Is the Perceptiv SHIFT a Smart Dolly or Unmanned Stalker?

by Hugh Brownstone2 Comments

In this installment of our occasional and just-created series entitled “Skynet is Coming, Skynet is Coming!” we take a look at the Perceptiv SHIFT.

The Perceptiv SHIFT is really cool; really disturbing; and inevitable.

So what is it?

The SHIFT is a $600 upgrade to your DJI Phantom or 3D Robotics Iris that adds a vision sensor, processor and autopilot software. Taken together, they allow your UAV to capture footage by tracking subjects.

Skynet is coming! Skynet is coming!

Does it keep me from wanting to play with one?

Of course not.

Just about every technology has a shadow side to it, as do people. Ooh, I just creeped myself out with that.

Still, there’s something inherently optimistic, wonderful and important, I think, about applying this tech to story telling.

And – let’s face it – at the moment, it’s a lot less stalker-ish than what the search engine companies, telcos and NSA are already doing.

We definitely have to get a Perceptiv SHIFT in for test. [bctt tweet=”Perspectiv SHIFT: smart dolly or unmanned stalker?”]

Perceptiv’s SHIFT Turns Drones Into Smart Dollies For Filmmakers

Via TechCrunch:

Drone tech is exciting and full of potential, but few companies are focusing on tech that provides benefits drone users can enjoy now, without spending a fortune or managing an architectural firm or large-scale agricultural concern. Perceptiv Labs, a YC Winter 2015 cohort startup with a founding team out of Waterloo’s top-flight robotics engineering department, is offering high-flying drone hobbyists, filmmakers and journalists a relatively affordable, yet advanced way to introduce some highly intelligent automation into their video-making antics right now.

Perceptiv SHIFT

Perceptiv, which also has funding from Version One Ventures, is launching SHIFT today via pre-order campaign, a $600 accessory (which will retail post-campaign for $800) that works with the DJI Phantom and 3D Robotics Iris, providing a vision sensor, processor and autopilot program for capturing amazing aerial shots via subject tracking. Essentially, it turns these hobbyist drones into robotic flying dollies for capturing great pans, zooms and fly-by shots, with computer vision tech making sure to keep a user-defined subject exactly where it needs to be in the frame along the way.


Introducing Perceptiv SHIFT – A smart upgrade kit for your drone.

As a startup, Perceptiv is targeting a much larger opportunity that includes much more ambitious advances in computer vision and autonomous device operation. Co-founder Neil Mathew explained in an interview the broader vision for his company.

“The end goal is to build the infrastructure of vision-based intelligence for drones that will let them navigate independently in unknown spaces, avoid collisions with obstacles, and be able to track and detect objects,” he said. “[We want them to] understand a scene, and intelligently respond to instructions as opposed to just being able to fly manually.”

Read full article at TechCrunch “Perceptiv’s SHIFT Turns Drones Into Smart Dollies For Filmmakers”


Note: it is our policy to give credit as well as deserved traffic to our news sources – so we don't repost the entire article – sorry, I know you want the juicy bits, but I feel it is only fair that their site get the traffic and besides, you just might make a new friend and find an advertiser that has something you've never seen before

(cover photo credit: snap from TechCrunch)


  1. Cant it be both? can’t it be a great dolly and a stalker tool? This has always been the double edge of photographic and motion picture technology. What will end up happening as that some folks will push the limit and do something irresponsible. The folks will be caught and society will overreact. We will end up with police stones monitoring other drones, and everyone will be watching everyone. 

    Eventually some tech company will come out with some kind of local drone disruption technology, lasers aimed upwards at the sky momentarily blinding a drone.
    Would probably have to be mounted on a backpack or helmet.

  2. RyanCastaneda Clearly, it is both, Ryan.  Thanks for the comment.  Say it with me now: Skynet is coming, Skynet is coming…

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