National Geographic uses drones and robots to capture stunning images of African lions
After extensive trials and testing, Nichols and cinematographer Nathan Williamson sent a small, remote-controlled robot into the field to capture images from within inches of the lions. The camera-equipped "mini-tank" was manufactured by SuperDroid Robots, a North Carolina-based engineering company that specializes in bomb-defusing robotics. As the tank patrolled the ground, snapping the Vumbi pride from a bug’s-eye view, a German-made MikroKopter drone took to the skies, capturing aerial shots with an "off-the-shelf" Canon camera. Nichols and Williamson, meanwhile, were stationed in a customized Land Rover parked nearby, capturing wide shots from the floor of the car, and controlling the robot and drone remotely.