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Fotokite Phi Drone: Leashed Aerial Filming Device Raises Over $200K On Indiegogo

The Fotokite Phi looks kind of like a toy, but it’s definitely not a toy, and could be a dream come true for professional and amateur photo journalists alike.

This new device, which was announced on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo about two weeks ago, enables users to capture amazing aerial photographs and videos with very little effort. This type of device could be exceptionally useful in basically any social situation where someone would like to capture aerial footage. TechCrunch refers to the new drone on a leash as a device which “could unlock citizen drone journalism” in populated spaces where it’d otherwise be “too dangerous” or at the least, too distracting to operate.

The device, which fits in a small foot-long tube that can easily be carried in a bag or backpack, can be deployed in under a minute.

It’s kind of like a drone on a leash and because it’s tethered, it will never fly away. If any tension is lost on the tether, it will gently return to the ground. It can travel up to about 26 feet away while securely connected to its user via the leash. Gyroscopes within the leash control the device. In the future, an iOS app is expected to be released, which could allow another person to control the drone from another location while viewing the footage that the Fotokite Phi is recording.

Several years of engineering has gone into the creation of Fotokite Phi. It’s creator, Sergei Lupashin, who has spent over a decade working with drone technology, says he wanted to make the product as comfortable and easy to use as possible while also being safe and sophisticated.

The Indiegogo campaign for Fotokite Phi is nearing its $300,000 goal and is offering an ‘early bird’ pre-order special, camera not included,  with a discount off of the retail price.

Image Courtesy Fotokite

Fotokite hovering indoors. (Image Courtesy Fotokite)

The regular Fotokite Phi package includes:

  • Ready to fly Fotokite Phi
  • Smart Leash
  • Battery
  • Case
  • USB Cable

The Fotokite Phi ships worldwide and presently has an estimated delivery date of March 2016.

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