Connected Objects Imaging Video

ZANO drone zigs and zags, zooms upward from the palm of your hand

The drones we all know and love are usually large, intimidating machines that seem to be more a part of a Terminator movie than anything else. That’s why the recent trend of their miniaturization is a welcome thing.

Torquing Group’s ZANO continues that trend with its 6.5cm x 6.5cm, fits-in-the-palm-of-the-hand construction. The nano drone offers everything a larger drone can, from HD picture and video capture to a follow me mode, to ensure any high-action events can be captured. Its image stabilization ensures the moments are captured without the presence of blurring or anything else unsightly.

Smartphone tethering allows for gesture control, a back-to-user feature, and a free fly mode when users want full reign over the drone’s operation. Black and white options go for £149 (~$232), while a limited camouflage or glow-in-the-dark option are all available to interested backers, and currently go for £215 (~$335). The £125,000 (~$194,625) campaign is looking to have more ZANOs in the air by June 2015.

As previously mentioned, the ZANO is a reflection of the miniaturization of drones. Other products like the Anura or the Pocketcopter offer similar functionality, but with it are also burdened by a drone’s chief problem: battery life. The ZANO itself only lasts for 10-15 minutes before needing a battery swap, an impractical amount of time for anything other than short bursts of use, rendering something like a follow me mode pretty useless. Its size may be impressive, but users won’t be able to marvel for too long.

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Anura drones on about affordable portable aerial photography

Drones are our modern days kites. On a clear day, you can see any number of them whizzing around at the nearby park with kids and adults alike on the ground controlling them. They easily maintain interest and have slowly become more and more accepted, even if most of the time they can be bulky and pretty unwieldy. The folks at Anura want to make it easy to have some flight with you anytime with their Anura drone. It’s only slightly larger than a full size smartphone and weighs in at only 4oz, making it extremely portable to the point that you can place it in your pocket. Instead of a huge remote control, all users need is an iOS/Android phone to stream live images or video with its builtin Wi-Fi, and take advantage of features like one click auto-land and return home for easier use. Unfortunately, your fun will be limited to about 15 minute unless you’re carrying around a few interchangeable batteries, which kind of defeats the purpose. In any case, the Anura drone can be had by April 2015 for $195. The company has achieved their funding goal of $100,000.