Tag Archives: Fotokite Phi

21 smart crowdfunding campaigns you may want to back this week


Every Friday, we’re taking a look at some of the smartest, most innovative projects that caught our attention on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the last seven days. 


ŌURA

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This ring-sized computer analyzes your daily activities to help you sleep and perform better. ŌURA has already well surpassed its $100,000 goal on Kickstarter.

Mycroft

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This A.I. platform is an open source alternative to Amazon Echo that allows you to play media, control lights and much more. Mycroft is currently seeking $99,000 on Kickstarter.

Fotokite Phi

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This GoPro-carrying quadcopter can capture bird’s-eye view photos while being leashed to your wrist. Fotokite is currently seeking $300,000 on Indiegogo.

Mayday

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This standalone machine learning device can detect when your drone is about to crash and deploy a parachute. North UAV is currently seeking $12,000 on Kickstarter.

LightBug

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This solar-powered tracker lets you find nearly anything (or anyone) using GPS. LightBug is currently seeking $77,782 on Kickstarter.

Ohm

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This intelligent car battery will never need to be jumpstarted, works reliably on the coldest winter days, and lasts twice as long as the average lead-acid battery. Ohm is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

Formaker

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This four-in-one machine allows you to laser cut, mill, etch and 3D print a wide range of materials. Zhuhai CTC Electronic Co. is currently seeking $35,000 on Kickstarter.

Exploride

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This futuristic head-up display provides hands-free access to maps, phone calls, text messages, notifications, music and on-board diagnostics for your car. Exploride is currently seeking $100,000 on Indiegogo.

OnCourse Goggles

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This pair of point-and-click goggles allow athletes to stay on course, swim in a straight line in open water and receive real-time feedback. OnCourse Goggles is currently seeking $60,000 on Kickstarter.

uStepper

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This ultra-compact, Arduino-compatible board features an integrated stepper driver and 12-bit rotary encoder, enabling it to be mounted directly on the back of your Nema 17 motor. ON Development IVS is currently seeking $8,882 on Kickstarter.

OMO+

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This portable battery-powered gadget can illuminate your pool or hot tub for an awesome light show along with sound through its Bluetooth speakers. Andreas Haase is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Pearbuds

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This pair of super small, Bluetooth-enabled buds fit comfortably in your ear without a single cord and boasts a battery life of six hours. Pear Designs has already well surpassed its $50,000 goal on Kickstarter.

Trekz Titanium

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This pair of wireless, open ear headphones offer runners, cyclists, hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts superior safety, comfort and high-quality sound through bone conduction technology. AfterShokz has already well surpassed its $65,000 goal on Indiegogo.

Verti

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This Bluetooth tag clips and sticks onto anything you’d like to keep tabs on, all of which can easily be tracked right from your smartphone. Verti is currently seeking $10,000 on Indiegogo.

OrbMi

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This voice messaging system is reinventing the answering machine by having you communicate with family and friends using an orb. Retropreneur Labs is currently seeking $75,000 on Kickstarter.

go-e ONwheel

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This lightweight, add-on motor can transform your bike into an e-bike in a matter of seconds. Frank Fox has already well surpassed his goal of $55,253 on Kickstarter.

Lumma

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This smart appliance tracks, sorts and dispenses your pills whenever it’s time to take them. LITE is currently seeking $100,000 on Kickstarter.

Knut Water

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This connected detector can sense water, temperature and humidity to protect your home from water damage. Amperic is currently seeking $50,000 on Kickstarter.

Luvit

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This standalone “like” button gives you the ability to express your adoration for anything and everything, while also collecting input and other forms of crowdsourced data. Luvit is currently seeking $25,000 on Kickstarter.

iGia

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This smart home security kit is comprised of a central control unit, an HD camera, a motion sensor, a door/windows sensor, a smoke detector and an alarm trigger. iGia is currently seeking $10,000 on Indiegogo.

Nixie

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This highly-customizable, privacy-enhanced robot not only can serve as your personal companion, but can learn by doing, keep an eye on things, snap photos, receive weather and traffic reports, connect to household devices, and much more. Nxt Robotics is currently seeking $50,000 on Indiegogo.

If your project is powered by Atmel MCUs and you’ve been featured on our blog, be sure to download the respective badges here for use in your ongoing marketing efforts. 

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Fotokite Phi is a GoPro-carrying drone on a leash


The Fotokite Phi is essentially a flying selfie stick that eliminates the need to pilot a camera-mounted drone. 


Oxford Dictionaries declared “selfie” the word of the year in 2013. Selfie sticks became the must-have item of 2014. Now, one Swiss startup is hoping that airborne selfies will become the major trend of 2015.

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Now live on Indiegogo, the Fotokite Phi is a smart, tethered flying camera that anyone can deploy in a matter of seconds. While camera-mounted drones are nothing new, the intelligent kite eliminates the need of learning how to pilot a quadcopter. Not to mention, you’ll no longer have to worry about losing control of your expensive UAV and having it end up in the water or shattered to pieces on the ground. Just turn it on, point it where you want it to go, give it a twist and let out the retractable leash.

Its creators are touting the product as a “no-frills aerial camera,” and it is exactly that. It should be noted, though, that you will first need to have a GoPro device in order to operate the Phi. The Fotokite features two buttons on its leash handle that communicate to the drone over Bluetooth. A button on its back turns on the ‘copter and then starts up the attached camera, while another enables hand gesture commands that move the leash in the direction you want it to go.

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And unlike other drones, it doesn’t rely on GPS or radio signal to get around. Instead, it works by using the tether tension as a positioning guide, as well as the motions of your wrist to adjust the viewing angle. The housing can be aimed straight down for shots directly overhead or tilted up for getting out in front or behind a subject.

Designed with portability in mind, the Fotokite Phi can be easily folded and slipped inside its Pringles-like carrying tube. With a GoPro in place, the smart kite weighs a little over 12 ounces in total. The Phi’s tether is 26-feet long, which is plenty for taking aerial photos or some pretty incredible selfies, but probably not enough to capture the kind of bird’s-eye view videos that have become common among drone users. Since it’s tethered, there’s no need for GPS or other sensors to keep the Phi hovering in place. The leash control system is equipped with an ARM Cortex processor at its core along with an ATtiny43 and sensors to constantly measure the angle of the tether relative to you.

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“The Fotokite Phi is built for the hobby photographer, the action sports enthusiast, the guerrilla journalist and the gadget aficionado. Thanks to its small size and foldability, you can take the Fotokite Phi anywhere – whether you’re hiking in the mountains, going to a festival, visiting an archaeological site or sledding,” its makers write.

At the moment, the Phi’s flight time is only around 15 minutes. Sure, you’ll be able to capture some pretty remarkable shots, but unfortunately don’t expect it to last more than three songs at a concert or the first quarter of a sporting event. However, the device can be charged either by USB or via removable batteries.

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Intrigued? Fly over to its official Indiegogo page, where the Fotokite team is currently seeking $300,000. The first batch of units are expected to begin shipping in March 2016. In the video below, you can see how easy it is to pass around, from person to person, and how safe its soft propellers are to touch. The best part? It costs less than $350.