Kudrone is a feature-rich nano drone that saw tremendous demand from backers as it managed to raise an eye-watering $1.3 million on its Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. Sleek, Compact and affordable this tiny quad starts at a respectable $169 as advertised.
But with a feature list packed in such a tiny package, selling for near rock-bottom pricing, have the makers of this crowdfunding project underestimated their product?
- Size and weight:3.7-inch body, 3oz
- Camera: 12MP camera Sony CMOS 1/3.2 sensor and F2.8 lens providing an image resolution of 3280 x 2464 with video resolutions of 4K, 1080p, and 720p
- Image transfer Up to 32 GM of internal storage and live streaming offered at a transition at 720p with a 160ms delay
- Range: 100ft
- Battery: The 650mAh battery allows for 8 minutes of airtime. Batteries can be charged in under 30 minutes
It takes some image processing power to belt out pictures at 4k worthy of respect without optical image stabilization.
We have to remember that those tiny motors used to propel this quad into the air is going to cause a bit of vibration.
With the absence of a gimbal paired to a mounted camera, it’s safe to say the image quality is going to look very jittery.
I’m not saying that I’m a drone pro, nor do I claim to be one.
But with a basic understanding of how hardware components work in mobile devices, and the sheer amount of development that goes into making sure the electronics can work together, I’d say the Kudrone is about to underperform.
Please note that while I don’t have a test model to go by, I do own a couple of quadcopters, namely my DJI FC40 and the Hubsan X4.
The smaller of the two, the Hubsan X4 has a 3.7V 240mAh LiPO Battery with an advertised flight time around 8min give or take a minute. In reality, I get about 4-5 minutes on a single charge.
The Kudrone has a similar advertised flight time of about 8 minutes.
That’s a tall order to live up to when you consider the specs mentioned above.
I also didn’t mention that Kudrone is supposed to feature a 3-axis accelerometer, 3-axis gyro, 3-axis magnetic compass, vision capture sensor, ultrasonic sensor, and barometer.
All of this is being powered by 650mAh battery.
There are many older drones on the market that don’t even offer the same complement of features as Kudrone, and they still cost hundreds of dollars.
I’m not going to get into the nitty-gritty with specs in this post because I don’t have to. Just visit the crowdfunding page and you can see the laundry list of customer complaints.
Got the drone, updated the firmware, calibrated the sensors. Launched it in the side yard, it flew up perfectly and just kept climbing, never came back, lost contact, lost drone. Yeah, $109 and 7 months down the drain. Way to go.
AGAIN!! i’ll post this again.
got the drone was not balanced or controlled couldn’t hover in place (i calibrated dozens of times ). the a firmware update came up so i updated and calibrated.
now the drone takes off goes all the way up to the ceiling doesnt respond to the controls
hugs the ceiling and start flying all over the place until it crashes or i use the emergency power off.
한국에 A/S 센터 부탁합니다
I would like to ask the A / S center in Korea.
I have done a total of 6 flights, both indoor and outdoor , never crashed but I must say I have 8 years of experience with multirotors.
I think that some defects of Kudrone might be improved with different PID settings and a better control interface on the smartphone.
Other defects seems to me more difficult to solve.
The optical flow camera and the sonar do not hold the position and the altitude.
I suspect the CPU of Kudrone has not enough calc power.
Passed your words to R&D team. Thanks for sharing with us
I have to admit that when we first covered this project I was very intrigued and didn’t bother to dig more deeply into the specs.
I got called out by DroningOn for naively covering an untested product, and they also called out a Wired reporter on a similar article.
They were right, as we didn’t do our due diligence on covering Kudrone.
That part I can handle, but what makes my heart sink is those backers who dished out their hard-earned cash for something that isn’t quite ready.
Crowdfunding campaigns can be difficult. Project creators can miss the mark when it comes to bringing an idea out to the production stage.
I’m not saying Ruiven is a bad company. I think they just need to head back to the drawing board and start again.
And lastly, let me send out my sincere apologies to any of you that may have backed this product after reading my first article early this year.
I never want to mislead anyone with half-baked reporting, and I promise to be more analytical in our coverages.