“Unbelievable” Toy Drone

There are zillions of UAV’s coming out, despite the fact that no one needs them, and almost no one particularly wants have them. But people sure do want to make them!

I want to resist the temptation to comment on every “new” drone announced. What’s the point? They are all the same.

But I couldn’t resist this indigogo for “ONAGOfly: The Smart Nano Drone” because the prospectus is so unconsciously hilarious.

First of all, the headline claims to be a “nano” drone. I don’t know if there is an accepted vocabulary, but anything that is bigger than your hand should not really be called “nano”, should it? Bear in mind that there are other, much tinier UAVs.

And what would “smart” mean in this context? Evidently this means that it has “GPS navigation” and IR obstacle avoidance.

GPS navigation turns out to mean “track local from your smart device” via wifi. Essentially, the drone is a peripheral of your phone or tablet—though where the wifi comes from, I’m not sure. (The promotional video shows wilderness scenes that don’t appear to have wifi.)

The obstacle avoidance means automatically “maneuvering around trees and walls” using IR. The promotional video shows that this also avoids collisions with people, and lets you ‘herd’ the drone with your hands. The latter is kind of neat—assuming it really works, which I have to doubt

One of the hilarious parts is the “long battery life” which (in this not-yet-built product) is said to be 15 minutes! This is longer than many small UAVs, but it ain’t ‘long life’.

I also liked the unconscious admission implicit in the standard inclusion of “spare rotors”. Obviously it’s not smart enough to not crash!

So what in the world is a tiny peripheral for your phone that can fly for 15 minutes for?

It’s for selfies, obviously!

It is equipped with a decent camera, with some routine features (such as face detection), and supports streaming. Essentially, this is an extension of your smart phone or tablet, to let you take more selfies, from farther than arms reach and “from all angles”.


At least this is nearly useless for spying on your neighbors—short range, requires network connectivity, blocked by walls and people.

But the best, and most hilarious point is the claim that it is “Intricate design. Unbelievable capabilities.”

I would think that “unbelievable” is not the best word to put in your pitch. But what do I know?

Basically, this is a (not yet real) product that performs only one function.  Frankly, I don’t think this will work as advertised, but even if it did, who would want it.

Given that it is is yet another elaboration on the selfie, I guess it will be very popular.



Robot Wednesday

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