The Drone User Group Network unveiled the latest — and smallest — in drone technology at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show Wednesday night, the Pocket Drone, which surpassed its Kickstarter funding goal by more than $20,000 overnight.
Pocket Drone is a small multi-copter drone designed to carry high-quality cameras and shoot aerial footage, and can collapse into a transportable size smaller than a seven-inch tablet.
After debuting at CES Wednesday night, the project achieved its Kickstarter funding goal of $30,000 and was sitting at almost $60,000 as of Thursday afternoon, with 58 days of fundraising left to go.
The “GoPro of drones,” as it is described, makes capturing aerial images easy and affordable to the average consumer with a much smaller, more efficient lightweight and streamlined design. It boasts the longest flight time of any multi-copter under $500.
Key features include a full autopilot with a “follow me” mode and an out-of-the-box flight-ready, easy to maintain design that is “fully upgradable, expandable, and hackable.”
Pocket Drone weighs one pound, can launch in just 20 seconds, carrying a payload of up to half a pound — easily enough for a modern high-quality digital camera.
As the “ultimate heavy lift microcopter,” the Pocket Drone is designed to be “your own personal flying robot,” of which you can get an early bird release, ready-to-fly package by pledging $495.
The developers are all moderators of the Drone User Group Network, which teaches people how to build and fly their own drones.
“We’re a mission-driven company,” Tim Reuter, one of the company founders, said at the launch event hosted by TechCrunch. “Our goal is to put flying robots in the hands of as many people as possible. We think it’s empowering to democratize the sky.”
Watch the Pocket Drone in action: