Foldable frame for camera-quadrocopter (for travels)


I'd like to built a foldable quadrocopter which I can take with me on a round-the-world trip. When folded it should be small enough to be carried in a backpack, so I can take it with me on (shorter) trekking tours.

What I ultimately want is a quadrocopter with 3D gimbal and a decent camera (GoPro class or lightweight digital camera), and - if possible - gps features such as come home and waypoints (maybe a PixHawk controller?).

Anyway, first I need a frame, so I started searching.

Frames I found so far:

- HobbyKing Predator 650 Folding Quad-Copter Carbon Fiber (Size 650 mm, 646 g)
- HobbyKing Alien 560 Folding Quad-Copter Carbon Fiber (Size 560 mm, 520 g)
- Quanum XJ470 CF Folding Sports Quadcopter Frame (Size 470 mm, 410 g)
- Black Snapper L PRO (Size 665 mm, 490 g)
- Black Snapper XS V2.0 (Size 360 mm, 125 g)

These frames differ widely in size.

I have little experience with construction drones so far, and can't really judge which frame size would be best. The larger ones are probably to big for a "backpack-drone", while the smallest one is probably a little bit to small for carrying a gimbal + camera and resist wind?

I would really appreciate some recommendations! :-)

You need to be a member of diydrones to add comments!

Join diydrones

Email me when people reply –


  • Buy a Mavic DJI and you are just fine. 

  • I would have to update this posting since the DJI Mavic has been launched. There is no other choice. It seems an absolute game changer.  I am buying one. Most of my DIY efforts are directed towards fixed wings these days. DJI in particular have killed the desire for me and many others to DIY small AP copters. 

  • if you want to build, consider foxtech hover 1 or mavic if you just want to fly. sadly the dji copter is the best available solution when traveling.

  • answer is DJI Mavic (small) or dji Phantom 3 or 4

  • The immersionrc xugong looks nice.  But I gotta say the mavic looks incredible.  If I was going travelling and wanted something reliable, easy to use and easy to get spares for, mavic would be top of the list for sure.

  • I fully agree with Marc Dornan, and its a bit sad because this is a DIY site but there is no way that oneself can build a drone for the same amount of dollars and have similar specs as a Bebop, DJI or GoPro

  • Unless you are really in love with building I would recommend looking at a Bebop, simple an durable or a Xugong.

  • This is a kill joy posting but I have built and travelled with a fair few machines. It is is not really practical but it can be done. You will spend a fair bit of time perfecting such a machine if if you want good video from a 3 axis gimbal. If you really care about the results more than the building process you can get a Phantom 3/4 or Solo in a back pack and the result will be better. DJI is planning to release just such a foldable machine. It is likely to be impressive. Then again GoPros Karma is also really travel friendly. The most portable frame I have seen is this one It is optimized for a Naza FC though, but that may be all you need. You could easily get a Pixracer or something on it if you were determined.
  • HobbyKing Predator 650 Folding Quad-Copter Carbon Fiber - very good model. I buy Holy Stone HS170 Predator Mini Quadcopter RC on site jonsguide.orgHoly 750 mAh batteries which recharge in 1 hour 20 minutes. Best model for me.

    Top 10 Best Mini Quadcopter Choices — Greatest Reviews for You (2019)
    Mini quadcopter reviews will help you to make the best choice in 2019. There is much information out there on nano drones.
  • Moderator

    I built my own, first a folding carbon H-frame: with photos here: then one from EPP:

    Now I'm flying a folding tricopter based on the earlier designs by

    It folds up really small and packs easily into a 420mm x 280mm x 120mm case

This reply was deleted.


DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @chr1sa: Just a week to go before our next @DIYRobocars race at @circuitlaunch, complete with famous Brazilian BBQ. It's free, fun for k…
DIY Robocars via Twitter
How to use the new @donkey_car graphical UI to edit driving data for better training
Nov 28
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @SmallpixelCar: Wrote a program to find the light positions at @circuitlaunch. Here is the hypothesis of the light locations updating ba…
Nov 26
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @SmallpixelCar: Broke my @HokuyoUsa Lidar today. Luckily the non-cone localization, based on @a1k0n LightSLAM idea, works. It will help…
Nov 25
DIY Robocars via Twitter
@gclue_akira CC @NVIDIAEmbedded
Nov 23
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @luxonis: OAK-D PoE Autonomous Vehicle (Courtesy of zonyl in our Discord:
Nov 23
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @f1tenth: It is getting dark and rainy on the F1TENTH racetrack in the @LGSVLSimulator. Testing out the new flood lights for the racetra…
Nov 23
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @JoeSpeeds: Live Now! Alex of @IndyAChallenge winning @TU_Muenchen team talking about their racing strategy and open source @OpenRobotic…
Nov 20
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @DAVGtech: Live NOW! Alexander Wischnewski of Indy Autonomous Challenge winning TUM team talking racing @diyrobocars @Heavy02011 @Ottawa…
Nov 20
DIY Robocars via Twitter
Incredible training performance with Donkeycar
Nov 9
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @JoeSpeeds: Sat Nov 6 Virtual DonkeyCar (and other cars, too) Race. So bring any car? @diyrobocars @IndyAChallenge…
Oct 31
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @JoeSpeeds: @chr1sa awesomely scary to see in person as our $1M robot almost clipped the walls as it spun at 140mph. But it was also awe…
Oct 29
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @chr1sa: Hey, @a1k0n's amazing "localize by the ceiling lights" @diyrobocars made @hackaday! It's consistently been the fastest in our…
Oct 25
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @IMS: It’s only fitting that @BostonDynamics Spot is waving the green flag for today’s @IndyAChallenge! Watch LIVE 👉…
Oct 23
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @IndyAChallenge: Congratulations to @TU_Muenchen the winners of the historic @IndyAChallenge and $1M. The first autonomous racecar comp…
Oct 23
DIY Robocars via Twitter
RT @JoeSpeeds: 🏎@TU_Muenchen #ROS 2 @EclipseCyclone #DDS #Zenoh 137mph. Saturday 10am EDT @IndyAChallenge @Twitch
Oct 23