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If it takes off, this tiny quadcopter could be something special

Why it matters to you

If you're looking for a truly portable drone, it may be worth waiting to see how the Kudrone turns out.

The Kudrone certainly looks pretty cool in its promo video — its features are great and the price is impressive, but will its maker really deliver?

Let’s hope so, as this mini drone is offering a phenomenal experience for a mere $99 for early bird Indiegogo backers. Even its expected retail price of $189 is remarkably cheap, considering the competition.

So let’s take a quick look at what Shenzhen-startup Ruiven has created with the Kudrone. First up, it’s small. Really small. The metal body is just 3.7-inches across, making it tiny enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

“We designed it to be compact so that you can easily take it on to go and it can stay by your side no matter where you are — on the side of a mountain, biking a rough trail, or exploring a new land,” Ruiven director Kayven Zou told Digital Trends.

The Kudrone tips the scales at a mere 80 grams and comes packed with features that include a 4K video camera (Sony CMOS sensor) that can also snap 13-megapixel stills, GPS, intelligent obstacle-avoidance sensors, a 3-axis gyro accelerometer,  a MicroSD card slot, throw-to-fly capability, and auto-follow and emergency landing modes.

For maximum portability, Kudrone’s designers have done away with a separate controller and created a feature-rich app for iOS and Android that gives you full control over the flying machine while offering a slew of stats on flight status.

Of course, being a mini drone, you can’t expect all the features of a more expensive consumer drone like DJI’s Phantom 4 Pro or Mavic Pro. For example, flight time only lasts eight minutes with the Kudrone, but the battery is removable so you can keep it in the air for as long as you like if you carry a few spares. Also, you can only take it to a height of 30 meters, though its operating range is decent enough for such a small machine at 80 meters.

Smaller drones can sometimes find it hard to keep video steady in windy conditions, so we’ll be interested to see how well this particular quadcopter handles such conditions.

Funding

The team smashed through its $50,000 funding target this week and has more than doubled the value of its pledged funds in the last 24 hours, so it’s on course to start delivering the Kudrone in August 2017.

It certainly looks like an exciting bit of kit, so let’s hope it doesn’t go the same way as another mini drone that promised much and ended up delivering nothing. Zou certainly appears confident, telling Digital Trends his company “already has the manufacturing expertise and supply chain partners to mass produce [the Kudrone] at a consumer-friendly cost.”