Indiegogo & Kickstarter Crowd Sourced Projects discussion

This thread is to discuss Indiegogo and Kickstart Projects linked to this post.

After reading the post “Yet Another follow-me copter on Kickstarter” I thought is would be interesting to list the campaigns crowd sourced and get an update of the current status. We have a lot of Kickstarter, Indiegogo and other crowd sourced campaigns disseminate information on DIYD, and it’s a good thing. BUT, I think what would be great to follow up on which delivered and which did not, or quite not yet! and why.
The ones I can think of are (no particular order)
‘B’ The [R/C] Flying Car
Pocket Drone
Game of Drones
Easy Drone
R10 Quadrotor
Incredible HLQ
Robot Fourbot
MavBoard (delivered thank you)
The latest being Airdog and Hexo+ who still need to complete their campaigns
Also (randomly)
Search and Rescue bot
I think it would be great to have this discussion as it hard to keep track of all these drones options. And if crowd sourcing is really helping connect customers with products that want and work as expected when the get them.

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So what's the pass/fail ratio on these things?  Seems to not be very good.

But the updates on all their production problems are very entertaining ;-)

My gut tells me stay far far away. If you want to go RTF Stick to 3D-Robotics, otherwise learn how to build your own. Been reading some DJI horror stories and I am not too sure about Walkera products.

The disappointment you feel from a kickstarter project is proportional to the amount of money you pledge.

Another thing that worries me about some of these campaigns is that they seem to be run by Extreme sports enthusiasts instead of trained engineers, not that you can't be both, but it does not engender confidence in the product for me.

That's exactly what I was saying about Hexo.  It seems to be marketed to the extreme sports crowd BY the extreme sports crowd.  I think that's why it got so much attention so fast.

It will be interesting to see how crowd funding matures. The only carrot for funders is something cool, before others get it is not much. I did hear that in Canada that they are looking at how laws can be changed to allow for a more 'investment' type crowd funding, where you may not only get the product, but reap some equity rewards. Occulus is one of those projects that did so well, those early backers that made it a success, must find that a bit frustrating.

I also think crowd funding campaigns can be more successful if they can raise money through equity/investment, as they are more likely to get enough money to succeed. I suspect that the ones that do succeed use the success of the crowd funding to get extra investment as well.

Having done a couple KickStarter projects, I have found that profits are very small if any. What it's good for is helping you loose a lot less money than if you funded your project completely by yourself. My own evaluation of my projects is that the fist one failed because its goal was too high. I don't think a lot of people thought it would actually work since I'm not from NASA and people want a finished product. Not many people have the time or patience to build something completely from scratch, unless they are members of this site of course. Got asked all the time for a kit version of what I offered and of course they were more than willing to pay far less than what a kit would actually cost to make. My second one got funded but my goal was too low. Luckily it made more than its goal so I only ended up loosing a couple hundred. I also over extended myself in the amount of aircraft info that I provided which turned out to be a lot more work than I thought it would be, which I think is the norm for kickstarters. Third one is still in progress so we'll see how that goes. Its funding goal is much more reasonable to what it will cost me and my description of my reward is very accurate which may turn a lot of people away.

I've been following the "B Flying car" project. My evaluation of it is that it's a success as a good learning experience for its creator. As far a profits from its £122,366 funding goal, the projects creator has already said he has had to take up some debt to complete the project. Once you factor in patents, visits to china factories, FCC license and on and on you quickly find out that most of the cost of a product isn't in the final part, but is in the process and R&D it took to get to the finished shipped part. He got lucky in getting his product in a movie, assuming they don't cut that footage out which happens all the time in films, so he may make a profit or at least break even at some point. I noticed a lot of similarities in this project that I see with other funded projects. The project page makes the product look more rugged and feature rich than it actually is. The product page shows nice CG rendered tires while the prototype used foam that wears down in a matter of minutes. Also all high grade parts were advertised. Spectrum gear and what looks like scorpion motors only to end up with a much less expensive Hobbyking radio and I'm sure less expensive motors as well. Lesson here I think is if you want your product to get funded, over sell your product. Advertise what you would idealy like your product to do, not necessarily what it can actually do. Not that that that concept is anything new to the world of advertising though.

If you want to make money then you have to do like the OUYA game console project basically did by keeping the money and only shipping some parts to some of the backers which I think is a terrible way to go. I think Kickstarter is great for people who aren't looking for profit from the initial project but just want to take some of the sting out of funding R&D for a project completely by themselves. As far as Indiegogo, their "flexible funding" option just seems like a haven for scammers which is why I prefer KS.

I think that starting this discussion forum about crowd-sourced/funded projects is a great idea. As a cross-check to the growing list of projects, many links to DIYD blog posts since January 2013 have been cataloged on several pages on the DroneSpeak website. Typically, links to projects that claim to eventually deliver some kind of UAV (with or without components of a UAS management system) have been cataloged on the UAV page. Links about projects that offer to deliver other components or systems can be found on several other pages on the website according to the relevant page in the DroneSpeak Vocabulary, for example:

I will scan the website to identify more...

I think it's worth expanding this list beyond the big crowdfunding websites to the groups that crowdfund on their own websites, such as . Of course my all time favorite was the OS-RC project, which was announced here in a blog post titled "OS-RC is HERE!" on 26 Mar 2012 which described a fully completed magical fpv supercomputer RC transmitter that could be yours if you sent some money. At some point the post was deleted. Interesting to note that Demetrius is now tweeting about it again,

Would be great if there was a central way to keep track of these things that helped establish some minimal level of accountability.

Someone tried this on reddit:

Skydrone FPV should be on the list too. They missed their indiegogo target, but have been selling the product anyway and I'm very tempted by it. They say it will ship "May / early June 2014" which of course is in the past but I'm still hopeful. 

I have been interested in Skydrone as well.  I don't think they have shipped yet, and I'm very concerned that latency issues might make it impractical.  I'd love to find out, but don't want to pay $500 to find out.  Has anyone actually received one yet ? 

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