The Pocket Drone

Update 26-3-2014

The Pocket Drone have now opened their online shop and are taking orders for two different versions.

Ready to Fly Pocket Drone

Your personal flying robot. It goes wherever you do.

This is the “Ready to Fly” Package.

Includes:

  • 6-channel controller/transmitter
  • rechargable lipo battery
  • lipo battery charger
  • carrying case
  • extra propeller blades
  • retractable propeller system

This is a pre-order and will ship late summer 2014.

BNF Pocket Drone (Bind and Fly) version.

This is the “Bind and Fly” Package for advanced users who want to utilize their own DSM2 transmitter.

Includes:

  • rechargable lipo battery
  • lipo battery charger
  • carrying case
  • extra propeller blades
  • retractable propeller system

Requires a DSM2 compatible transmitter (DSM2 receiver included)

This is a pre-order and will ship late summer 2014

They are looking  short on spare parts with propellers and extra batteries available. They will need to up their game if they are going to become serious players in this space. Their Tricopter may have great functionality but buyers will want a comprehensive back up service. If you have ever flown UAV’s you will know exactly what I mean. The last thing you want is to have your craft laying on a shelf waiting for spare parts to arrive.

 

The Maker movement goes all commercial with The Pocket Drone and 2014 will see a proliferation of medium sized quality aerial photography platforms.

Dubbed as the first micro copter to be able to lift a high quality camera the Pocket Drone was recently launched on Kickstarter. The campaign was launched to coincide with the CES fair and almost immediately surpassed their $35,000 goal.

The Competition

The Pocket Drone is competing against the likes of DJI Innovations producers of the outstanding Phantom range of aerial photography platforms. The founders of AirDroids the company behind the Pocket Drone lead the Drone Users Group Network and Chris Anderson of 3DRobotics the former editor of Wired heads the DIY Drone Community Network. What I find encouraging is that these guys really put in time an effort to find out exactly what features the public want from their offerings. The hobbyists and remote control enthusiast all play a part in rapidly developing prototypes , tinkering with UAV’s and constantly updating open source software. I’ve seen the Hubsan guy actively engaged on the RCGroups forum quizzing the users as to what features should they include in their next product. These Drones do have serious commercial applications but for many of the buyers they represent a highly enjoyable way of expressing themselves by their Maker skills, Flying skills or Photographic skills. Whether this will become a serious competitor to  Phantom range remains to be seen as DJI have recently released the Phantom FC40 an excellent RTF (Ready to Fly) out of the box Quadcopter. Leaders in the micro Drone market Hubsan are working hard to bring out their 109S X4  model that will be also be capable of supporting a GoPro sized camera and 3DRobotics are due to start shipping the IRIS Quadcopter.

The Pocket Drone Tricopter

What a lot of the reviews fail to mention about this Tricopter is the rear motor is on a servo so it can tilt and counter the adverse Yaw effect. This make the Drone most suitable for Aerial Videography and photography.

 

These are the key features of the Pocket Drone a project by AirDroids of San Diego California. The naming of the copter is somewhat misleading as it is not as small as the traditional micro Drones but it is unique in the way it folds and fits neatly into a carry bag. I would have preferred to see a backpack but you can see by the image how neatly it folds. A presentation the founders gave at The Hardwear Battlefield from TechCrunch

Pocket drone

The Pocket Drone key features

1. Unique cutting-edge collapsible compact design

2. Easy to fly and simple to maintain

3. Lightweight with maximum payload

4. Ready to fly (RTF) with everything you need out of the box and quick to deploy

5. Advanced software and systems with autopilot and “follow me” mode

6. Longest flight time of any multicopter under $500

7. High quality materials and components

8. Upgradeable, expandable and hackable

9. Designed with multiple safety features

This is the “Bind and Fly” Package for advanced users who want to utilize their own DSM2 transmitter.

Includes:

  • rechargable lipo battery
  • lipo battery charger
  • carrying case
  • extra propeller blades
  • retractable propeller system

Requires a DSM2 compatible transmitter (DSM2 receiver included)

This is a pre-order and will ship late summer 2014

 

Quadcopters with Cameras | Quadcopters Ready To Fly| Pocket Drone

9 comments

      • Thanks Robin would love to here your views on this model. When I first saw it I thought it was well overpriced. Please send us a review and photos I will put a page up. Thanks Paul
        Don’t you build The Pocket Drone Robin?

      • Drone arrived after 8 months of order. Missing parts. Quality of build not professional. Team not responding to multiple questions.
        This could have been a great product, but up to today, it is really disappointing! They need to change their management team!

  1. It’s premature for me to discuss performance as you’ll hear below.

    I was an early Kickstarter supporter for Pocket Drones, and you may recall that at the time it was the most successful Kickstarter campaign ever, raising $1M based on a goal of $35K. Building 30 times the original estimate of numbers was a challenge, I’m sure, with both positives and negatives resulting from the increased scale. The delays have been a negative, as the drone arrived far later than advertised, but that’s par for the course in a Kickstarter project.

    Out of the box, the Pocket Drone looked just like the pictures at http://www.thepocketdrone.com/, and the packing was solid. I had ordered an extra battery and props, and both were packaged in the box with the standard all-in-one product. The manual, available for inspection at http://www.thepocketdrone.com/uploads/2/1/5/6/21568662/airdroids_pocket_drone_manual_version_1.0.pdf, was well-printed, although the description of lowering the two-level landing gear was not good enough to be obvious, partially because the plastic gear seems easy to break if not extended properly.

    All that said, I have not flown the unit yet, because it is missing three “landing gear peg supports,” without which the landing gear just folds up without providing support. I have sent a note back to AirDroids, but I don’t have high hopes for a response. As others have noted, they are not good at interaction (yet).

    There is also no “center of gravity” web site or discussion group yet for user discussions of tips, tricks, and problems with the Pocket Drone. I came across this post looking for other folks who are trying this unit out.

    I have high hopes for this drone, especially its portability, which is just as advertised. If I don’t hear back from AirDroids, I’ll try fabricating landing pegs myself on a 3D printer. If there is interest, I’ll keep you posted.

    • Thanks Robin seems very disappointing they shipped your product with missing pieces and what’s the use of this model if the company who produces it lack the necessary skills to offer customer support? Perhaps a FaceBook Owners group wouldn’t go amiss. You may well have high hopes for this model but you can’t even fly it and may have to make parts yourself! I would recommend my readers avoid this product until it has been tried, tested and Airdroids get their **** together. They have promised plenty but at this stage are failing to deliver.

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