By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)
Starting December 21st, drone operators were required to register their UAVs if they weighed between 0.55 and 55 pounds. The FAA has been besieged so far with over 50,000 registrations in the first few days, so clearly, drone operators are complying with the new mandate. But some could look to a new, tiny drone, with a camera, no less, which is so small, that the FAA won’t hardly see it, much less require registration.
The Axis Vidius is tiny. Ridiculously tiny. We’re talking 1.5″ square. But that that small form factor hides within it the capability to live stream and record video, even though it’s a paltry 420p. Full WiFi video streaming, a 2.4 GHz four channel controller, and even control via a mobile phone app. It’s even got gyro stabilization.
Here are all the features outlined in this tiny little package:
- World’s Smallest FPV Drone™ – 4.3cm x 4.3cm x 2.5cm
- Live First Person View Video Camera Puts You in The Pilots Seat!
- Control Flight with Included 2.4 gHz Controller, Smartphone or Tablet
- Stream and Record Live Video & Still Images in 420p During Flight!
- 5-7 Minute Flight Time per 20 Minute Charge via USB Cable; 150 mAh Battery
- 3-Speeds Pre-programmed for Desired Level of Flight Sensitivity
- 6-Axis Gyro Stabilization Keeps Drone Stable and Centered
- 360 Degree Rotational Yaw Allows Users to Seamlessly Adjust Orientation
- Pre-Programmed “Trick Mode” Algorithm Provides Amazing Flips and Rolls!
- Bright LED Colored Lights for Night Flight and Drone Orientation
- Super small and lightweight, NO FAA Registration Required!
But here’s the kicker: It’s on pre-sale right now for only about $75. Plus you can get 10% off if you sign up for the Axis Newsletter. What good is this model at that price? You’re not going to break much with this tiny little drone, and it could be a good practice tool for flying around the office. You can take the live stream of your exploits, record them with the app, and share them with the world.
The fall back, however, is the Vidius has extremely limited range and battery life. Users of the Vidius will have to keep the tiny little bug within 100 feet/30 meters or lose control of it if the tiny drone flies out of range.
There’s also the limited battery life of 5-7 minutes, with a 20 minute recharge, and there’s no ability to replace the battery with a secondary one like in the Syma X5C. But this is something that’s good to practice with before jumping into a pricier drone.
You may be able to use it to create your next great cinema masterpiece, but as I said above, practice makes perfect.
But there’s another option … a DIY option. How about buying one and cannibalizing the Vidius’ tiny innards to create a live stream 480p option for that old Phantom you’ve got gathering dust? It could be an excellent DIY project to create your own first person viewer with Google Cardboard, that is supported by apps like DroneVR, which we talked about the other day. Yes, it has a limited range, but if you’re already taking it apart to get to its innards to hack together a virtual reality live stream interface, chances are you know how to boost its WiFi range to make it usable.
Hat Tip – Gizmodo Australia