£2m drone project rebooted after previous crowdfunding campaign crashed

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There are new hopes that the Zano drone, one of Kickstarter’s most notorious flops, will be brought back after a group of developers made use of seized assets from the failed crowdfunding venture.

The Zano drone campaign initially raised more than £2m from more than 12,000 backers on the crowdfunding platform before the project crashed in 2015.

Developers launched the Zano Camera project at this year’s CES technology show in Las Vegas, which was one of a handful of initiatives at the show making use of seized assets. Vernon Kerswell, chief executive of Extreme Fliers, a London-based micro drone manufacturer, is leading the project.

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Kerswell’s company paid more than £100,000 to acquire the assets from Zano’s founder after it ceased trading.

“Zano was deeply flawed and there was a lot of issues with the software and the hardware, and that’s ultimately why they never shipped” he told the BBC at the Las Vegas trade show.

“But a lot of the technology was very interesting and way ahead of what else was out there at the time.

Kerswell believes an app could be released as soon as April capable of uploading new firmware to Zano drones via Wi-Fi. Users would then be able to control them without the support of an external server. But he is banking on support for the venture before it can take off.

Kerswell indicated that further units could be manufactured if there is sufficient demand but added that changes to the design of the hardware would first be needed.

He said that the arms of current Zano drones were too fragile which means he rotor blades snapped off if they were in a minor collision. He also suggested a downwards-facing camera should be added, in addition to other improvements.

Tags : crowdfundingdronesKickstarterZano
Josh Corder

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