Smaller and cheaper. This is the way technology tends to move. Cheerson, who made the wildly popular CX10 nano quad, has upped the fun by adding a camera! While it is only .3mp, its hard to argue the engineering prowess to pull this off on a commercial product. Coming in at less than $30 US, I think I will take a shot on this quad, if for no other reason than to marvel at how far consumer technology has come along.

Check out the details here.

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Comment by HeliStorm on August 16, 2015 at 10:36am

"This isn't a place to advertise your products! Remove it and post this rubbish on FB or somewhere like that!"

Not sure where your comment went Austin, but lest ye think I deleted it to hide it, I copied and pasted above.

In response, not my product. Not an ad. I am pointing out an interesting consumer product. This type of tech would have been in the realm of sci-fi not that long ago, and here it is on the consumer market at impulse buy pricing. Like it or not, these toys more than anything will drive mass acceptance of UAS. When, "drones," become stocking stuffers at Christmas-time, it will be hard to argue how horrible they are in general. I have been a member of this forum for years, and have pretty much always pointed out tech that follows one of my personal beliefs, "smaller, safer, cheaper." This product fills the bill. 

Comment by HeliStorm on August 16, 2015 at 10:39am

If the moderators want me to modify to seem less ad like, or want to remove it altogether, they are welcome to do so. No hard feelings.

Comment by Thomas Stanley-Jones on August 16, 2015 at 10:58am

I agree.  I'm also amazed at how fast this has developed.  Two Christmas' ago anything like this was relatively expensive and a camera was unheard of.  There must have been a big gap between flying machines being produced and the technology available through smartphones.  I think the production is catching up to the technology and then it will proceed at the same pace as smartphones (slower than now).  They can't get much smaller, but now they can become more capable.  How about yard monitoring?  1 flight a day to keep track of lawn health and garden dryness.  All automated, i.e. takeoff, fly route, collect data, land charge, process data, present a report on the kitchen computer.  How long until this is here in a manufactured product, 2 years?

Comment by HeliStorm on August 16, 2015 at 11:29am

Thomas, here is something to consider. The original Cheerson CX10 ran on a protocol that others had hacked and someone had even built a USB interface, allowing quads using the protocol to be controlled by a computer. I attempted at one point to develop a way to autonomously control one using a webcam and a USB controller. Being no software developer, I failed miserably by trying to use existing software. IF someone smarter than myself could hack together a control system, the processing could be done off-board, and THIS camera could be modded to near IR by scraping off the IR filter. With near IR you can monitor the health of vegetation. A hacked together proof of concept could probably be put together easily using this very toy.

Comment by Gary McCray on August 16, 2015 at 12:05pm

I have been supporting the smaller is better and tiny is best philosophy for over 2 years now.

The fact is the worst problem we have with these things is the perception of lack of safety.

And nothing makes them safer than making them so small (and light) they represent virtually no real danger to anybody.

I honestly believe that the whole world will wake up to this unalterable fact within the next year or so and tiny will become a common goal.

It worked with computers and cell phones (and they aren't even much of a threat).

Here we have a clear and present danger that can be virtually eliminated by making them tiny.

There is a lot of incentive.

And HeliStorm, thank you for bringing us this, to me at least DIYDrones is not simply a forum for APM and 3DR, it is where the people who are most on top of the whole UAV phenomenon come to be informed.

Best regards,


Comment by HeliStorm on August 16, 2015 at 12:20pm

Agreed, Gary. Most consumers will not have need for large systems. The explosion of cellphone equipped cameras should be indicative of what the public at large wants. Small, portable cameras with decent capability, and an easy way to share their photos. I hate to say the, "selfie drone," craze will probably happen, if only because I think selfies are indicative of an increasing mental health issue, but that's getting off subject. People WILL want those aerial selfies. The Solo is a nice piece of kit, with the, "look at me," capabilities built-in, but it is too big and unsafe to have more than a handful flying at any location. Hence the increasing regulations at places that lend themselves to awesome aerial shots. Now, dozens of palm sized camera quads might be as annoying as a swarm of bees, but they would likely be far less dangerous than that same swarm (I am allergic to bees, so they could literally be deadly to me). Swarms of nano quads would be a nuisance, at worst.

Comment by HeliStorm on August 16, 2015 at 12:24pm

It would also be interesting to see if a swarm of low res aerial cameras could be used as a higher resolution synthetic aperture camera array.


Comment by Gary McCray on August 16, 2015 at 12:51pm

Hi Heli,

+1 on "Mental health issue".

The fact is that whatever resolution we need we can stuff into a tiny camera, 1080P is not a problem, stabilization and serious quality results will take some effort, both at digital stabilization and gimbal stabilization levels and that has really just started.

So far the Parrot Bebop is the safest actually useful and capable small quad with decent oversize frame digital optical stabilization.

I think that level of capability and more will be stuffed into truly tiny (sub 200 sized) quads within a year, hopefully 6 months or so.

It is what needs to happen,

My fear is that if they don't get right on it, Phantoms falling out of the sky in the wrong places are going to irretrievably retard UAV advancement. 

Don't get me wrong, I think Phantoms are great, they are just too big, too heavy, too hard, too dangerous and in the hands of way too many people who have absolutely no idea what they are doing.

I think tiny drone swarms are entirely feasible, potentially annoying, but feasible.

I think some serious work on prop design might actually quiet them down a bit.

I am sure that in the future, synthetic aperture, is going to become ubiquitous across multiple input sources, a swarm of micro-drones would represent the other side of the coin from the US Gorgon Stare system.



Comment by HeliStorm on August 16, 2015 at 4:26pm

I have a continued interest in the Bebop. Instagram Hyperlapse on iDevices uses similar technique to smooth video with internal sensors. An app called Horizon for Android and iPhone does similar. Bebop is still the best I have seen to date though, since it is purpose built. Hopefully others will figure out ways to develop similar camera systems without violating Parrot IP , because it is really one of the clearest paths to usable micro camera platforms.

Comment by HeliStorm on August 16, 2015 at 4:27pm

That, and as you and I have discussed before, Gary. Possibly moving the image sensor instead of the whole camera.


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