DJI appears to be about to launch a drone even smaller than the Mavic Pro. Supposedly called the Spark, pics of the little drone have been popping up on several sites, though DJI has yet to officially announce it.
First, the Spark is smaller than the Mavic Pro when the Mavic’s prop arms are extended. The Spark appears to have fixed arms and brushless motors similar to the Mavic’s, just slightly smaller. The bottom of the drone seems to have downward-facing sensors, likely to assist in positioning. There’s also a panel on the front above the camera that could hide additional sensors, so the Spark might have the ability to avoid obstacles.
The camera is mounted on a gimbal that looks a bit different from the one used on the Mavic. On the Spark, the camera appears to be only able to tilt up and down. Panning side-to-side could require the drone to rotate. The camera’s specs are unknown.[gallery ids="1474014,1474016,1474017,1474018,1474019,1474020,1474021,1474022"]
Drone forums are speculating about the Spark’s intended market. Some argue that it will be a selfie drone, while others state a racing drone. Both seem possible. DJI already has impressive gesture controllers on the Phantom 4 and Mavic Pro, which, if incorporated in the Spark, would make it a fantastic selfie drone. And the diminutive size would work well for both uses, too. Others have speculated that the Spark would be compatible with DJI’s FPV goggles — a must for any racing drone.
The leaked images show a drone that has DJI’s characteristics all over it. The fit and finish are superb and the bottom of the rotors feature the same caps used on the Mavic Pro. The battery design is similar to the Mavic’s, though features what appears to be four contact points that could be used for a charging dock or landing platform. DJI just registered a trademark for Spark, too.
What about the controller? Nearly every bit of the Spark has leaked through various sources and yet the controller remains a secret. Either DJI is keeping this part of the drone close or the Spark is controlled through a smartphone app.
We’ve been unable to track down the original source of some of the images. If they’re yours, shoot us a note. We want to give you credit and ask a couple of questions. The site that hosted the original images is down. Today, several videos (embedded below) were posted that show the drone powered on.
Starting with just the Phantom, DJI has rapidly expanded its consumer drone line to hit different price points. The Inspire 1 gives professional consumers more control and capabilities while the Phantom 4 strikes a nice balance of size, camera quality and range. The Mavic Pro was DJI’s smallest drone when first released, yet it still packs most of the Phantom 4’s ability. The Spark will likely be available at an even lower price point and appeal to buyers curious about drones, but not willing to drop $1,000 on a Mavic Pro.