Audacious Autel just supersized their drone range

At CES 2023, Autel Robotics launched the new EVO Max 4T Drone, a mesh system for controlling multiple drones from one device and two powerful nest systems

Autel EVO Max 4T
(Image credit: Autel)

At last week’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas - CES 2023 (opens in new tab), the planet’s biggest showcase of new technology - Autel Robotics (opens in new tab) made a bold statement about their ambitions for the coming year in the dynamic drone market, particularly in the pro and industrial market. 

The Shenzhen-based tech specialists already produce some of the very best drones (opens in new tab) on the market for commercial, industrial and personal use, including the Autel Evo Nano (opens in new tab) and the Autel Evo Lite+ (opens in new tab), but at CES 2023 they expanded their range considerably, in every sense, and showed they are right on DJI's heels.

EVO Max 4T

The new EVO Max 4T

(Image credit: Autel)

Not only did Autel launch their new enterprise drone for pro pilots, the EVO Max 4T (opens in new tab), but they also unveiled an innovative new mesh networking system, which allows fliers to control multiple drones from one handheld device, plus a drone-in-a box system and a long-distance antenna. The Autel fleet isn’t just bigger and more technically capable, it can now fly further and for longer than ever before.

Autel

(Image credit: Autel)

The EVO Max 4T 

Autel’s new enterprise drone, the EVO Max 4T is armed with three high-quality cameras: a 48MP telephoto camera with 10x Optical Zoom, 160x digital zoom, and a 1/2" CMOS sensor; a 50MP wide-angle camera with a 1/1.28" CMOS sensor and 3840x2160 video resolution; and an infrared camera with a 640x512 resolution and 1.2km ranging distance. 

The EVO Max 4T also boasts a laser rangefinder, binocular vision system, millimeter-wave radar for obstacle avoidance, and a range of other navigational and data acquisition functions, including 3D flight routes, PinPoint Mode, Team Work, Polygon Mission, Waypoint Mission, and Oblique Photography.

Autel say potential applications include search and rescue missions, firefighting support, cartography and mapping, and inspection roles.

Excitingly, the EVO Max 4T works with Autel’s new mesh networking system, A-Mesh 1.0, so multiple drones can be controlled by one pilot using a small tablet. And the range of the system has been extended too, because aircraft can use one another as signal relays.

Autel Dragonfish

The Dragonfish Nest

(Image credit: Mat Gallagher)

Dragonfish Nest and the EVO Nest

Autel also used CES 2023 to reveal their new nest systems. The Dragonfish Nest is the world's first automated eVTOL support system. It brings together high-performing Dragonfish aircraft (opens in new tab) with autonomous takeoff, landing, charging, and flight mission capability. With a range of up to 75 miles and is being touted for use where long corridors of terrain need monitoring or aerial surveillance and mo use 

The EVO Nest is a portable base for EVO series drones, facilitating automatic take-off, landing, charging, and mission planning. It’s rugged enough for all-weather deployment and can be transported in a standard pickup truck.

Both the EVO Nest and Dragonfish Nest are powered by Autel’s SkyCommand Center software, and the company is also releasing a range of accessories, including the Dragonfish Repeater and Autel Smart Antenna Transmission (ASAT) System. 

Pat Kinsella
Editor T3 Outdoors

Pat Kinsella has been chasing adventures and writing about the outdoors for two decades. In pursuit of stories he’s canoed Canada’s Yukon River, climbed Mont Blanc and Kilimanjaro, skied and mountain biked across the Norwegian Alps, run ultras across the roof of Mauritius and through the hills of the Himalayas, and set short-lived speed records for trail-running Australia’s highest peaks and New Zealand’s nine Great Walks. A former editor of several Australian magazines he’s a longtime contributor to publications including Sidetracked, Outdoor, National Geographic Traveller, Trail Running, The Great Outdoors, Outdoor Fitness and Adventure Travel, and a regular writer for Lonely Planet (for whom he compiled, edited and co-wrote the Atlas of Adventure, a guide to outdoor pursuits around the globe). He’s authored guides to exploring the coastline and countryside of Devon and Dorset, and recently wrote a book about pub walks (opens in new tab). Follow Pat's adventures on Strava (opens in new tab).