Autonomous, a company specializing in robotics and artificial intelligence products, recently began an Indiegogo campaign for its Drone Racing Kit. The modest $10,000 goal was met within an hour of launching, and the device is still gaining momentum.
The Drone Racing Kit features two drones, two controllers, flags, cones, and a backpack, in addition to two VR headsets. The headset itself is similar to Samsung’s Gear VR and Google Cardboard in that it slips over a mobile device (phone or tablet) and uses lenses to project the images three-dimensionally. The drones sport a camera that brings the user to the pilot seat with the mobile HMD, providing a first-person view of the remote-controlled device as it soars around a track of your own design.
The drones and HMD interface with your mobile device with a free mobile app you can use to challenge friends, schedule races, watch footage from other users and, view friend and worldwide leaderboards. Autonomous estimates a 7-minute flight time for the drones, and about 164 feet of controlling distance.
Because the devices are prototypes, full hardware requirements and a list of compatible mobile devices aren’t yet available. However, the company has tested its product using Nexus 5, Nexus 6, Nexus 5X, Nexus 6P, Samsung Galaxy S5, Samsung Galaxy S6, and Samsung S7 smartphones. Autonomous doesn’t guarantee compatibility with all Android devices, so before you order, make sure you have a VR-capable phone.
The Autonomous Drone Racing Kit is available now on Indiegogo for $149 (the early bird special at $99 has already expired). The campaign has over a month left, and it already has double the funds of its original goal.