Fleye, a Belgium based company, today announced a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for their drone which has a design inspired in part by a soccer ball. Approximately the size and weight of a soccer ball, it is a good deal safer and is being promoted as such. Here is what it looks like.
It has something of an R2D2 look to it. And in fact the team behind the drone characterize it as a flying robot. It comes equipped with wifi, camera, and on-board computer.
There are essentially two claims being made: 1) It is safe. If you should fly this thing into the back of your friend’s head s/he won’t get hurt as propellers are enclosed and if they see it coming they can just gently (or not so gently) push it away. There is none of that quadcopter stuff here. 2) It’s a flying robot with an open platform that provides developers with both an SDK and an open API.
According to Fleye cofounder and experienced engineer Laurent Eschenauer, “Although drones are increasingly becoming a part of everyday life, the lack of safety standards and regulations in the industry are still the elephant in the room. We realized that the classic drone design has many shortcomings and decided to go back to the drawing board to create Fleye, the next-generation drone that can exist in perfect harmony with people.”
Before they can get to “perfect harmony” however they need to get to $187,837 with their Kickstarter campaign. As of this writing they have raised $38,787. You can learn more about the innovative design and vision behind the concept here.
You can reach Frank at [email protected].