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It was about five years ago that Canon’s first camera drone efforts came to light with the PD6E2000-AW-CJ1. The >$20,000 drone appeared to be targeted to the security market rather than professional (nevermind consumer) photographers. And then the product – really a drone made by Prodrone, one of Canon’s side investments – quietly disappeared.
Now we see from a patent application that Canon continues to work on the underlying systems technology, this one involving a gimbal for a small camera on a quadcopter that allows for two-axis freedom of movement while maintaining electronic connections. This invention is scaled to serve a consumer-level camera, such as those small-sensor cameras already used on most drones.
The patent’s inventor, Shinji Obana, has been responsible for several Canon patents involving moving components that require continuous electronic information flow.