British developer Torquing Group Ltd is seeking crowdfunding for Zano an “ultra-portable, personal aerial photography and video capture platform,” capable of autonomous flight. Running through January 8 and with a goal of £125,000 (~$197,000), Torquing’s Kickstarter campaign is well on its way with £74,000 pledged as of Nov. 26.
Controlled by a smartphone app via WiFi, Zano uses either your device’s gyroscope or an onscreen joystick for direct control and offers a “follow-me” mode for hands-free selfie action.
Listed as a “nano” class drone, Zano weighs in at just 1.94 ounces and measures 2.5″ x 2.5. The prototype will include infrared obstacle avoidance, 5 MP HD camera, audio amplifiers, a 32-bit processor and 10-15 minutes of continuous flight per charge.
“When we began work on Zano, our goal was to make aerial photography and video capture truly accessible to everyone,” Torquing Head of Marketing Reece Crowther said. “This meant making ZANO small and lightweight, yet durable enough to take with you anywhere. Intelligent enough so no piloting skills were required, and most of all, pricing Zano at a point that makes it affordable.”
Crowther further explained that the drone will be able to operate on a “virtual tether.”
“[This] means once you set Zano’s hold position, it will register the distance it is from your smart device. You can choose for Zano to hold this position or enable a ‘Follow me’ feature, which will instruct Zano to constantly maintain that distance from your smart device and follow you whilst avoiding any obstacles that may get it in the way during flight.”
Crowther says the Zano’s supply chain is ready to go, the company’s team is working on app integration and expects a May 2015 app launch and market production.
Beyond basic development, Torquing plans to add further functionality to Zano including facial-recognition capability, 360 and 180 degree panoramics, instant imaging editing suite, custom LED Pixel Art creation and swarming capability.”
“A user will be able to control multiple Zano’s from one device, this will enable photographs and video of the same event from multiple vantage points,” Crowther said.
Check out the intro video below and contribute to the Kickstarter campaign here.
Jason is a longstanding contributor to DroneLife with an avid interest in all things tech. He focuses on anti-drone technologies and the public safety sector; police, fire, and search and rescue.
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