Successful Multicopter Kickstarter Campaigns (Part 2)

Previously we discussed about two of the more successful quadcopter kickstarters.  Here are a couple more of interest. Enjoy!

Hexo+

The Hexo+ is an autonomous camera drone designed to take aerial videos at 15-minute stretches. This Kickstarter project ended with a whopping $1,306,920, which exceeded its $50,000 goal by a long stretch.

It is a beautiful quadcopter that is beats the Pocketdrone above in aesthetics but not in flight time.  This product works flawlessly with a specially designed smartphone app that allows users to frame aerial shots exactly the way they want it. With just a pinch, you could adjust distance between the subject and drone, and also the perspective of the video.

Fully automatic, it will take off and fly to a predetermined position, hovering there until subject starts moving. The Hexo+ is made to follow you at speeds up to 46 m.p.h., using GPS coordinates to track the location of the smartphone and predictive algorithms to estimate future positions. The copter sends and receives signals from the user’s smartphone via a MAVLink protocol that is perfectly suited for tracking extreme sports. But for people who prefer manual controls, you can choose to have an RC controller sent with the drone, or just use the app itself.
Like the Pocketdrone above, this quadcopter has six tilted propellers that maintain the stability and facilitate forward motions of the drone. An appendage, called the gimbal, meanwhile, is designed such that a GoPro action camera or a 360cam can be affixed to it.


One of the cons of this drone is that it does have to be used in open areas, as it does not have an inbuilt system to avoid obstacles. But costing just $299 for a 3D printing template, it is arguably one of the cheapest drones available on the market. If you’re feeling less adventurous, you can opt for the $499 basic plan. Throw in an extra $100 for a 360cam, and $200 for a GoPro action camera.

Airdog

The Airdog is the most successful drone camera project on Kickstarter, judging by the amount of funds pledged at$1,368,177! It boasts vastly more advanced features than the Pocketdrone and the Hexo+ of the previous article, and is of a different league altogether.


The engineers of this project decided against using a smartphone for autonomous subject tracking, inventing a device called an Airleash instead. The Airleash is a computerized tracker that is far more precise than the smartphone and has a much wider connectivity range. (Read: wifi and bluetooth) The Kickstarter page claims that while conventional smartphone drones only allows a range of 50m between subject and drone, the Air Leash can accommodate distances of up to 300m from the drone. One more thing is that this Airleash is waterproof, so you needn’t worry when taking underwater shots. The prototype Airleash is still a little too large for comfortable use, but hopefully a smaller, more convenient design will be manufactured in time for production.


Just like the Hexo+, it takes off and lands automatically, using advanced sensing and tracking technology. But the single, most exciting feature of this drone is that it has an inbuilt obstacle avoidance system, which is notable absent in the other two drones. This means that you can focus all your energies on whatever you’re doing, instead of worrying that your precious device would crash into smithereens. The software would allow users to set-up “no-fly zones”, either manually or via feedback from other users.

Costing $995 per drone, it is almost double the price of the two drones featured earlier. But it does come with special features that makes up for the initial heartache, and thus would be a costly but worthy investment for those who can afford it.

So that concludes the review of multicopter Kickstarter projects, hope you liked it!

Successful Multicopter Kickstarter Campaigns (Part 1)

Multicopters seem to be the latest fad on Kickstarter, with each project hitting or even exceeding the million-dollar mark. In this two-part article, I shall proceed to review four such projects so that you get an idea of what the fad’s all about. These projects are arranged in a somewhat chronological fashion so that you get to see the progression.

Hex
Hex is arguably the first successful drone camera project on Kickstarter, and can be considered the precursor to all the multicopters featured below.

It is almost completely DIY, with parts available to print, provided that you have a 3D printer at home. Being solder-free means that pretty much anyone can build their own quadcopter from scratch. Not only that, each Hex copter is highly customizable. You can choose shells made by the in-house designers or even make your own shells, should you feel up to the challenge. Of course, the shells available on the open source software is not limited to the quadcopter configuration, there are also hexacopter configurations if you wanted to be slightly less conventional.

Hex can be controlled using an app specially designed for the smartphone, which saves the need for a bulky remote control. Notwithstanding its small size, a small camera can be mounted on this drone to take aerial shots in real time. What’s exciting is that the shots from this camera can be transferred directly to a pair of First Person View glasses, allowing you to experience the aerial view as if you were seeing it with your very own eyes. The small drone also has a remarkable 50m capability, which means that you don’t have to constantly chase after the drone in its flight.

It is extremely cheap, costing only $49 for a basic copter, but that doesn’t mean that it is flimsy. Hex has multiple sensors attached to its body to facilitate steady flying and to prevent crashing. One con of this nanocopter is that it only has a flight time of seven minutes before it runs out of battery, a rather disappointing factor considering its small size.

Nevertheless, for its price, it’s more than a bargain. The accompanying camera and FPV goggles does cost a fair bit of money though, if you wanted it.

Pocketdrone
Pocketdrone fell just short of a million dollars, earning $929,212 in pledges to become the most popular drone project, the first of many more to come.

Pocketdrone can be equipped with a GoPro action camera to film aerial shots of extreme sports. It has a flight time of 20 minutes, which is far longer than the 15 minutes of HEXO+, but one of the more unique features of this drone is that it is extremely portable. It can be folded to a size equivalent to a 7in tablet, so that you can bring it everywhere you go.

While the HEXO+ and the Airdog are both quadcopters, the Pocketdrone is a tricopter, while purportedly facilitates longer flight times, better controls and quieter flights.  Controlling this device is easy if you possess a DSM compatible radio controller or an Android phone/ tablet. You could also order a controller to come with the drone.

Depending on your preference, you could preset the flight path manually or go on automatic mode. On automatic mode, it tracks the subject by detecting the GPS signals on your mobile and predicting future positions using Google Maps, which gives a fairly accurate positioning of the subject.

For all its features, a basic Pocketdrone would cost $415, with $40 extra for a controller. If you pay $555, you get a GoPro action camera thrown into the bundle.


That’s not such a hefty price to pay for high-quality aerial shots, is it?  Stay tuned for the next article!

Parrot MiniDrone Rolling Spider Review

Parrot, the creators of the AR Drone 2.0 has been on a tear when it comes to releasing new products.  The most recent product, the Parrot Mini Drone Rolling Spider is nothing short of phenomenal and has been all the rage in the entry level consumer category.  The reason being is it appeals to beginners and intermediate flyers alike.

details

Flying and rolling

This mini drone comes with two little wheels on the sides and four propellers that allow 360 degree flips. The wheels allow the drone to glide up surfaces be it walls or ceilings and act as collision guards when the drone is in flight. The wheels are detachable, however, should you just want to strictly fly the drone.  Given its size, it is not surprising that the Rolling Spider is highly agile and easy to manoeuvre. While you could get carried away with flying it outdoors, it’s cautionary that while flying the drone too high when full throttle is turned it, it’s possible to lose connection with the remote control, as the range of the Rolling Spider is only 20m or 66ft.

details_right

Features

In the automatic pilot mode, accelerometer and gyroscope compensates for environmental conditions so that the user can focus solely on flying. Like most other advanced drones, the Rolling Spider has been programmed to retain its altitude and position in hover mode. This means that you don’t not worry about the drone drifting away when you release the remote control. Being extremely lightweight, at a mere 55g, it is highly suitable for children and for those who prefer indoor flying, as this drone will not cause any serious injury. 

Controls

The Rolling spider can be controlled using bluetooth via a smartphone app – FreeFlight 3, which even comes with a few pre-programmed acrobatic tricks. With just a few swipes, you could send the drone rolling and flipping, doing backflips and barrel rolls, which makes for an enjoyable pastime.  

To demo the FreeFlight 3 App, download the app below.

 

Camera

It does come with a built-in camera. However, this isn’t one for photography enthusiasts. The camera image quality is quite low given the sensor can only capture 0.3MP shots.  And because the camera is located on the underbelly of the drone, the camera points directly downwards, which only captures flat 2D shots . The camera was placed there for more technical reasons, such as to determine the drone’s speed by taking snapshots at regular intervals.

rolling-spider-details

Flight time

The single, most disappointing feature of this drone is its flight time. To fully charge the Rolling Spider, it takes between 60-90 minutes.  This provides roughly a fly time for 8 minutes (6 minutes with wheels), which is quite comparable to many mini quadcopters on the market already.  Of course, you may choose to purchase additional batteries for additional fun time.

battery


customFun Factors

One of the novel features of the Rolling Spider is that you can customize it with stickers.  It’s gimmicky, but kids love it. Currently there’s only mustache, vampire teeth, and teeth grinding stickers, but there’ll probably a host of other stickers available later.  The Rolling Spider also comes in three colors, white, red, and blue.

Conclusion

For under $100, the Rolling Spider  is pretty fun and addictive, with superb controls and agility. However that said, the product can not be compared to its bigger brother, the AR drone 2.0, since it is simply in a different class.  As an entry point into drones, it’s very comparable if not better than most other beginner drones in terms of flight time and use of a smartphone for controls.  

While this doesn’t exactly qualify as a flying drone, Parrot also created a rolling and jumping drone called the Parrot Jumping Sumo.  The Jumping Sumo can do rolls, rushes, zig-zags, circles, how its  main feature is that it can jump 80cm or 31″ in the air!  It has 20 minute of rolling action and can take streaming live videos that are broadcast onto your smartphone.  Similar to the Rolling Spider, the Jumping Sumo can be controlled with the same Free Flight 3 App and can be customized with various stickers.

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FAA Regulations on Quadcopters

Due to the increase in interest in quadcopters, I often get questions related to FAA regulations.

Questions like:

Are there restrictions with flying my quadcopter in private airspace?
Is it legal to record footage using my quadcopter camera?
Do I need authorization from the FAA to fly my quadcopter?
Where can I fly my quadcopter?

The intention of flying a quadcopter is primarily for fun. Yet having fun, means being safe. And that’s the primary concern that FAA has over personal drones, quadcopters, or multirotor kits right now. As long as you are avoiding any hazardous activities, like flying near airports, people or private property, for the most part you’ll be OK flying your quadcopter. And I say for the most part, because certain public areas will have signs up which forbid flying any quadcopter in the vicinity.

FAAmodelaircraftoperations

Source: http://www.faa.gov/go/uas

Here are the “Dos” and “Donts” of flying a model aircraft taken from the FAA website:

“Dos”

  • Do fly a model aircraft/UAS at the local model aircraft club
  • Do take lessons and learn to fly safely
  • Do contact the airport or control tower when flying within 5 miles of the airport
  • Do fly a model aircraft for personal enjoyment

“Don’ts”

  • Don’t fly near manned aircraft
  • Don’t fly beyond line of sight of the operator
  • Don’t fly an aircraft weighing more than 55 lbs unless it’s certified by an aeromodeling community-based organization
  • Don’t fly contrary to your aeromodeling community-based safety guidelines
  • Don’t fly model aircraft for payment or commercial purposes

Additional Rules:

  • Do not fly above 400 ft.
  • Do not fly above a populated area.
  • Always fly close enough to see your aircraft, maintain a visual line of sight

Interestingly enough, the FAA is prohibiting flying a model aircraft or a quadcopter for commercial purposes. This becomes a fine line, because how do you really tell if someone is flying for pleasure or for commercial purposes, when the penalties are really severe.  A photographer, who was contracted for his services, was fined $10K for operating an aircraft over a university.  And this is happening across all industries.  Likewise the FAA have started to crack down on real estate agents who fly their quadcopters for home listings and farmers who fly their quadcopters for agricultural monitoring.

For personal usage, when recording video using your quadcopter, the right of privacy also comes into play. This applies to when a person, home, or property is filmed. Similar to recording video on the ground, to ‘legally’ use a video or footage recorded from the air, you’ll need consent / a release form for permission. This becomes controversial and a gray area because while some places like the beach are public areas, recording people on that beach may be considered questionable.

As quadcopters become ever more increasingly popular, FAA rulings will continue to evolve.  Congress has charged the FAA to rewrite the drone rules by Sept 2015, however even then, it’d be near impossible to categorize all types of scenarios.  For such example, is it legal to fly near fireworks?

For more information on where to stay abreast of the latest legislation, check out the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA) Government Relations Blog.

Remember to fly safe and consider those around you.

FPV Quadcopter Kits

Now a days, it’s pretty rare to see a quadcopter without a camera.  Adding a camera to a quadcopter is the natural upgrade once one learns to comfortably fly one, yet still, more and more hobbyists are looking still to further upgrade their systems to FPV quadcopters.
So what exactly are FPV quadcopters?  FPV, which stands for ‘first person view’, allows you to see exactly what the quadcopter sees – essentially you are the pilot!  The live feed from the camera on the quadcopter is transmitted and viewed on a remote display.
Typically, everyone who navigates their quadcopter keeps a close eye on it in the skies.  However, with a FPV system, you are either doing one of two things: either you’re staring down at transmitter or you’re staring into a heads up display goggle.  Either way, it’ll look a little bit odd…
FatShark Guy
The advantage to flying a FPV quadcopter is that you don’t need to maintain a line of sight with your quadcopter.  Case in point, one person recorded the inside of an erupting volcano.  Another advantage is that your recorded videos will look more refined and cinematic because you have more control on the angle or perspective you want to capture.

A recommended entry level FPV quadcopter, which also happens to be the world’s smallest ready to fly quadcopter, the Hubsan X4 H107D quadcopter is simply phenomenal right out of the box.  It’s a fun little quadcopter that has the ability to do stunts, flips, and tricks, smaller, mini quadcopters are geared to do, yet it’s sophisticated to capture high quality FPV videos as larger, more expensive quadcopters are meant to do. It’s a nice hybrid between both worlds.
hubsan-x4-fpv-mini-quadcopter-h107d

The X4 has a built in FPV 4.3 inch LCD screen in the controller and it uses a built in 720p camera that allows you to capture 640 x 480 resolution images or 720 x 240 resolution videos.  Everything comes integrated and ready to fly, right out of the box.

As an entry level, lower priced quadcopter, it’s not as robust as the larger, more stable quadcopters like the DJI Phantom 2 Vision or Vision+.  One of the disadvantage of the X4 is that it’s a bit hard to hover in one position. Even with the slightest wind, the X4 can be pushed around quite easily.  However, for the price and the FPV capability, it’s a really good FPV starter system.

DJI-Phantom-2-Vision

DJI Vision 2

Alternatively, if you are looking at a ready to fly FPV quadcopter that is geared more towards the prosumer lineup, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision or the DJI PhantomVision+ is a great option.  These larger quadcopters have 14MP cameras that are capable of recording 1080p resolution videos.  They also have built in gimbals / stabilizers for smooth video recording.

Also integrated into these quadcopters are GPS navigational chips that allow the quadcopter to hover with ease and to return home should the transmitter lose connectivity.  As for the FPV portion of the system, you can view the live video feed using the DJI mobile app on either your iphone or your android phone.  The app will enable you to start stop the video recording, take photographs, and even zoom. When it comes to FPV systems, the DJI phantom is really the cream of the crop.
Vision+

DJI Vision+

If you already have a quadcopter like the original DJI Phantom and are looking to retrofit it with a FPV camera system, there are two recommendations: 1) The Kumba Camera FPV kit or 2) the Fat Shark FPV Goggles.
The Kumba Camera is a nice setup in that you are able to directly connect your GoPro Hero and transmit the feed to a 7″ LCD display that can be mounted on your controller.
FPV setup Kumba Cam

FPV boxIt’s crucial to note that since your transmitter, which controls the quadcopter, operates on 2.4GHz, so you must not use the same frequency for anything else.  You would think that you could use the live display with GoPro app, but because that WIFI connectivity also operates on 2.4GHz, it could and potentially will interfere with your quadcopter navigation.  And as such, it may cause your quadcopter to drop from the sky.  To minimize potential interference, the Kumba Camera is set to 5.8GHz. Alternatively, there are four other channels within this frequency band.
The Fat Shark FPV system is also a nice setup in that you’re navigating your quadcopter using a heads up display.  With this setup, the goggles will only work with the supplied 720p camera assembly.  Like the Kumba Camera, the Fat Shark also operate on 5.8GHz.  The only problem with this setup is that it doesn’t have head tracking capability.  Say if you see a tree in front of you, and you wanted to react to it, you won’t be able to avoid collision if you suddenly jerk your head to the side.fatsharkFatShark Predator-

Who knows, maybe in the future, that will be the next upgrade beyond the FPV quadcopter upgrade.

DJI Phantom 2 Vision

dji-phantom-2-vision-quadcopter

As a successor to to its popular predecessor, the Phantom 2 Vision quadcopter sets the bar even higher.  The word ‘Awesome’ simply is not enough to describe this new model.  How do you make the best quadcopter any better?

Simple, by integrating a high definition WiFi camera with First Person View to a packaged Ready to Fly (RTF) kit.  Seriously, this is the ultimate quadcopter kit.

 

DJI Innovations, the maker of the DJI Phantom, took the base model, kept all the features that made this quadcopter, the quadcopter of the industry.  These features included an on board GPS system that allows the quadcopter to maintain its position mid air as well return to home whenever the battery is depleted or whenever the communication link is broken.  Other features that were retained are the 300m communication link between the transmitter and the quadcopter and the self tightening propellers.

The frame of the quadcopter and the transmitter remains nearly identical to the previous generation, however, the internal components and software add-ons have improved significantly.   For one, the new Phantom Vision gets a new battery upgrade, from 1000mAH to 5200mAH battery.  For at least 25 minutes of juice, this larger battery provides nearly 3x more fly time when compared to the first generation model.  Also, the new integrated battery compartment enables you to swap batteries in a matter of seconds.

dji_phantom2vision_battery


The most notable upgrade to the DJI phantom is the WiFi HD video camera that comes integrated with the quadcopter.  Previously generation of the DJI Phantom allowed enthusiasts to fly with their own personal GoPro camera.  visionThis new WiFi HD video camera is capable of capturing photos and videos simultaneously in either a 1080p (30fps or 60i) or 14 megapixel resolution.  The current GoPro Hero 3+ is only able to record 1080p at 30fps and capture images at 12 megapixel resolution. While there are pros and cons to having a built in camera on board the quadcopter, if you already have a GoPro Hero, you could always opt for the Phantom 2 model with the Zenmuse H3-2D gimbal mount for greater versatility.   But as it stands, the DJI Phantom 2 Vision is now truly a complete ready to fly system.

One of the key features of Phantom Vision is the built in first person view.  This is important because many times when you’re flying the quadcopter, you’re either flying blind or you’re having difficulties determining the direction and speed that you should be recording.  Having a first person view that’s integrated to your iOS or android mobile device can be advantageous because you can see what the camera is seeing in the first person mode.  This is significant because you can either film that quality shot with FPV (when your quadcopter is out of sight) or you could record utter garbage without it.   With the DJI app, you’re able to start and stop the recording, adjust the quality of the image, as well as tilt and pan the camera.  The app also monitors parameters like altitude, location, and battery life.

app

While you could theoretically use your GoPro app to view the GoPro footage in first person view, it would be unwise to do so because the frequency that the GoPro uses to communicate with your mobile device is the same as the frequency that is used for your transmitter to communicate with your quadcopter.  Because the two operate on the same frequency, you would get unwanted signal interference that may cause your quadcopter to lose comm link.  

What about jello effects?

Jello effects on the DJI phantom are when you see rippling effect in the video caused by the propellors.  The latest Phantom Vision comes built in with anti-vibration mount via soft rubber plugs to isolate the camera from vibrations caused by motors and propellers.  In the first version of the DJI phantom, you would either need to install an aftermarket gimbal mount with the soft plugs or you would need to balance your propellers.   This is a must needed upgrade to the DJI line up as that issue was inherent to the predecessor’s design.

So is the new DJI Phantom 2 Vision worth it?  

It’s definitely worth it.

 

 

Here’s a review from Photoshop Cafe on the new features of the latest Phantom Vision:

Below are some sample videos recorded with the Phantom 2 Vision.

 

 

UDI RC U816A UFO Quadcopter 6 Axis Review

The UDI RC U816A UFO is the best quadcopter I could have gotten as a beginning quad copter pilot. It is great how this copter flies indoors. Of course it helps flying indoors because it is a relatively small quad copter. Out of the box this copter is roughly 6.5 inches by 6.5 inches so it will fit in the palm of your hand. That is awesome when it comes to flight training. As much fun as it is to fly indoors, I would definitely recommend the first few training flights to be outdoors or at least in a very large room. The reason being is that I tend to panic if I am trying to fly in an enclosed space and end up over correcting the copter and ramming into walls or furniture.

UDI RC UFO Quadcopter

After some time outdoors or in wide rooms I was able to control the copter pretty easily. Even my children were able to learn to fly and maneuver the quad copter. This particular quad copter has a shielded rotors that keep me (and my kids) from scratching the walls and ceiling. Also, the guards protect the blades from severe damage in crashes.

The battery life is in the 7 – 8 minute range. Nine minutes isn’t out of the question if I let it coast some. For that reason I would definitely suggest buying an extra battery or two so you can have for 20 – 30 minutes of good flying time. With extra batteries you can keep two batteries charging at a time minimizing down time. Don’t forget to plug the spare batteries in because it takes 55 – 60 minutes to charge.

Performance is also cool with this quad copter. There are two modes for flying, one for learning and one for when you get better and are more advanced.  After some practice it is stable and easy to hover.  But the flips are just as easy to do. Press the button and it flips. That’s all there is to it. Just make sure you are flying high enough to do the flip without crashing into the ground. I will mention here that  flying over grass is a good idea until you are comfortable with flying.

Make sure you also keep AA batteries for the transmitter. You will need 4 when you get it out of the box to start flying. The instructions are in English but still a little hard to follow. One thing you want to be sure of is to make sure you pair the quad copter and the transmitter properly. When you pair them make sure the copter is on a flat surface. Proper trim and stable flight is somewhat more difficult if this isn’t done correctly.

All in all this quad copter is a great toy. Plenty sturdy enough for those beginner’s crashes, yet still has the capabilities for advanced flying with the high performance mode and the 360 flip button. Awesome value for a trainer.

For more information, reviews, and pricing, click here.

 

VideosImagesSpecifications
UDI RC UFO Quadcopter
  • Comes Ready To Fly Out Of The Box
  • 2.4GHZ Radio System is interference free
  • Quadcopter is capable of flips at the push of a button
  • Captable of high speed flight in advanced flight mode
  • Just Add (4) AA Batteries for transmitter

 

 

Syma X1 4 Channel Quadcopter Spacecraft Review

This quad copter is just straight up awesome. Outside of one very simple glitch (which I will tell you about later) there is nothing negative I can say about the Syma X1. There is a laundry list of good things to say about this quad copter. Durability, a perfect balance between simplicity and performance, and price are definitely the high points of this copter. Not to mention there are several available accessories to increase the flying experience.
Syma X1 Spacecraft
First things first, the Syma X1 Spacecraft quad copter is extremely durable. There is seemingly no limit to the punishment this copter will take. This feature makes it an excellent choice for those that are just learning to fly. Crash after crash the X1 seems to just keep on going. They do send it with an extra set of blades just in case you are able to break it. Whether flying indoors or outdoors even in the light wind this quad copter is ready to fly. And if you fly into a wall, the ground, or a tree the X1 will be reliable enough to pick it up and fly some more.
Another great thing about this quad copter is the ability to balance simplicity for the beginning flier and performance on hand for the seasoned veteran with quad copter experience. The copter has two modes identified as indoor and outdoor. While a trainee could and should fly the copter outside with the inside setting; it would not be a good idea to fly inside on the outside setting. Stability is great and hovering comes pretty easy to the beginner. The more advanced capabilities provide a great flying experience for everyone. You can fly in any direction. You can flip in any direction, although I would recommend being at least 8 feet off the ground before trying the 360 flips. The outdoor mode is fast so you need to be ready for quick maneuvering.
The price point of this copter is low compared to the rigidity and performance of this quad copter. It is so enjoyable to fly that I believe you would be hard pressed to find a better alternative for the price. There are also some great options available for the Syma X1. Available accessories include a larger battery that will give you 10 minutes flight as opposed to the standard 6 minutes. Get several batteries and fly nearly non stop. There is also a very small key chain size camera that many people have mounted on their X1.
The one downside is that the gyros reset themselves at each battery change. Make sire that the copter is sitting on a flat level surface when you attach the battery to the copter. The practice of properly allowing the gyros to reset will save you a ton of trouble while trying to fly. The Syma X1 can become unstable and downright aggravating to fly if it is reset on an uneven surface. Follow that guideline and you will have untold hours of fun flying the X1.
For more information, reviews, and pricing on the Syma X1 Spacecraft Quadcopter, click here.

 

VideosImagesSpecifications
Syma X1 Spacecraft
  • 3 way precision controller: up/down, left/right, forward/backward
  • Two Fly Mode:Indoor/Outdoor
  • 360° Eversion
  • The latest 3-axis flight control system with adjustable gyro sensitivity that permits super stable flight.
  • 2.4GHz Radio control

 

Hubsan X4 H107 Micro Quadcopter Review

Don’t let the size of this micro quad copter fool you. The Husban X4 H107 comes in at roughly four inches by four inches. It reminds me of the old adage that good things can come in small packages.   Once I got it out of the box I have to admit I was not just a little skeptical. But when the battery was charged and I put my batteries in the transmitter I was pleasantly surprised by the Hubsan X4 Micro quad copter.

New Hubsan X4 H107L

Flying outside is a great experience. The 2.4  LCD radio control transmitter allows a more than sufficient range for this micro copter. It can fly high enough where you almost lose sight of the 4 inch copter. So there is plenty of range for whatever you want to do with the H107 indoors or outdoors. The small size is ideal for indoor flight training or just messing around with the family.

There are two modes for flying with the Hubsan X4 H107. The normal mode and the expert mode. I fly normal mode when flying indoors because this quad copter is really fast when switched to expert mode. So any time I am in expert mode I like to have plenty of room to maneuver. Another time it is a good idea to be cautious with expert mode is when flying over concrete or really hard surfaces. If a crash happens while flying expert mode top speeds, the damages are definitely worse than in normal mode. That being said the Husban X4 H107 is astonishingly durable for such a small framed copter. There is a programmed flip when in expert mode but be sure you are flying high enough to make the flip without a crash. Better to try that over grass until you get the hang of it.

The batteries last about 8 – 9 minutes and only takes about a half an hour to recharge. There are extra batteries available to have one charging while flying with the other. I charge mine with a laptop that I can charge with at home or any where I go. That is a great option when on the go. I also keep an extra set of 4 “AAA” batteries for the transmitter on hand just in case.

There have been instances where I needed to recalibrate the gyros. This has presented very little inconvenience as long as I make sure the copter is on a very flat and level surface during calibration. Once the calibration is done the Hubsan X4 H107 is surprisingly stable in flight.

Because the size is so small on the Husban X4 H107 the payload is virtually non existent. Adding a camera or any other attachment is pretty much out of the question. Perhaps there are some of the key chain type cameras that could be mounted somehow but it would have to be miniscule in size.

Out of the box the Hubsan X4 H107 is a blast. Relatively easy to fly and durable enough for learning. A good value for what you get in return.

For more information, reviews, and pricing, click here.

 

VideosImagesSpecifications
New Hubsan X4 H107L
  • Latest 6-axis flight control system with adjustable gyro sensitivity
  • Permits super stable flight. With 4 channels
  • Lightweight airframe with nice durability
  • 4-ways flip(left,right,forward,backward)
  • USB charging cable allows to charge by computer.

 

Blade Nano QX BNF Quadcopter Review

Wow! This Blade Nano QX BNF looks cool and it is a great quad copter for the price. It is so small but so capable and powerful. It comes in a BNF (Bind-N-Fly) option and that is great for experienced level quad copter pilots. The Blade Nano QX works out best for the experienced pilot because you save a good bit of money buying a BNF copter because you aren’t having to overspend for a transmitter you do not need. This thing is ready to go out of the box and all you need is a 4+ channel DSM2 or DSMX transmitter. Again the QX is not necessarily for the beginner pilot.

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First off the Blade Nano QX is a palm sized quad copter that weighs just over a half an ounce, yet it is very rigid and able to withstand some crashes or accidents. Each Nano QX is equipped with what they call S.A.F.E. technology. That stands for Sensor Assisted Flight Envelope. This technology keeps the Nano QX upright and the pilot in control at all times. The idea behind the SAFE technology is the hover ability in stability mode. Meaning that if you are having flight trouble just let go of the control sticks on the transmitter and the SAFE technology will bring the Nano QX safely back to a hovering condition. While crashes could still happen this SAFE technology greatly minimizes the severeness of the crash.

The small size of the Blade Nano QX also makes it an awesome indoor quad copter. Your flight skills will need to be good to keep it off of walls in a small room but in a medium to large room it should not be much of a challenge to fly inside. Keep in mind that the Nano is very fast and your reflexes need to be fast to accommodate it. Use SAFE mode until you are comfortable in tight spaces.

The battery can last as long as 10 minutes or a little as 5 minutes depending on how aggressive a pilot you are. Mine only lasts 5 – 7 minutes and it’s time to change out. I have ordered the extra batteries to be able to fly while batteries are charging. The charger connects to any USB port for power. It charges for about 30 minutes before ready to fly again.

It is just amazing how stable this small sized quad copter is in flight. I know in SAFE mode it increases stability but performance is not really hindered in SAFE or stability mode. I have switched it to agility mode just to see how high it would go and could have easily lost it in the tops of trees. The Blade Nano QX comes with battery and charger as well as a replacement blade set and some graphics for the copter. Please remember the BNF version does not come with a transmitter. Also remember that SAFE mode is the way to go until you master your piloting skills.

For more information, reviews, and pricing on the Nano QX BNF, click here.

 

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  • Transmitter Not Included – You will need a 4+ channel DSM2 or DSMX transmitter
  • Features exclusive SAFETM technology with stability and agility modes
  • Potent brushed motors that provide smooth and powerful lift and Tough, lightweight airframe with blade guards
  • 4-in-1 DSMX Receiver/ESCs/mixer/SAFE sensor unit
  • Includes E-flite® 1S 3.7V 150mAh 25C Li-Po Battery and Includes a compact USB Li-Po battery charger