PhoneDrone Ethos Turns Your Phone into an Aerial Cameraman

Our smartphones are packed with processors, sensors and screens that would humiliate personal computers from the early 2000s. So far, Kickstarter projects have taken advantage of this in several ways, turning phones into everything from 3D scanners to lamps.
PhoneDrone Ethos Turns Your Phone into an Aerial Cameraman 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
Drones that can be controlled via Bluetooth + apps are common. However, this is the first time somebody has tried to integrate the phone into the drone.

A company called X Craft successfully gathered three times the money it needed to develop the Ethos. Pretty soon, your phone will literally take wing and fly away, though only to film your awesome biking stunts.

The Ethos uses various sensors and wireless capabilities found in our smartphones to control a lightweight chassis. The device sits in the middle of the device in a cradle. In their video, the guys who came up with the idea explain that your phone will be perfectly safe, even if the drone falls in a lake. Somehow, we wouldn't mount a gold iPhone 6S and fly it over the ocean.

From one point of view, we dislike this idea. A phone weighing 200 grams may seem light in your hand, but when propeller thrust needs to be used to fight the forces of gravity, things get complicated. That's why the relatively competent Parrot Bebop drone weighs just 400 grams. Also, your phone camera is designed to be really small and points only one way. For professional-looking footage, you need a stabilized gimbal.

To get around the camera angle problem, this drone comes with a mirror. Despite the setbacks, the Ethos is small enough to fit in your backpack. The early birds who supported the project through Kickstarter paid just $195, while the regular cost will be $235. If you have a 3D printer, the plans and electric components are also available for $95.

If you happen to have a water-resistant phone with 4G and GPS, it's worth giving a shot. Think about it: you could upload footage to YouTube or Facebook within seconds from just about anywhere.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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