First Look

A (micro) drone of your own

Small, lightweight, and surprisingly sophisticated, the SKEYE Nano Drone is way cool (and required for your office)

skeye nano drone 2

I’ve tested all sorts of quadcopters but the SKEYE Nano Drone is the smallest and most affordable smart drone so far. Measuring a measly 1.57 by 1.57 inches and weighing 0.42 ounces, the SKEYE Nano Drone features six-axis stabilization (3 piezo gyros and 3 accelerometers) that make it possible for us less than expert pilots to fly a device that would otherwise be incredibly unstable. 

nano drone

I’ve managed to get it hovering and flipping but, so far, a banked turn eludes me; maybe that’s something that only works if you fly in a mode other than Beginner (the included controller also lets you choose Mid-Level and Expert modes).

The SKEYE has LEDs on each arm that display status and make it easier to figure out the craft’s orientation. With a flight time of around 7 minutes and a recharge time of 30 minutes this is a remarkable flying machine for it’s list price of $59 … but wait! You can find the gadget sold by affiliates for under $35!

Curiously, there are any number of competitors offering what appear to be identical products for around $20 but the SKEYE’s manufacturer, TRNDlabs, tells me these are Chinese knock-offs with a poor build quality. 

I’ve looked around online to see if anyone has hacked this remarkably sophisticated quadcopter yet but apparently no one’s had “at it” yet, which is a shame because at this price you could have a fleet of them controlled by your desktop or smartphone or, even better, by a Linux system such as the CuBox-i4Pro which would be insanely cool. Imagine having a drone swarm in your office …  

I’ll give the SKEYE Nano Drone a Gearhead Rating of 5 out of 5 for sheer fun.

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