The ship date estimate just kicked up a notch from “extremely close” to “ridiculously extremely close” so hang in there guys! Fall of 2018 you’ll all be flying like an eagle into 2019 lol

  • Bolt50

    Reply

    The ship date estimate just kicked up a notch from “extremely close” to “ridiculously extremely close” so hang in there guys! Fall of 2018 you’ll all be flying like an eagle into 2019 lol

  • Chris

    Reply

    Can you please tell us what resolution the camera will be with EIS on and upload a demo video showcasing on vs off. The 4K videos do look a bit jittery.

  • Paul

    Reply

    Chris – I asked the same question by email a few weeks back. The reply was resolution is 1080 with EIS on. 4K is not stabilized, at least not at launch. I don’t think there are any videos showing stabilization yet because that’s a software solution, meaning it’s one of the last things they’ll focus on after getting the hardware and flight characteristics nailed down. All the same though, they must have test footage. An earlier comment by Ron indicated that they’re revising the camera firmware, so it sounds like picture quality and stabilization is currently on the table but still needs some work. Unfortunately for us the ‘work’ always takes a lot longer than expected!

  • Tibor

    Reply

    Paul, that’s good info, thanks for sharing!

  • Philip Hartog

    Reply

    Actually – the info might be good but what it means is not very good

  • Paul

    Reply

    Philip, I take it you’re talking about the EIS. Yes, I agree, I was hoping for 4K with EIS too, but my guess is something happened between their original vision and what they can actually get out of the sensor. If I’m not mistaken my Sony Alpha camera captures video at 6K but outputs at 4K because the sensor has enough extra pixels to achieve 4K with stabilization. I don’t think the sensor on SNAP has enough extra pixels to do this for 4K. But that’s just a guess on my part – hopefully Ron will be able to clarify for us.

    It’s not a deal breaker for me because a lot of my flying will be done in a school setting so the priorities are safety, safety, and more safety. Up close 1080 should look fine, but for wider shots I’m planning to shoot 4k and stabilize in post. I’ve tested on some of the Video clips and it looks great. For short clips the workflow is tolerable, but longer clips would be a pain to process.

    • Tobin Fisher Post author

      Reply

      In theory, we could do EIS on 4k, given that we only need to crop a fraction of a percent of the pixels. The resulting image would be a imperceptible hair less than true 4k. The challenge is doing this level of processing on our image processing chip, which is fairly maxed out with the 60 Mbps bit stream. This is technically feasible, but not something we plan to do prior to launch. We will be revisiting this after we’ve delivered our initial units. Note that this movement only happens in high gusty wind (which is very frequent in San Francisco this time of year). It is very easy to pull out this tiny level of wiggle in post, but we don’t in the video we share on Vimeo for full transparency.

  • Chris

    Reply

    Paul – Thanks for the clarification. 1080 with EIS is poor, my old bebop 1 does that, the very same drone that Vantage threw away in their original marketing video calling it a toy. Im not sure if its a deal breaker on not yet.

    • Tobin Fisher Post author

      Reply

      Hi Chris –
      The image quality for our stabilized EIS is dramatically better than the beebop. EIS degrades image quality as a function of the level of stabilization and dewarping needed. Cameras with no gimbal, like the Beebop, rely on EIS for 30 degrees or more of stabilization on all axes. This degrades the image significantly due to a combination of imperfect dewarping and the reduced fraction of the image sensor used. In our case, we only use EIS to stabilize between 0.1 and 1 degrees of yaw rotation. The level of stabilization has an imperceptible level of degradation on image quality as about 0.6% of the usable pixels are lost. Almost no dewarping is needed, as removing yaw is a simple translation transform, in contrast with the challenge of removing pitch movement, which involves a more complex keystone transform.

  • Steve

    Reply

    David, you kind of asked my question for me. I have had my Snap on order since early March, 2016. I’ve been pulling for Vantage every step of the way. However, there does come a point where one has to make a decision. I think this is going to be a really good product, but there are other products on the market. (After reading up on Hover, I nixed that.) Often times the best product is the one you have on you. Obviously the date from VR has changed many times and my wife and I have seen several family events come and go, most notably my 65th birthday in March of this year. We had high hopes of being able to do something really unique visually, but that day has come and gone. So I guess one thing I would like to see from Ron is a quick comparison of Snap to Mavic on key features. My initial reaction after visiting DJI’s website is that 1) Mavic offers avoidance behavior right now; 2) Battery life is up to 27 minutes; 3) It has 3 axis mechanical gimbal stabilization and 4) I can drive to Best Buy and have one in 30 minutes. I am not being mean spirited or rude. I truly do want for Snap to succeed, and I am hoping for delivery soon. However, I do think it’s a fair question to ask Vantage to explain to me the advantages of waiting for Snap. I truly do want to know. Thanks

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Steve, DJI is a great company, and the Mavic is a cool product. But it is a very different type of camera than the Snap. Mavic and Snap are both small, 4k flying cameras with many similar features. But Snap is really designed to be used around people. Every feature has been focused to make Snap provide the simplest, most intuitive, and safest experience so that you can capture those amazing aerial images around your friends and loved ones without having to be an experienced pilot. And, as your needs vary, Snap’s extensibility will allow for you to specialize your experience.

  • Mat31

    Reply

    Unfortunately, the new DJI Spark, to be announced in 3 days, will probably kill all your efforts guys.
    Sorry

  • Paul

    Reply

    Chris, 1080 is a specification – 1080 lines of vertical resolution. The name itself (HD or 1080) doesn’t tell you anything about the picture quality that you’ll get besides the fact it has 1080 lines. There’s a lot of room for quality differences within the specification. This is probably a horrible example, but just because a car has 4 wheels it doesn’t mean all cars perform the same. And to be honest you get about as much variation in imaging sensors as you do with cars! I don’t know what camera Bebop used in their drones, but VR said early on that SNAP has a Sony sensor – and Sony is by far the industry leader in imaging technologies today. Add to that if VR is using more of the 4K sensor for capture and downsizing to 1080 that’ll sharpen the picture up too. There’s also so many other factors such as quality of the lens (a good lens makes a huge difference), type of imaging processor(s), firmware and software… I have no doubts 1080 from SNAP will be far superior to the 1080 picture you got from the Bebop. If only they’d send me my SNAP so I can confirm it!

  • Chris

    Reply

    Paul – Thanks for clarifying for me. This also a perfect example of the need for a demo video. Based on the videos we have been shown 4K is too shaky, this will result in many users opting to record with EIS. We have paid for this drone and are yet to see any footage from the recording mode which many will most likely use. We have no indication what Snaps recording quality actually is.

  • Paul

    Reply

    Chris – You’re right, the yaw axis wobble concerns me too. I’ll give VR credit for the degree of yaw control they’ve achieved without a third axis on the gimbal, but we were sold on ‘buttery smooth’ and haven’t seen that yet. If you haven’t looked at the footage on Vimeo it’s uploaded in 4K and can be downloaded at full resolution. I’ve stabilized a couple of sample Vimeo clips in Premiere and the result looks really nice. The amount of scaling needed to crop out the movement is quite minimal, but of course that’s not the point – it’s no longer 4K and it’s extra work in post.

    • Tobin Fisher Post author

      Reply

      We try to share raw footage we capture, even the imperfect shots, so you know exactly where we stand. The two shots you mention were taken in gusty 20+ mph wind, which does give a bit of yaw wiggle when in 4k mode. There are very few drones out there that can handle these conditions flawlessly in all modes. This wiggle can be taken out with EIS in other modes as well as in post. We think we can improve the gusty wind 4k performance with the standard rotor set a bit more, but a few pixels of post stabilization will likely be needed when shooting in gusty high wind to get to perfect stability. The soon to be announced tracking rotor set has 1/3 the lateral drag and is expected to perform much better in high wind (as well as dramatically improve top speed and flight time).

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Hi Paul, Those stabilized video clips you have, would you share them with the blog community. It would be great to show them something from a supporter.

  • Chris

    Reply

    Paul – I will have to give that a shot. I thought about swapping for other drones but need safe hand launch, fly by wire tracking and crash survivability. Snap is the only one out there that ticks the box’s so I’m gonna have do more post work I guess.

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    What is going on with your later videos? Your older videos look much smoother than the most recent ones.
    The old “freeform tracking and elevation…” looks way better than the new “Golf” & “Pine Tree..” vids.
    I need to know if we are getting the shaky Snap so that I can back out and get a smooth DJI.

  • Trevor

    Reply

    I think it’s time to release another Quick Manufacturing Update.

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    It’s been < 2 weeks since the last manufacturing update… so can't imagine too much has changed…

  • Ken

    Reply

    Mid May has turned into late May. Soon Late May will turn into June. Has a single, non-beta unit shipped yet?

    February 1, 2017
    We cannot guarantee any precise shipping dates yet, but we target ending the beta test period and beginning production shipments on March 1st. We think our chances of getting all our parts and hitting this goal is about 70%, and have no reason to expect any major delay. From there, we expect that it will then take approximately six weeks to manufacture all pre-sale orders.

    March 10, 2017
    At our current pace, we expect to ship about 5% of our pre-orders in March, an additional 15% in April, and the balance May.

    May 8, 2017
    We are currently doing a build for 20% of our pre-orders, which is well underway, albeit a bit delayed due to continued delays for one last PCB. We currently expect to begin shipping from this build in mid-May, barring further delays or new bugs.

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    @Tobin,
    Tracking rotor set??, can you share any more information please?.
    Cheers

    • Tobin Fisher Post author

      Reply

      Sorry for the tease! The short story is that it is a rotor set designed for tracking shots, optimized around top speed/ wind performance, visual and audible unobtrusiveness, and crash survivability. Flight time is significantly better than the standard (and the Mavic), but not as good as the endurance rotor set. It won’t cut you, but isn’t designed for contact in flight like our standard rotor set. We’ll be sharing more soon, but need to complete filing of IP before we do a full announcement.

  • Tibor

    Reply

    Tobin and the gang –
    First, thanks Tobin for taking a minute to field some of the questions. Second, it’s good to hear you guys are working laterally on other rotor sets, perhaps Snap will have some items available at launch? I look forward to seeing the pre-order sale ending soon, which of course means full production! Keep up the hard work, many, many, many people are still watching your progress with bated breath.

    V/r
    Tibor

  • Scott

    Reply

    Based on all previous posts this is why I predict mid fall, if they even ship at all…. lily did the same thing…. they are also getting sued for false advertising… I consider all these unfulfilled promises the same thing.

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    @Tobin,
    No apologies needed for the tease, it was a nice surprise!.
    Like Tibor said it is good to know that you are working on some add ons which will hopefully be available shortly after or alongside the shipping of the Snap which appears to be just around the corner.

  • Ron Gryn

    Reply

    Thank you so much for all of your continued support. To the few who are wavering with your support and considering other drones, I would like to point out a few things. Snap is extremely safe to use around people and kids. Snap has tracking shots and autonomous shooting modes built in. Snap has an incredible high ease of use. And, as your needs vary, Snap’s extensibility will allow for you to specialize your experience.

  • Chris

    Reply

    VR – Is the tracking rotor set seperate to or an advancement of the speed rotor set which has been mentioned and filmed in the past?

    Mat31 – The DJI Spark looks to be a selfie or racing drone, still not in the same class as Snap and should not compete for consumers.

    • Tobin Fisher Post author

      Reply

      It is an advancement to the speed rotor set. We made the decision to optimize rotor sets for use cases instead of a specific performance criteria, as we found the latter gave ambiguous design goals for other criteria (ie – how important should portability, noise, or flight time be for the “speed” rotor set?).

  • Steve

    Reply

    Thanks Ron. Although, like others, I probably get impatient at times, I am pulling for you guys big-time. Sometimes I think when we read the updates some of us customers feel we just want to fax, which means “when is our shipping date?” Your updates or normally fairly technical and get into the details of which parts of had a problem or which procedures have to be rock reprocessed etc. etc. At first, months ago, I felt I didn’t care about that information; I just wanted to know when we would get our shipment. Lately however, I have had a new appreciation for what you and the others go through on a daily basis. It has become quite evident that you are a very determined group who is seeking an amazing product. It is obvious that the group at Vantage Robotics has poured their hearts and souls (not to mention brains) into the development of Snap. Like others, I have been waiting over a year for my snap to ship. I finally feel like we’re getting close, so I don’t plan to abandon The ship.. er drone… now!

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPT-K6FUf0A
    The Mavic Pro video looks 10X better than the Snap. It is smooth. Not a single video you have posted is nearly as steady. Please give me a reason to stay with your shaky video drone. Really! Your videos you post are very very very jittery when compared to the Mavic Pro.

    Show me what you got Ronald.

    What is going on with your later videos? Your older videos look much smoother than the most recent ones.
    The old “freeform tracking and elevation…” looks way better than the new “Golf” & “Pine Tree..” vids.
    I need to know if we are getting the shaky Snap so that I can back out and get a smooth DJI.

    Hey y’all… Still waiting for an answer…jitter jitter shake shake

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Paul, We try to share raw footage we capture, even the imperfect shots. There may still be work that needs to be done in post.

  • Joe Kerby

    Reply

    Thanks for all the info Ron and Tobin. Good stuff. Ron, a few days back you said you were days away from shipping the first 20% of orders. Has that happened? If so when do you expect to start production of the next batch? From one of your comments You made it sound like all orders are expected to ship by the end of July. Keep up the great work can’t wait!!

  • Scott

    Reply

    No, they haven’t shipped anything yet. They haven’t even finished shipping all of their betas. Based on their reputation of putting out false information on future shipping dates you shouldn’t have any faith in anything they post. Just wait until fall.

  • Paul

    Reply

    Here’s a couple of extracts from two SNAP videos posted on Vimeo. For comparison purposes there’s a raw and stabilized copy of each clip. Stabilization was done in Premiere using the Warp Stabilizer. It’s worth mentioning in the Biking Adventure clip Tobin needed to clean the camera lens!

    Biking Adventure: (stabilized is first)
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5Xb0mR3C_fWTnFCZldLaGROdG8/view?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5Xb0mR3C_fWdkRvTm9FQnNEUVk/view?usp=sharing

    Woods: (stabilized is first)
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5Xb0mR3C_fWdExXdGtJSjQwcTQ/view?usp=sharing
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B5Xb0mR3C_fWUnpZai1lTE1iVlU/view?usp=sharing

  • Chris

    Reply

    Breaking news: DJI are going to brick all current drones unless they register them on the website. This rego process will restrict users drones depending on the laws and regulations in their country. An example would be. Old mate bought himself a Mavic in Australia last year for $2600AUD he bought it because the 7km range suits his purpose. Australian law resricts transmitter power to 1W (I believe thats the correct number). Now old mates 7km range drone has been regulated and he can only reach 2.5km with his new restrictions making it useless to him. DJI is the Apple of the drone industry and they should be avoided at all cost.

  • Nick

    Reply

    “Really really close” update email came in, wont open though, tobin says has to be opened with password, dont know if its because of that or the website itself or whatever, but page reports 404 error page not found.

    • Tobin Fisher Post author

      Reply

      That was my bad! I tried to create a private version to share with the team before making it public, but didn’t realize that the “private” version would be shown publicly like that. As you’ve probably seen, the real thing is now up.

  • Don

    Reply

    I got that email too. Hope it isn’t a wannacry link.

    • Tobin Fisher Post author

      Reply

      To the best of my knowledge it isn’t a wannacry link, unless of course, the ongoing delays do in fact make you wannacry. These wouldn’t be the first tears shed in the making of Snap.

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    Received same email, no password so won’t be clicking on any links just in case it’s the ruskies or nth korea or mavic lol ??

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    Nope It’s a link to the Snap Invasion plan!!!.

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    Glad you still have a sense of humour Tobin ???
    Can u please re-email the Really Really Close update as I did read it on your website but I find it’s most convenient to follow by the email alerts.
    Mavic=bricked=not happy Jan…. (glad I didn’t consider that one ??)

  • Danna

    Reply

    Never ever in my life ordered a product and waited so long (ordered Nov 2015). My Pre-order survived all those other new drones released during this time; that says a lot about snap. Another reality check is coming pretty soon… today at 11:30 AM CDT. To be frank, I like the image quality and it’s compactness, possibly the anticipated price as well. Eagerly waiting to see if my snap pre-order will continue to survive or not.

  • Philip Coccari

    Reply

    Just Awesome!! Very exciting! BTW I have my Commercial drone license. Can’t wait!

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