Small, circular, and sleek; the Cleo drone is basically a pint-sized UFO that takes pictures

Camera drones are a wonderful thing. They get shots that we can’t get on our own. Whether it’s a familiar hike or someplace new, a camera drone can provide a new perspective. Unfortunately, these were not made for the average consumer. They can be big and expensive, and require flight practice with large controllers. Two engineers want to change that with the Cleo drone.

Developed by Omar Eleryan and Simon Czarnota, this little drone is small enough to fit in your pocket and was built for widespread use. “Drones need to be safer, smaller, and easier to use,” said Eleryan in a statement to Metro News. He and Czarnota achieved this by trimming the fat that the average consumer doesn’t care about. Think of it as the point and shoot of camera drones.

From the design alone, the Cleo drone is different from others on the market. Gone is the typical quadcopter design. In its place is a combination of helicopter and rocket technology. By stacking two blades, the Cleo retains stability while achieving a small form factor. With a smartphone acting as the controller, you get a drone that anyone could carry around.

With its size, you would think the camera would really suffer in quality. A drone costing more than $1,000 may have a better image, but Cleo is still able to capture high-definition video.

The app aims to make everything much easier for the user. With the tap of a button, Cleo can shoot 360-degree video, panoramic shots, bird’s-eye views, or the perfect selfie. Eleryan hopes that after creating home videos, users will start experimenting with the tech.

“Initially, we’re going to launch a camera drone,” he said. “But we think the possibilities for the technology itself go far beyond personal photography.”

The Cleo drone could be fitted with infrared or thermal software to aid in emergencies. A firefighter might use it to detect people who are trapped in a burning building. It can also help prevent firefighters from putting themselves in harm’s way by detecting whether there are people inside. And since the drone was built with affordability in mind, losing a few drones out in the field won’t be a budget-busting proposition.

The Cleo drone will make its international debut during Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2017 in Las Vegas in January. If the final design is half as good as the prototype models, this could be a game-changer, with drones finally finding a mainstream audience.

Product Review

DJI has always been the king of drones, and the new Mavics are almost perfect

After flying both the Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom for over a week, we’re convinced that these are two of the best drones that DJI has ever made.
Emerging Tech

Dangle no more: Window-washing drone for towers could replace human cleaners

The maker of a window-washing drone for tall buildings claims it can do the job 20 times faster than humans and is much safer than using workers in cradles that dangle on the side of buildings.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

See the National Forests like never before in these awe-inspiring drone videos

What's the difference between a National Park and a National Forest? Drones. With no ban on drones in National Forests -- at least, not yet -- filmmakers have a way to capture the immensity of these locations with stunning results.
Social Media

Instagram purges fake followers, likes, and comments generated from other apps

Instagram looking a little more authentic? You can thank machine learning. A new tool is helping Instagram spot followers, likes and comments generated from third-party apps -- and this is just the start.
Product Review

Nikkor 105mm f/1.4 may be a beast in size, but its images are absolute beauty

There’s no such thing as a perfect lens, but the Nikkor 105mm f/1.4E ED comes incredibly close. The original 105mm f/1.4 delivers exceptional quality, albeit in a bulky package.
Product Review

Nifty fifty: Nikon's Z 50mm f/1.8 S shows sharp potential for Z mount

While not nearly as cheap as its DSLR counterpart, the Nikkor Z 50mm f/1.8 S shows the potential for Nikon's new mirrorless Z-mount with excellent sharpness.
Deals

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Photography

Deluxe D-Lux: New Leica compact camera adds quality and luxury

Essentially a rehoused Panasonic Lumix LX100 II, the D-Lux 7 adds Leica styling -- and price -- to Panasonic tech. The camera retains much from its predecessor, but brings some needed updates and refinements.
Photography

Dual cameras for Spectacles 3? Report suggests Snap-designed glasses with AR

Despite underselling the first generation, Snap Inc. isn't done with camera glasses yet. According to a recent report, the company is rumored to be working on another Snap Spectacles with dual cameras for augmented reality features.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Photography

The best Black Friday camera deals will save you up to $1,000 off

This year's Black Friday camera deals see impressive savings on high-end gear that can save you some real money. If you've been holding off on buying a new DSLR or mirrorless camera, your patience has just been rewarded.
Mobile

Open wide: LG G7 ThinQ vs. Huawei Mate 20 Pro vs. Asus ROG Phone

The Huawei Mate 20 Pro has swapped the monochrome sensor on its camera for a wide-angle lens, so how does it compare to the LG G7 ThinQ, and the surprisingly strong challenge from the Asus ROG Phone?
Photography

DJI’s Ronin-S just got more capable with slew of new accessories

Need a longer battery life for the DJI Ronin-S, or perhaps a built-in screen, GPS, or universal mount? DJI has got you covered with a handful of new accessories for the company's one-hand gimbal.