In the South Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, there are drones, and then there are DRONES.
For the rest of the week, the space will be filled with all manner of UAV manufacturers attempting to set themselves apart from the pack. It's no easy feat.
Unless, course, you're EHang and you happen to be showcasing a drone roughly the size of a smart car.
The EHang 184 is essentially an octocopter that you can sit in — and, you know, fly around in and stuff. We wrote about it the other day, but I was honestly still taken aback when I spotted the 440-pound craft parked in the middle of the floor.
It's a pretty good-looking vehicle, resembling a helicopter cockpit (in Stormtrooper black and white), surrounded on four sides by arms, each sporting two rotors apiece and capable of holding the craft aloft for 23 minutes on a charge. That's hardly an impressive amount of time, but what do you want from a first-generation product?
The most remarkable thing about seeing the drone in person is the cockpit, comprised of a Surface tablet. It's a little surreal, really, given the standard array of gauges and knobs one generally finds in its place. Getting the thing to fly is a simple matter of hitting "take off," while the ever-complicated landing process involves hitting "land."
The company hopes to sell the giant drone for $200,000 to $300,000, though the actual legality of flying such a device around is another question entirely.