March 19th, 2014
Sergei Lupashin, a Swiss fellow with a Phd from ETH Zurich has founded a company called Fotokite to develop a simplified RCMA that is a cross between a RCMA and a kite.
This YouTube video shows Sergei demonstrating his Fotokite invention at the Drones and Aerial Robotics conference last October in NYC.
This is so simple it is brilliant! It solves a number of issues with RCMA being used for real estate:
- By getting eliminating a lot of electronics that you don’t need because it’s on a tether, it becomes simpler and less expensive.
- By making is simpler it is much easier to operate. No practice required. Not much more difficult than walking the dog.
- By having it on a tether it will likely be regulated as a kite and will probably eliminate or reduce the insurance required.
- It appears that having it constantly pulling on a tether makes it very stable.
To me this looks like a simple inexpensive replacement for PAP as long as you can keep the tether line out of the photo. I want one!
I’ve contacted Fotokite to ask them where in the development process they are and when this product may be available. Haven’t heard back yet. I’ll let you know when I do. Thanks to Gary Karcz for pointing Fotokite out to me.
Update 3/21/2014: I heard back from James Rapoport, the cofounder of Fotokite, and he says: “We’re in the process of finalizing our strategy to make aerial photography accessible to everyone. We will notify you with regards to availability as soon as possible, but in the meantime, you can also find us on AngelList.”