Wednesday, December 8, 2021

More than $10 million dollars invested in crowd funded drones.


Not a day passes at sUAS News where I am not asked to feature a new Kickstarter or Indiegogo crowd funded project.

This made me wonder how some of the higher profile ones are carrying on, top of mind because of the spectacular failure of the Pocket Copter. The platform that managed to burn down nearly one million dollars and leave many unhappy folks that find it all to easy to comment like this…

Chris S. on May 5

Did anyone got successful a refund from this betrayers? Unfortunatly Kickstarter does not care or help at all. Would be great if we can make a legal class action against this cheater of airdroids. I have the feeling they betray with full intention. Did

basefiguresalready someone talked to a lawyer? Kickstarter is protecting this unhonorful behavior of this betrayers and not giving name and adress to us backers, unless a lawyer is demanding this. So I suggest that we organize us and start a legal process. Would be great if someone from USA could start with this. Is more difficult doing this process from other countries. I will try to get some consulting from a lawyer within the next weeks.

In my scout around I was surprised at just how many projects have not been funded, there are two active that do look like winners, the CyPhy LVL 1 already 212% funded with 16 days to go and the Sprite 131% funded and 11 days left. But there are many many more that bit the dust.

The top ten have raised between them over $10 million dollars, an astonishing 89.4% of that between the top 5. Perhaps a disadvantage of crowd funding is that what the market would like is clearly flagged in comments and specifications that the designer puts up. This gives agile Asian manufacturers a leg up. I can’t help but think that few of the top 10 look very dated already. The fickle finger of fashion and form with better ways of doing things being discovered during the ramp up period. Perhaps arriving first to market with your secrets in tact for a brief moment before the East steals them is a better plan for sustainable RPA making.

GoPro take note, the most popular Kickstarter does not use your camera.

Every one of them is a multirotor,  lets have a look at the top 5 by amount funded

1: Zano


Updated just yesterday, the project is on target for delivery at the end of this month.


2. Plexidrone


Expected delivery September 2015


Official Website


3. Air Dog


Shipping August 2015 famously crashed in a demo for the BBC Click program.


Official website


4. Hexo +


Origionally slated for a May 2015 release its now slid to September.


Official website

5. Pocket Drone


Delivered a nominal amount of units but since ceased trading.


Official website Airdroids


Gary Mortimer
Founder and Editor of sUAS News | Gary Mortimer has been a commercial balloon pilot for 25 years and also flies full-size helicopters. Prior to that, he made tea and coffee in air traffic control towers across the UK as a member of the Royal Air Force.