Since the FAA issued the much-maligned drone registration program, UAV manufacturers may benefit from a new niche market – tiny drones that fall under the weight requirements for registration (the agency’s mandate requires registration of all aircraft weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds, including payloads such as on-board cameras).
One new model, the Axis Vidius Drone, claims to be the world’s smallest first-person (FPV) drone. The New York-based firm is no stranger to the “little-engine-that-could” world of micro-drones. In May, the company launched an Indiegogo crowd-funder for the Wallet Drone, which quickly burst the Axis’ funding wallet by exceeding its goal by more than 500 percent.
According to company officials, the Vidius is capable of flying 100 feet from its controller, streaming or recording live video and performing 360-degree rolls and flips. The onboard camera offers 420p resolution on a UAV that measures just 1.7-inches wide by 1-inch tall.
As with most micro-drones, Vidius offers users the option of using its custom controller or flying the drone with an iOS and Android compatible smartphone app.
Deploying a 3.7 volt, 150 mAh battery pack, Vidius can stay aloft for about 7 minutes (a limitation that continues to plague micro-drones) but the power pack only takes 20 minutes to recharge via USB.
In addition to its six-axis, gyro stabilization array, which keeps it centered and stable, the Vidius is equipped with a pre-programmed “trick mode” that helps beginners learn to make advance, in-flight moves.
Vidius joins a growing number of micro-drones aimed at the blossoming “small-is-big” target market including projects such as the Zano by Torquing Group or the Micro Drone 3.0, a palm-sized UAV that works with 3D printed designs — allowing users to customize their personal drone into a number of shapes (such as dragons, TIE Fighters, and zeppelins, oh my!).
Ahead of a planned ship date of Jan. 29, Axis has launched a pre-order sale, offering the mini drone for $75 ahead of an MRSP of $95.
Did we mention – NO FAA REGISTRATION REQUIRED?
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.
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