Most drones on the market now feature designs that use large, unprotected propellers in order to generate the kind of force necessary for flight. This is supplemented by a camera or two along with what usually is a hefty price tag. The UFO Drone flips this standard on its head.
The UFO Drone is a lightweight, three-pound drone that reverses the usual design of a drone by housing its six propellers directly within its strong, carbon fiber-reinforced plastic body. This provides the appearance of an old film reel and the potential to resist more damage in the long run. The addition of a parachute that can be deployed in the case of a particularly rough landing extends its longevity further. But this is not simply a more rugged drone. The UFO Drone is equipped with a pair of 15MP dual cameras that together can record 360° 4K video, perfect for sporting events, outdoor parties, or just a good time at the park. With a 23 minute hover time, pilots will have to make every minute count.
Multiple control options are available. Users can strap on a VR headset and pilot the UFO Drone using first person view, or use the iOS/Android companion app to transform a smartphone into a digital controller or a map on which to plan a route using waypoints. Or, put away any controllers and enable an auto-follow mode for the ultimate, no fuss drone experience. $199 gets backers a UFO Drone and a battery, while its 360 Camera is $199, and a pair of VR goggles goes for $99. All are due to ship in the 3rd quarter of 2016 should the UFO Drone Indiegogo campaign raise $20,000 by June 10th, 2016.
The UFO Drone campaign talks up an all-inclusive experience that’s comparatively low-cost when put up against segment leaders like the Phantom 4, but the 360° camera, gimbal, and VR goggles that are supposed to make it a complete package are each sold separately. Bought together, it still comes out cheaper. But for a product with ultimately unknown qualit, it’s a bit of a risk to plunk down so much. While it touts ruggedness as its defining trait, others like the Game of Drones and Carbon Flyer have already impressed in this regard.