5 Crowdfunding Drone Projects That Failed


Photo 3 of 5

Pocket Drone

Raised: $929,212
Backers: 1,946
Shut Down: Summer 2015

"The year 2014 is going to be the 'Year of the Drone'," proclaimed the Kickstarter campaign page for this "personal flying robot." Well, that was true, 2014 was a great year for drones. But not so much for Pocket Drone, a much-anticipated, lightweight multicopter powerful enough to carry a "high quality action camera" but small enough to "fold up smaller than a 7in tablet."

The drone was said to have the "longest flight time of any multicopter under $500." Aimed at photographers and hobbyists, the Pocket Drone looked set to bring affordable, high-quality drone photography to the masses. Autopilot and "follow me" modes completed the picture of a drone that was almost too good to be true.

AirDroids, the company behind the project, became victims of their own success. The Kickstarter project resulted in 20 times more orders than they had anticipated, and AirDroids found it difficult to scale up the manufacturing process.

Units were sent out to some backers, and the company founders even took on $100,000 of personal debt. But that wasn't enough to prevent AirDroids from folding in the summer of 2015.

In this slideshow


Editors’ Picks

Autonomous Snake-like Robot to Support Search-and-Rescue
Worcester Polytechnic Institute is creating autonomous snake-like robots that can navigate through...

Love Writing About Robotics and AI? Robotics Trends is Hiring!
Robotics Trends and sister site Robotics Business Review are growing and adding...

WiBotic PowerPad Wirelessly Charges Drones
WiBotic’s PowerPad wirelessly charges everything from large industrial drones to smaller...

Meet Jing Xiao: WPI’s New Director of Robotics
In January 2018, Jing Xiao will become the new director of the Robotics...