Autonomous Camera Drone Snaps Into Your Phone Case
Tom Spendlove posted on January 30, 2017 | 1850 views

Hagay Klein and the team at SELFLY want to change how we think about selfies. That might not be the moonshot goal that will help civilization grow and thrive, but the idea of taking better pictures using a drone is huge. The team has developed SELFLY, a flying camera that doubles as a phone case. The project is currently in the crowdfunding phase on Kickstarter.

SELFLY seems to involve two big innovations – a small drone featuring a camera that folds itself into your phone case, and the software that will focus on a subject and take pictures. The drone snaps onto the back of a phone case and is compatible with iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 7, 7 Plus, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy 7, Galaxy 7 Edge, and Nexus 6. Any other mobile phone between four to six inches can use what the campaign page calls a ‘universal connector.’ The entire system is expected to weigh around 70 grams, with 66 x 131 millimeter dimensions and a 9 millimeter thickness. The 8 megapixel camera can also take 1080p video at 30 frames per second. The rechargeable battery is expected to last for 20 selfie maneuvers, or around 5 minutes of flight time.










Users have two options for flying the drone – a standard control stick setup or ‘photo based initiative control’, to pan and zoom the camera and have the drone follow your commands for the best possible picture. The campaign page says that the full development and source code for the SELFLY application will be released, but in the comments section of the campaign it also says that the functionality shown in the video is not yet completely realized by the current prototype.

SELFLY is trying to use existing technology for a very specific application, adding in the complexity of folding drone mechanisms and stabilization algorithms. There seems to be a lot of work required between now and the June 2017 estimated delivery date for first units, but the project gives me that familiar sense of 'wide-eyed optimism not realizing the dump truck of troubles that's coming'. If the team pulls this off there are several consumer and commercial applications that should quickly adapt this technology.


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