So there have been a few threads about the failed Kickstarter campaign by Kellie Sigler of Failed not because it they didn't collect enough money in the time alotted, but I'm assuming due to potential legal issues with selling a UAV to overseas buyers or a lack of originality in this project as they might have been designing and building nothing new or of their own design. There has been some discussion about if this project was actually a scam.

Right now, I come down on the side of the project didn't include a single photo of their own work so I doubt they've even built one. They made claims about using "these computers" for 2 years when discussing the APM2 when I'm on the ArduPilot dev team and I don't even have one yet! And they had an estimated delivery date of March, 2012 without ever checking with Jordi and 3DR about delivery dates and quantities. Is this wrong? I think so. Is it a scam? I wouldn't call it that. But they sure don't keep their estimated delivery dates (see 8-10 months later) .


So what's the point of this blog? I just want to educate you on where you can go to get the exact parts listed in the KickStarter campaign and build your own.

Will it be easy? No.

Is it bullet proof? No.

Will you crash it? Yes!

Do I have the PID settings for this airframe? No.

Can I send you all the parts if you order from me? No. I'm not selling anything.

What exactly was I getting for the extra money on KickStarter? I would say packaging....and maybe a distribution board (they called it a "HOOK UP BOARD").

Have I built one? Nope.

Do I know what I'm talking about? Too soon to tell.


APM2: $199

Xaircraft Hexa Frame carbon fiber + Motors, ESCs and camera mount: $669

5000mah 3S lipo (they listed 6000mah but no voltage):  $26.72

Mission Planner Download:  $FREE 

Futaba T8FG Radio (but lots of other radios would work just fine):  ~$480

Turnigy 4x6S Lithium Polymer Battery Pack Charger:  $99 

X-Bee Telemetry Kit: $150


Total cost buying directly from the source: $1,624 + shipping.

They were going to include a "pro spares" kit (whatever that is) and a TX case for $2,499.

What's missing from the list above is PID tuning values and lots and lots and lots of trial and error.


EDIT: This photo may be the only evidence that Kellie and company may have actually built one!

Found here:

Views: 4001

Comment by healthyfatboy on February 1, 2012 at 12:30pm

Nice write-up. Good to have all the information in one place.

I do agree with you that it wasn't really a scam but a lot of bad practices combined into one project.

Comment by Ellison Chan on February 1, 2012 at 12:32pm

Be careful you don't get sued for trademark infringement, for using the name "Eye3".

Here's what I already worked out on the other thread with links to suppliers:

  Unit Cost Quantity Net Shipping
Xaricraft Frame $183.00 1 $183.00 $0.00
Quad Power Distribution Board $15.00 2 $30.00 $0.00
APC11x47 Propellers $8.00 3 $24.00 $0.00
APM2 $199.00 1 $199.00 $29.25
Nanotech 4s - 6A $51.47 1 $51.47 $0.00
HobbyKing 4B6 Balance Charger Plus Accessories (200W) $74.99 1 $74.99 $0.00
Lithium Polymer Charge Pack 25x33cm JUMBO Sack $2.73 1 $2.73 $0.00
Hoffman Magnetics 860kv Motors (Expensive) $52.76 6 $316.56 $0.00
Hobby King 60A ESC 4A UBEC $17.60 6 $105.60 $58.49
SUBTOTAL     $987.35 $87.74
Spares kit +Wire+Shipping to End User+Value Added
Comment by Paul Mather on February 1, 2012 at 12:39pm

Can they trademark something that's not theirs? They aren't even claiming to assemble it. Do you think they had something going with cnchelicopter to re-badge the hexa kit?

The subtotal you have listed there, Ellison, is comparable to the $1,499 kit on KickStarter....but has much higher end motors and ESC's listed. I saw nothing spec'd on ESC or motor capability.

Comment by Ellison Chan on February 1, 2012 at 12:47pm

This has been discussed in detail on the other thread.

I actually messaged Kellie Sigler, since I'm registered for Kickstarter, questioning why she was charging so much for this kit. and got this response from her:

Hi Ellison!

Thanks for your note, we are huge fans of diyd and APM! APM is absolutely a brilliant piece of 
work and all of the devs are great people!

About the pricing, you can have cheap or good - usually not both - but the copter is not really 
developed for the DIY RC community, and those are the people who really don't need our help 
anyway! We wanted to make a bot for AP and scientific purposes, so we're VERY concerned about safety and we chose high quality, overspec'd parts. $350 barely covers the motors (HQ350w) and escs (HQ50a) we chose, and doesn't account for losses which are invariable, or the inevitable warranty claims that we have to absorb. We want to offer the end user exceptional service with fast replacements for warranty issues and no questions asked..we fix the problem period.

Tack on to that:

6kmah lipo 
CF Frame 
Spares kit 
Lipo firebag 
Shipping of parts 
Shipping to end user 
Losses for all of these parts 
No Questions warranty/return shipping 
Comprehensiven pictorial instructions 
Personal service and online assistance

Which is causing me to wonder if we're charging enough haha. Seriously, I've shot myself in the foot before because I'm anything but a cheapskate...

Anyway, I hope that helps!


She claimed to be using 350 watt motors and ESCs, so I get them the benefit of doubt, and put in the most expensive, and best quality mot

Comment by malcolm churn on February 2, 2012 at 5:30am

@ Ellison i doubt you would get the hoffman's any more i thought they went out of business or at least turned to something else. You could always price up a bunch of hacker motors. :)

Comment by Jack Smith on February 2, 2012 at 8:04am

Paul says:

>  EDIT: This photo may be the only evidence that Kellie and company may have actually built one!

>  Found here:

NOPE!  They are scammers.  This photo was stolen from here:

(scroll to the very bottom of the page)

People: they haven't built anything.  Don't get sucked into their scam.

Comment by Sandro Benigno on February 2, 2012 at 11:40am

@Ellison, that Hofman motor is far NOT a good option for 500 reasons... I will tell you three... :P

1 - Expensive;
2 - Not so powerful to justify the cost;
3 - It has a crapy prop-adapter.

By pretty much near that price you can even buy an infinitely better Cobra 220-300w (ex-Pulso).
Here is the link:

Also, for the love of God... forget the 60A ESC!!! hehe... :) For that motor above you'll be pretty fine with 30A due the max current is 20A.

That 60A has a weight of a motor... 60g... a Plush 30A weights 25g.

Comment by Ellison Chan on February 2, 2012 at 11:58am

Well, as I've never used the Hoffman motors, it would be hard to argue.

But from my pov, if I were to build a camera platform like they were in this Kickstarter project, I'd just go with the Mikrokopter motors and ESCs, myself.  The Cobra motors you listed are good, but they're just running a little too fast for my liking.  You'd have to run them with a bigger prop or on 4S which mean more wear on the bearings.

Comment by Sandro Benigno on February 2, 2012 at 12:51pm

You can't deal with MK prices... I will probably never put it on my cart.

There are two ones that are pretty much like the MK: Avroto and Cobra (Pulse). Both will cost almost half the price of a MK. I'm not kidding... You can even compare them like here:

Here goes a suggestion on both ones (my choice is the Avroto one):

Avroto (the best one ever):

Comment by Ellison Chan on February 2, 2012 at 1:11pm

They're definitely worth trying.  Do they have a good user base and review for flying in multirotors?  The thing is, if I'm gong to be carrying thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment on my drone.  It's just not the power curve that I'm worried about.  I want to make sure that the motor and ESC pair that I'm using have a track record working together, and have been tested in the type of usage I have in mind.

The list I threw together above is really just for costing things out.  If I were really going to be building one of these, I'd try out all the parts my self, and test them to destruction, or at least buy parts that have MTBF ratings.


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