This tiny robotic dragonfly drone only costs 119

first_imgQuadrotors are becoming more prevalent, but if TechJect has their way, their new dragonfly drone will be the wave of the miniature robotic flying future. Project coifounders Jayant Ratti and Emanuel Jones received a one million dollar grant from the US Air Force to develop the Dragonfly, but are now offering the unit to the public for the price of just $119. The project was put up for funding on Indiegogo with a minimum funding goal of $110,000, and at the time of this writing, is over $800,000.Ratti and Jones claim the unit is useful for more than just the usual quadcopter hobby flying, noting that the Dragonfly could make the perfect spy drone, citing the initial development for the Air Force as proof. The designers also state the current prototype weighs less than one ounce, comparing the weight to that of one AA battery, in other words, much lighter than a standard quadcopter. The unit also comes equipped with cameras and can be piloted by a device as common as an iPhone or tablet.Ratti and Jones claim the unit is indistinguishable from a regular insect found in the wild, but we’re hoping they meant that about the finalized product, because the prototypes shown on the project page look to be easily discernable from real insects.Considering the Dragonfly’s spybot origins, TechJect is pushing its photography applications on potential customers who don’t want to illegally spy on unsuspecting people. The company suggests the Dragonfly could provide the perfect up-close sports shot, tailing the action, but being small enough to stay out of the way. Considering the unit can seamlessly switch from hover mode (like a helicopter) to fly mode (like a plane), it should actually be maneuverable enough to pull off some pretty complicated aerial techniques. The small size makes it fairly portable, able to be carried just about anywhere should the need for it arise.The Dragonfly is customizable upon purchase — the color of its body, the design of its wings, and various upgrades like different types of cameras. The unit also comes with its own SDK, so more advanced users can customize the Dragonfly as much as their know-how will allow.Since the project is on Indiegogo, funding it will net you some units and more. From a pledge of $119 snagging you a noiseless Alpha Dragonfly unit, to a pledge of $949 nabbing you 17 Dragonfly units of various models, there are some pretty desirable pledges (ranging up to $2899) should you want to have your own army of spybots roving your neighborhood.Learn more about the project or invest at Indiegogo.last_img