The Pocket Drone—a collapsible, three-rotor aerial vehicle—folds up small enough to fit in a backpack easily, but its three independent propeller motors are powerful enough to carry a GoPro camera. Johnson and his partners think it could be the first in a huge, new category of personal electronics—the small, easily portable flying robot that goes everywhere with you to capture overhead imagery on demand.
A new venture pitching"pocket drones" small enough to fit inside a cargo pocket but strong enough to tote a camera is burning up Kickstarter with more than $100,000 raised in less than 48 hours.
The Pocket Drone is based on a "unique, cutting-edge, collapsible, compact design" with folding propellers, built-in landing gear, and a built-in camera mount, according to AirDroids founders Tim Reuter, T.J. Johnson, and Chance Roth. Despite its small size, the triple-propeller micro-coptor offers the "longest flight times of any copter under $500," for flights of up to 20 minutes in duration while fully loaded with a camera weighing half the device's 1-pound operational weight.
AirDroids is billing its tricopter as a plug-and-play device, capable of getting up and flying within 20 seconds of unboxing. It's also based on an open software platform underpinned by Google's Android mobile operating system, making the copter controllable via the controller the startup plans to ship with the Pocket Droid, any DSM compatible radio controller, or even by way of an Android tablet or smartphone, the founders said.