Your Parrot Drone may be awesome, but there’s nothing stealth about it. The thing’s just too big to fly without drawing massive attention. If you want a smaller, stealthier drone to satisfy your whims, you may want to turn your focus on the Crazyflie Nano-Quadcopter instead.
Sold as a kit, it’s not exactly the fun-out-of-the-box experience you’ll get with other toy quadrocopters in stores. If you’re the type who likes to fiddle with your toys, though, this is about as perfect as it gets. With an open-source development platform and a circuit board just waiting for your creative ideas, this could be the perfect device to jumpstart building your future army of miniature suicide drones and hovering robot spies.
The Crazyflie measures a tiny 9 cm motor-to-motor and weighs a mere 19 grams, making it one of the smallest nanocopter kits you can get your hands on. Because it’s so small, it can only ferry a small battery, too, although the standard 170mAh LiPo included can keep it in air for up to 7 minutes at a time. It can feed you a whole load of useful information during flights, with a 3-axis high-performance MEMs gyro sensor, a 3-axis accelerometer, a 3-axis megnetometer, a high-precision altimeter, altitude sensors, and heading measurement sensors all onboard. Everything is coordinated by a 32-bit 72MHz microcontroller.
Designed with development in mind, it comes with a radio bootloader that lets you update the firmware wirelessly. Operation, by the way, is done via an included 2.4GHz radio controller that’s tested up to a range of 80 meters.
First batch of the Crazyflie Nano-Quadrocopter Kit will ship out April 25th, although that batch is sold out. You can, however, order just in time for a second shipment scheduled for May 3rd. Price is $173.