3D Robotics

PocketDrone -- new APM-based Kickstarter project


Just launched at CES from AirDroids: the $500 Pocket Drone. Looks good! APM-based and well-engineered. From the Kickstarter listing:

We saw a lot of kits out there that were powerful and flexible, but took a long time to put together, tune, and make work correctly. There were off the shelf products that worked out of the box, but were limited in their functionality. And there wasn't anything out there that was both powerful and convenient to carry. So we decided to create something that combined the best of everything we had seen, but was more elegant and accessible.

That's how we came up with The Pocket Drone, the world's smallest heavy lift micro-copter. It's as powerful as an open source kit, works out of the box with everything you need like an off the shelf product, and is easy to take with you wherever you go, without having to bring along an extra case or bag just for your drone. We've gone through dozens of iterations to create the perfect drone product that can be used by everyone.

1. Unique cutting-edge collapsible compact design

  • Innovative swing arm and telescoping tail frame
  • Folding propellers
  • Built-in landing gear
  • Built-in camera mount
  • Travel case included

2. Easy to fly and simple to maintain

  • Pick your controller system
  • Pilot from our included controller or bring your own DSM compatible radio controller
  • Control from any Android tablet or phone with a USB port
  • Simple, quick and inexpensive to maintain and repair

3. Lightweight with maximum payload  

  • Flight and control is nimble, stable and accurate
  • Weighs in at around 1 pound
  • Carries an action camera like the GoPro(tm) with outer case (not included)
  • Capable of carrying up to 1/2 pound payload

4. Ready to fly (RTF) and quick to deploy  

  • Comes ready to fly right out of the box
  • Deploys in less than 20 seconds
  • Quick recharge system

5. Advanced software and systems with autopilot and "follow me" mode

  • State of the art flight controls, algorithms and connectivity
  • APM compatible flight controller 6-axis accelerometers, 3 axis gyroscopes, barometric sensor (altitude)
  • Integrated onboard autopilot Flight planning with Google Maps
  • Fly by GPS waypoints
  • "Follow Me" mode (requires mobile device with GPS)
  • Altitude Hold
  • Return to home (RTH)
  • Headfree mode (orientation independent flying)
  • Load/Save and repeat/replay flight missions
  • Real-time flight data
  • Artificial Horizon
  • Altitude Heading indicator
  • GPS signal strength
  • PC, Mac and Linux compatible
  • Mission Planner or QGroundControl Compatible
  • Android compatible (tablet and phone)
  • iOS compatibility coming soon

6. Longest Flight times of any copter under $500

  • Tricopter design means longest flight times available
  • Up to 20 minute flights (fully loaded with camera)
  • Exclusive propellers engineered and optimized especially for multicopters
  • Built-in low power alarm

7. High quality materials and components

  • Professional grade build quality and workmanship
  • Extra durable and robust airframe
  • Carbon fiber key components
  • Highest quality components
  • Advanced high-impact plastic resins
  • Designed in the USA

8. Upgradeable, expandable and hackable

  • Flight controller is programmable and easy to modify with open source tools
  • Mobile app is customizable and configurable with open source plugins
  • Designed for and by open-source enthusiasts
  • Always up-to-date firmware upgrades as improvements in control, power and stability become available
  • Add real-time video transmission for FPV
  • Add goggles for a full bird’s eye immersive experience

9. Designed with multiple built-in safety features

  • Exclusive retracting/breakaway propeller design
  • Minimal damage/injury from prop strike
  • Small size = lightweight vehicle = smaller props = reduced accident injury/damage potential
  • Micro tricopter design means much less spinning prop area
  • 33% less noise than any quad even before balancing and optimization
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  • I dont have Facebook/Hotmail/Yahoo/etc account... So please someone post a commnet with a link to our discussion here.

  • Please share your evidence with news pieces and website likes this one.  Spread the words so people can get their money back. http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/09/pocket-drones-gets-50000-in-pledge...

    Pocket Drones Gets $50,000 In Pledges Overnight
    Hardware Battlefield entrant Pocket Drones blew past their initial goal of $30,000 last night after launching on our stage at CES 2014. The company,…
  • It was obvious at the video that footage does not belong to copter.

    For the kickstarter, once there was innovative and creative projects that you can only find on kickstarter, now they become to some site like ebay or just another online shopping site. Go ahead and visit the kickstarter, what you will find is another copy of 3D printer, lucid dreaming kits, yet another smart watch or another smart wristband which informs you when a notification occurs on your phone.

  • @Michal I noticed this also a few other things but didn't wanna be the guy to blow the whistle so to speak lol.  I have been getting antsy thanks for doing it for me :)

  • 3692917757?profile=original

    Sorry to say - video telling that It is "Actual Pocket Drone Footage" IS A LIE... You can see full copter with landing gear, gimbal and probably DSLR camera as a shadow on bike and biker.

    The question is about the true intent of the Kickstarter campaign now

  • Collet style prop adapters is kind of a newbie mistake.  Doesn't take long for one of those to loosen and UP the prop goes, and down the tricopter goes, and UP the $$ lost goes.  Bolt on prop adapters is the only way to go.


    Agree that kickstart has lost its true intent :(

  •  Quadzimodo - Ratio between isolated and non-isolated weight can influence positional stability of the whole mass structure. Angular movement is completely independent of mentioned ratio. You will have angular motion that is necessary to control copter movement. With rigid connection between copters frame and camera you will get visible camera rotations due to the nature of copter.

    Simply I dont believe it was filmed with tricopter without gimbal.

    I would be glad if I'm wrong ;D

    Best regards


  • Ruwan - I reckon your hypothesis is spot on. It appears that the only bespoke components are the two plates and screws. Just a standard spinner and two modified props.
  • Moderator

    That is fine Quadzimodo :-), I too hate this auto-correct feature. 

    About the props, I have a feeling these props are made out of regular props. To make one of their prop, they might removed a opposing sides of two CCW or CW props. I think they have added two aluminium platesand two screws along with a regular spinner to hold those prop halves. May be added some aluminium to keep a distance between two aluminum plates.

    The've done a great job! :-) I hope someone can correct if I'm wrong. 

  • Ruwan, sorry for misspelling your name... Apple's auto-(in)correct is to blame.
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