Phantom Drone thumbnail 1
Phantom Drone thumbnail 2
Not currently on display at the V&A

Phantom Drone

Drone
2013 (released)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

When DJI, the Shenzhen-based manufacturer of recreational drones, released its Phantom model in 2013, a wave of enthusiasm for unmanned and aerial vehicles for filming and photography follows. Its intuitive design and affordable price helped introduce drones to a vast new market, allowing people to explore the new possibilities these machines have to offer.

The drone is designed to be equipped with a GoPro camera, a popular type of action-sports camera. Although it was the first ready-to-fly drone to use GPS, it was hampered by a short battery life which limited flying time to less than 10 minutes. In subsequent versions of the Phantom, the camera has become an integral part of the drone itself and features a stabilisation gimbal for smoother video, developed in-house by DJI. This drone also subsequently gained the ability to be controlled using tablets and smartphones, to set waypoints and to view and control the camera, a feature the original Phantom lacks although the included remote is still needed for other general flight functions.

DJI is the largest manufacturer of domestic drones in the world. The company was founded by Wang Tao who started his career making flight control system for toy helicopters before transitioning to ready-to-fly quadcopters. The Phantom is DJI’s flagship drone and is the most widely used product series produced by DJI. The intuitive easy-to-use design of the Phantom drone has made it the most popular drone on the market, and has opened up drone aviation to a mass audience and popular culture. There are now many applications of consumer drone technology including drone journalism, hurricane hunting, landscape mapping, and search-and-rescue to name a few.

This drone was acquired as part of the Shekou Project, an international partnership between the V&A and China Merchant Shekou Holdings (CMSK) to open a new cultural platform called Design Society in Shekou. The drone was included in the inaugural exhibition, ‘Values of Design’, in the V&A Gallery at Design Society as an example of design that inspires fear and awe. It will be paired with the video Drone Aviary by SuperFlux which explores the cultural and socio-political effects of drone technology, including usage as surveillance, advertisement and traffic management assistants.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 22 parts.

  • DJI Phantom Drone
  • DJI Phantom Drone Controller
  • Packaging
  • Instructions
  • Propeller
  • Propeller
  • Propellar
  • Propeller
  • Remote Control
  • UK Plug Adapter
  • US Plug Adapter
  • European Plug Adapter
  • USB a/B Cable
  • USB Male to Female Connector
  • Modular Connector Cable
  • Drone Attachment
  • Box
  • A2 PUM Lead
  • A2 Flight Controller Unit Lead
  • A2 Flight Controller IMU
  • Stickers
  • Stickers
Materials and Techniques
Brief Description
'DJI Phantom' drone designed and manufactured by DJI.
Physical Description
A quadrocopter drone in white plastic with four propellars and a stand. The DJI logo is printed in red on the top of the drone.
Dimensions
  • Height: 20.3cm
  • Width: 43.2cm
  • Length: 43.2cm
Production typeDesign
Gallery Label
Phantom Drone DJI China, 2013 When DJI, the Shenzhen-based manufacturer of recreational drones, released its Phantom model in 2013, a wave of enthusiasm for unmanned aerial vehicles for filming and photography quickly followed. Its intuitive design and affordable price helped introduce drones to a vast new market, allowing hundreds of thousands of people to explore the new possibilities that these machines offer.(01/12/17)
Credit line
Donated by DJI
Object history
The DJI Phantom drone was included in ‘Values of Design’ at the V&A Gallery, Design Society in Shenzhen, China in 2017.
Historical context
DJI was founded by Wang Tao (also known as Frank Wang) in 2006, initially making flight control systems for toy helicopters before transitioning to read-to-fly quadcopters Headquartered in Shenzhen, DJI benefits from direct access to a vast supply chain, manufacturing infrastructure, and a young, creative talent pool which has allowed the company to expand rapidly. DJI has grown from a single small office in 2006 to a global workforce of over 3,000 in 2016. Privately-owned and operated, the company now has offices in the United States, Germany, the Netherlands, Japan, Beijing and Hong Kong and is the largest manufacturer of domestic drones in the world.



Summary
When DJI, the Shenzhen-based manufacturer of recreational drones, released its Phantom model in 2013, a wave of enthusiasm for unmanned and aerial vehicles for filming and photography follows. Its intuitive design and affordable price helped introduce drones to a vast new market, allowing people to explore the new possibilities these machines have to offer.



The drone is designed to be equipped with a GoPro camera, a popular type of action-sports camera. Although it was the first ready-to-fly drone to use GPS, it was hampered by a short battery life which limited flying time to less than 10 minutes. In subsequent versions of the Phantom, the camera has become an integral part of the drone itself and features a stabilisation gimbal for smoother video, developed in-house by DJI. This drone also subsequently gained the ability to be controlled using tablets and smartphones, to set waypoints and to view and control the camera, a feature the original Phantom lacks although the included remote is still needed for other general flight functions.



DJI is the largest manufacturer of domestic drones in the world. The company was founded by Wang Tao who started his career making flight control system for toy helicopters before transitioning to ready-to-fly quadcopters. The Phantom is DJI’s flagship drone and is the most widely used product series produced by DJI. The intuitive easy-to-use design of the Phantom drone has made it the most popular drone on the market, and has opened up drone aviation to a mass audience and popular culture. There are now many applications of consumer drone technology including drone journalism, hurricane hunting, landscape mapping, and search-and-rescue to name a few.



This drone was acquired as part of the Shekou Project, an international partnership between the V&A and China Merchant Shekou Holdings (CMSK) to open a new cultural platform called Design Society in Shekou. The drone was included in the inaugural exhibition, ‘Values of Design’, in the V&A Gallery at Design Society as an example of design that inspires fear and awe. It will be paired with the video Drone Aviary by SuperFlux which explores the cultural and socio-political effects of drone technology, including usage as surveillance, advertisement and traffic management assistants.
Collection
Accession Number
CD.102:1 to 16-2016

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record createdJanuary 27, 2016
Record URL