US$265 Zano mini-Drone – Your personal Paparazzi shooting Videos and taking Selfies

Are you a star? Famous YouTuber, Blogger, Podcaster or all of the above perhaps?

Then maybe what you need is your own paparazzi snapping and posting pictures of you from every conceivable angle like a real prima donna. But no need to tip off the Celebrity magazines; you can get the Zano Mini-Drone that’s capable of taking photos and shooting Videos (Flacy, 2014).

A Kickstarter project started by Torquing Group, the Zano Autonomous Intelligent Swarming Drone or Zano Mini-Drone for short is very ambitious and achieves a lot for a quadcopter drone that’s smaller than the very Smartphone that controls it via a Wi-Fi uplink.

MICO Wars - US$265 Zano mini-Drone - Your personal Paparazzi shooting Videos and taking Selfies - 21-12-2014 LHDEER

The people funding this project agree; backed by some 5,270 individuals, the Zano Mini-Drone has already received some £954,279, completely obliterating their initial goal of £125,000 with some 16 days to go till Thursday, January 8th 2015 10:38 AM EST, at which point the project will be fully funded.

The Zano Mini-Drone is set for delivery to its backers by June 2015. It list of capabilities are indeed impressive for something so small and available to regular folk, not military personnel. The Zano Mini-Drone has a rechargeable battery that gives it a range of 15 to 30 meters (49 to 98 feet) flying at a top speed of 40.33km/h (25mph).

On a fully charged battery it can fly for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, which varies according to the weather conditions. On that Zano Mini-Drone App interface, you can control the altitude, which is also displayed in that app along with the flight time.

Albeit the user will be kept up-to-date as to the remaining flight time via the Zano Mini-Drone App interface, the Zano Mini-Drone  has a built in fail-safe that causes the drone to automatically fly back to the user when the battery charge level is getting low, the Wi-Fi Signal is spotty or the Bluetooth link is getting weak, suggesting that it’s too far from the smartphone, be it a Google Android Smartphone or an Apple iPhone.

It flies under human guidance but can fly on its own pre-programmed path. For this, it comes bristling with a packed array of sensors:

  • IR sensors for collision avoidance
  • Sonar to detect motion
  • Air pressure sensors to detect variations in wind speed

Interesting too, because of the close proximity of its blade, the outward blast of air acts as a low pressure vacuum that funnels away falling droplets of rainwater, suggesting that this drone can operate in rain, albeit it does look a bit to delicate to even take a splash from a cup of water. But this isn’t what you cam to read dear reader; you wanna known what kind of picture taking performance does the Zano Mini-Drone offer.

Zano Mini-Drone is a 360 Degree Selfie Filmmaker that streams over Wi-Fi

Zano Mini-Drone has a 360 Degree rotating capability, making taking crazy angle shots more spectacular. Digital video stabilization and a camera flash on the front of the Megapixel Camera makes this little drone capable of filming at any night-time. Truly, the prefect paparazzi to make sure that you capture you good side from any angle under any weather condition.

But if its live streaming you want, the Torquing Group has got you partially covered, I’m afraid. Although the 5 megapixel camera is capable of filming 1080p video at 60 fps, it’s restricted to 720p due to the bandwidth constraints of Wi-Fi. But you might forgive these limitations when you realize what Torquing Group has in mind for additional features:

  • Facial Recognition
  • 360/180 degree panoramic photos
  • Target tracking using image processing algorithms
  • Image editing tools within the Zano Mini-Drone App to do editing on the fly
  • Swarming function so that one Zano user can control multiple Zano Mini-Drones

With those powers combined, this makes the Zano Mini-Drone App somewhat similar to the scouting drone used by the character Fitz in the show MARVEL: Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Still, just because it’s possibly alien technology doesn’t mean it’s not without flaw and can get off the hook that easily. The fact that its tethered to the smartphone suggests that it may get confused if your smartphone’s battery shuts down or worse the Wi-Fi signal and Bluetooth signal both are lost at the same time. Possibly it might just land and send out a beacon, hoping for a rescue party?

I’m already pretty impressed with the small size of the Zano Mini-Drone. Personally though, at US$$265 to make a pledge, albeit cheaper and smaller than the US$1,195 AirDog Personal Drone (Deer, June 2014) or the US$499 Hexo+ Personal Drone (Deer, July 2014), I’ll stick with using a Selfie Stick if I want to panoramic 360 Degree Photos and Videos of myself

Zano Autonomous Intelligent Swarming Drone

References:

  1. Deer, L. (2014, June 30). AirDog Personal Drone – Action Selfie-Drone with an attachment for a GoPro Camera. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/07/airdog-personal-drone-action-selfie.html
  2. Deer, L. (2014, July 5). Hexo+ Semi-Autonomous Drone Controlled by Apple iOS and Android – Despite no AirLeash Six Propellers better than Four as it won’t run away. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2014/07/hexo-semi-autonomous-drone-controlled.html
  3. Flacy, M. (2014, December 11). ZANO MINI-DRONE WILL FOLLOW YOU AROUND TO TAKE SELFIES, SHOOT VIDEO. Retrieved from http://www.digitaltrends.com/photography/zano­mini­drone­will­follow­around­take­selfies­shoot­video/
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