Torquing Group has just raised a bunch of money to fund the development of Zano, a drone that serves as your own personal paparazzi. You can use gesture controls to point where you want Zano to fly and shoot videos of you.
Naturally, this aerial photography gadget has caught a lot of attention. The company launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise $195,000 over 30 days. But in one day, more than 3,696 backers have pledged £652,513, or $1.02 million.
Zano is using OriginGPS‘ Nano Hornet, which OriginGPS claims is the world’s smallest global positioning system (GPS) module. That module measures 10mm by 10mm by 3.44mm. Zano itself is not that much bigger, measuring 65mm by 65mm and weighing only 55 grams. With the Nano Hornet location system, Zano will know exactly where it is in relation to a smart device, even when powered off.
Torquing Group has been creating aerial drones since 2008 for the military, and now it is expanding to the consumer market with Zano. The drone can fly autonomously and connect with smart devices such as iOS or Android smartphones via Wi-Fi. It can upload or share images or videos instantly. Zano will echo any movement you make while holding a smart device. It also functions in a “free flight” mode, where you can use on-screen joysticks on a tablet to guide Zano. It is smart enough to follow you around.
“When we began work on Zano, our goal was to make aerial photography and video capture truly accessible to everyone,” said Reece Crowther, head of marketing at Torquing Group, in a statement. “This meant making Zano small and lightweight, yet durable enough to take with you anywhere, intelligent enough so no piloting skills were required, and most of all, pricing Zano at a point that makes it affordable.”
The first Zano devices will ship in June 2015.