This article was originally published in August/September 2016 issue.
If you are entering the drone world from the RC car world, then there is a good chance you’ve heard the manufacturer name LRP before. If you’re into or entering the drone world, then there is a very good chance, you’ve never heard the LRP name. Those in the know can tell you LRP is a German manufacturer well known for their competitive line of radio control electronics such as motors and speed controls. They’ve secured a variety of titles in highly coveted RC car races. Being an RC car guy, I knew I was in for something good when I grabbed the Gravit Micro Vision for review. The Gravit boasts ability to take HD video and still photos and store it on an included USB card. It also has variable power level and 6-axis gyro stability that will make the drone easy to fly for beginners. That means you can dial it into light wind conditions outdoors or to just all out have a fun time flying. It sounds
like they packed a lot into the Gravit Micro Vision; time to hit the sky.
DISTRIBUTOR: LRP America
TYPE: RTF Quadcopter
FOR: Entry-level fliers that want to take photo or video
•HD Camera takes videos and stills
•Flip ability is fun and easy
•3 power-level ranges helps new pilots fly successfully
•Tough body design
•Prop guards are a nice touch
•Longer battery life would be nice
Taking to the skies for some simple fun with a drone is easy with the Gravit. The power levels make it easy to learn to fly on and grow into as level 3 has good speed and maneuverability for the size of the machine. Press a button for easy altitude gaining flips and after your aerobatics, use the buttons on the transmitter to record or take pictures of cool scenes from above.
At first glance the Gravit appears to be a basic fun drone you’d expect to see in a catalog, but this drone has the LRP logo on it so it’s a bit more. The body of the drone is a white molded plastic two-piece shell with center pod for the meat of the electronics. Four arms extend from the center pod to motor housing with foam pads on the bottom of each for landing feet. Each neck of the motor pod is fitted with arms from the blue plastic prop skirt that surrounds the outside of the propeller zone.
Back to the pod, inside are multiple boards that make up the control board/ ESC/ receiver unit that is powered by the included 3.7V 380mAh battery. The control board features a 6-axis gyro to keep the Gravit stable. Also tucked inside is the HD camera. The camera has 1280×720 resolution and can take photos or video from the touch of a button on the radio. The images are stored on an included 1GB micro SD card.
The 4-channel 2.4GHz radio is loaded with functions. First off the oversized game controller style radio is molded in white with blue buttons and gimbals. The sticks have a nice smooth feel to them as well. In the center of the top is the simple push button on/off switch. To the lower left is a five button control pad. The three buttons on the center control the angle levels. Power level one is thirty percent, level two is sixty percent and level three is; you guessed it one hundred percent power. Three LED lights in the center of the radio indicate what power level you select. On the left side of the power buttons is the camera button that takes a picture with a simple press of the button. On the right is the video button. One push starts video recording and another push stops recording. If the drone is close you’ll see blinking LED’s on the drone that correspond to these button commands. On the right side of controller is another set of buttons, which are used to trim all four controls in case of drift. On the top of the control is a button on each side; the left side switches the drones LED lights on and off while the button on the right controls the flip function.
The kit comes with a simple USB style charge cord for the battery. There are LED lights in the charge base to indicate charging by a red light and green, of course, means charged. Also in the box are an additional set of props in case somehow you manage to damage a prop. You’ll also find a 1GB SD card in the box and, yes and a USB card reader; bonus! Of course a manual is included to familiarize you with all of the Gravit’s functions.
IN THE AIR
First flights took place simply inside my office. I suspect most flights will take place indoors as when you take the Gravit off charge you’re first instinct will be to put it on the floor in front of you, arm the throttle and take off. So the Gravit was hovering instantly in my office in power level one. I only had to give the Gravit one click of right aileron trim and the drone was stable. Next I started to fly figure eights in the room, noticing the Gravit does a good job of holding altitude.
The small compact space of my office limited my fun, but I can see ripping the Gravit around a large living room having the potential to be a blast. I instead headed right outdoors to see what the machine could do. A quick arm on the throttle, a few beeps and I was flying outside. There was a light breeze and it instantly took the Gravit away. In an instant, I bumped the power level up to two and I was able to regain control of the machine. It’s obvious that power level one is suited for indoors or with zero wind.
In power level two, the flight was a bit more fun too, it moved much quicker and was much more responsive. Since I was in a very open space, it was time to try the flip function, I hit the button, heard a series of beeps and pushed forward elevator. It instantly did a front flip and gained about a foot in altitude. Cool!
Many drones drop from the sky in a flip making recovery hard, but the Gravit actually gained altitude! It was on! I was flipping the Gravit one after another and then bumped the power up to level three for even more maneuverability … but then the LED lights started to flash and the Gravit slowly came down to the ground. Time to recharge the pack. Flight time is about four to five minutes, not bad for the size pack the Gravit comes with.
For my second flight I concentrated on taking photos and video. I faced the drone out over our parking lot at the office and punched the throttle to get it high up in the air. It was really high and I hit the radio button to take pictures. At that moment I noticed I lost orientation so I cut the throttle to half to bring it down. It was coming down much quicker than anticipated and the wind had moved it over the tree line. Before I could recover, the Gravit nipped a tree branch and came tumbling down through the tree like a pinball machine and hit the ground. No damage! Back up for video, a simple press of the button and the HD cam was recording; I made a few laps around the parking lot before landing and heading inside to check out my media collection. Using the provided USB card reader, I opened up the files and found I had some pretty good shots and some neat video footage. The Gravit Micro Vision certainly dishes out the fun, is durable and can grab some good photos, just get yourself an extra battery to extend flight times.
TRANSMITTING FREQUENCY: 2.4GHz
ROTOR DIAMETER: 55mm
CONTROL FUNCTIONS: Up/down, forward/backward, turn left/right, hover sideways, looping
BATTERY: 3.7V 380mAh LiPo, changeable
OVERALL DIAMETER: 160mm
OVERALL HEIGHT: 40mm HD-CAM: Video/Photo
CARD TYPE: 1GB Micro SD CHARGER: USB cable type
RADIO: LRP 4-channel 2.4GHz FHSS controller
FLIGHT TIME: 4-5 minutes
There is very little assembly required with the Gravit. Remove the drone from the box and that’s the extent of what you need to do for the ship itself. You’ll need to remove the charger and battery from the box and plug it into a USB port to charge it. You will also need to hunt down four new AA batteries in your house and install them in the radio. That’s it, done, plain and simple.
THE FINAL WORD
There is no shortage of small camera drones on the market so choosing a quality machine may seem difficult. Luckily if you stumble across and LRP labeled drone, you know its backed by a company that strives for quality and perfection. The Gravit is a blast for an entry level camera drone. Its maneuverability and power level impressed me, but what I liked more was its tiny HD camera took some really great photos and neat video of the Gravit flipping and racing around the test area. For just under one hundred bucks and all you get out of the Gravit, I think this is one small drone that is tough to beat.