As drones continue to take the investment world by storm, UAV entrepreneurs are finding almost as much investment capital away from Wall Street and Silicon Valley down in the grass roots. In fact, even though the drone industry is fast becoming the darling of the venture-capital startup world, crowdfunding continues to fuel the “Game of Drones” (yes, we will continue to beat that metaphor to death – never fear) with an ever-growing, fresh infusion of capital.
Two recent examples from the lesser known site Indiegogo include a drone that thinks it’s a tank and a new quadcopter firm that hopes seeing really is believing.
First up is B-Unstoppable. Touted as the “world’s first, commercially available hybrid Tank-Quadcopter,” the prototype is a small quadcopter equipped with actual toy tank treads that are suspended over the rotors. Created by veteran roboticist Witold Mielniczek, B-Unstoppable can be used indoors or outdoors and can be converted from tank to UAV mode with the flick of a switch.
“It can turn on the spot, which is extremely useful in limited space, which in turn provides 360 view from the onboard camera,” Mielniczek explained. “As well as driving on the ground, when obstacles become too big, it can simply take-off and fly over them,” he added, noting that the drone only weighs only 84 g, “therefore it can be operated without fear of causing damage to other models or itself.”
The First-Person-View model will be equipped with a 20 mW 5.8 GHz transmitter, HD camera 1280 x 720 px, 5.8 GHz receiver, 4.3 inch 8 channel high brightness screen with play back function and microSD support.
As of Oct. 1, the campaign had raised just under $6,200 toward a goal of $77,000. It will retail for early-bird investors at $159.
Not many drones are equipped out of the box with their very own set of VR goggles– but then not many drones are as cool looking as FlyBi.
The FlyBi will indeed include a set of goggles that will transmit the drone’s video feed directly into your face and will move the 1080p camera around as you move your head. In addition to the motion detectors in the goggles, FlyBi will include a wrist-mounted joystick along with bezel switches to control rotation and height. As with many new drone models, FlyBi will include a follow-me mode and will return to its “Helideck” docking station upon detecting a low battery.
For an early-bird investment of $545, buyers have been promised a working model before the FlyBi goes retail for $795 in June. As of Oct. 1, the campaign had raised $36,519, well past its goal of $35,000.
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.
Beginning his career as a journalist in 1996, Jason has since written and edited thousands of engaging news articles, blog posts, press releases and online content.
Subscribe to DroneLife here.