by Marc Basiliere
January 10, 2014
Your own personal flying robot
While personal drones are quickly working themselves out of the hobbyist realm and into the mainstream, Pocket Drone’s flying camera mount looks to be one of the more complete options [nearing] the market. What makes this one special is several features seemingly designed for mountain bike filming. Shown throughout its Kickstarter pitch ferrying a GoPro around, the drone is controlled via any Android device with a USB connection. But that’s just the beginning…
While the ability to follow predetermined Google Earth routes is neat, the Pocket Drone will actually follow the user’s GPS-enabled Android phone or tablet. Though the capability is not present out of the box, the little robot is said to be upgradeable to provide live video streaming- a feature that creative types could use to create for some very cool mountain bike videos. Flying time is roughly 20 minutes with camera aboard and the batteries look to be exchangeable for longer sessions.
Various Kickstarter support levels are available, but a “ready to fly” kit includes this carrying case, a battery/charger, and a controller: just add Android device and GoPro. At $495 (£300 plus duties), the price seems remarkably low for the capability. One day in (59 to go), and the project is already 2/3 funded- so this one seems like a go. No international shipping at the moment, but if this takes off international distribution is almost certainly a given.