The UAS community was abuzz this week as the video of the Phenox drone (below) made its appearance on Kickstarter. The Phenox drone is a small quadcopter that fits (and launches from) the palm of your hand. What separates the Phenox from other quadcopters, however, is the fact that there is no physical controller or pilot station.
Instead, the drone is controlled by voice commands and motion controls. Say the word, and the Phenox takes off. It will hover over your hand until you wave it on to a new destination.
The drone runs on the Linux operating system and is totally open-sourced so you can build and upload your own applications (the body of the Phenox includes a micro-SD slot). Sample code can be found on the Phenox website.
The Phenox project was started in Tokyo in 2012 and the team is currently working on their fourth prototype. The company launched its Kickstarter campaign on Monday, May 12 looking to raise $5,000. They raised over $7,000 in the first day.
From the Kickstarter:
“We started Phenox because we believe the future of aerial robots.
Aerial space is highly potential for innovative technologies and cultures. So far there seem to be limited applications of flying robots dependent on controller devices or stationary equipment. We wanted to develop an available platform to explore the possibilities in the air much more than ever.”
Check out the video below and donate on the Kickstarter page. The team’s goal is to begin shipping their drones by the end of August.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com