I’ve been following the folks at B Go Beyond for awhile now as I’ve seen their “flying car” concepts evolve to what is now a crowdfunding campaign to get their latest concept to production. The B-Unstoppable TankCopter is a radio-controlled hybrid land & air craft that quickly transforms from a dual tracked tank on the ground to an airborne quadcopter at the flick of a switch on the remote. [Read more…]
STEMI is a Hexapod Robot you can make on your own at home. Create Your Robot while learning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education). [Read more…]
There’s a lot of buzz going on about Monday’s press conference with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and F.A.A. Administrator Michael Huerta and their proposed plan to require all drone owners/operators to register their UAS (all sizes and classes) with a National Registry. And if you didn’t happen to catch the event, you can watch the recorded press conference below. The backlash from various UAS groups, legal advisors, manufacturers and aviation experts and the UAS community in general are nearly flabbergasted at the outcome of this event. [Read more…]
Drones many be too nascent of an industry to say for sure, but it’s getting dangerously close to becoming a permanent trend — drones are a “boy toy.” [Read more…]
Aerojournalism, dronalism, call it what you will — but drone journalism is coming.
It already has in some capacity. Right now it’s in its nascent stages — it’s quite common to see stories on Mashable or Huffington Post showing, “Canadian Rockies Are Magical In Stunning Drone Video” or “Drone Offers Beautiful Views of Massive Flower Garden.” CNN was quite public about its use of a drone to cover the 50th anniversary of Selma (Jon Stewart throws some solid jabs at CNN reporting on the drone, not using the drone to report: watch this video starting at the 4:30 mark.) But one day in our lifetimes, drones are going to becoming so ubiquitous that they will become a news gathering tool alongside a pen, paper, microphone or iPhone. [Read more…]
Want to fly FPV in Los Angeles? There is a new proposed ruling by the LA city council that would completely ban all FPV flights including those done with a VLOS spotter and even in AMA sanctioned flying fields. If you are found flying FPV in Los Angeles you risk a $1,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail.
The FlyBi drone is a crowdfunding project on IndiGoGo. At first I ignored this concept when I saw it about a month ago and I still don’t understand who exactly FlyBi is trying to market to, which is a little off-putting. The company is using flashy words like “VR” and “Autonomous” to gain traction while sporting a very high promise of features mixed a very low project funding goal goal. I find it hard to believe they will deliver the on the features they are promising. I give my comprehensive review and explain why I think so. [Read more…]
With their demo video going viral in all the social channels this week and raising lots of questions and controversy over their DroneDefender™ concept, I reached out to talk with Battelle’s PR and development team for a phone interview today and to provide some clarification on just how their system works. [Read more…]
This is a review and commentary on the HiSky HMX280 Quadcopter introduced in 2015 and available at Banggood using this link.
What is it? – the HM280 is an RTF (Ready to Fly) mid-sized quadcopter with powerful brushless motors. It comes complete with the Remote (TX), the quadcopter, a battery and a battery charger. It sells for approx. $175 which makes it a very good value in this category.
Numerous drone startups have funded their development from popular Crowdsourcing sites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo. Others use a combination of Press Releases, Social Media and Marketing to obtain preorders for their machines. This article will take a quick look at many of the most popular such ventures from the past and present.
Running the Gamut – Dreamers, Innovators, DIY’ers and Marketers
Many of the early Crowdsourced drones were simple designs a step up from the toy-grade models which most quadcopter pilots started with. Others were more interesting, such as the B Flying Car, which raised about $200,000 (US) in 2013.
A few raised much more – up to 2+ million dollars (US). These include Airdog, PlexiDrone, Zano (3.4 Million!). MicroDrone and Hexo+.
The developers of these range from one-person firms (B Flying Car) to larger groups of aerospace, electronic and manufacturing experts.
First Rule of Crowdsourcing and Preordering
Before we delve into the results of some of these popular campaigns, it’s worth reminding the public that there are NO guarantees when it comes to these projects. When you fund a crowdsourcing program you are a believer with a certain amount of faith in the project being completed. The drone may end up not being delivered at all – or being delivered in a form which doesn’t meet the claims. It may be years late and not backed by spare parts and/or service. The original maker may stop answering your queries and/or fade into oblivion.
In other words, it’s a gamble. You should never invest any money in these projects that you cannot afford to lose. You are not buying a quadcopter/drone but investing in a dream and project. As with most investments a loss of capital ($$) is possible. On the positive end you get to feel as if you are part of a larger project and may obtain the product at a lower price than it will eventually sell for.
Remember – as regards the crowdsourced models you are a Backer not a Purchaser.