Flytrex, which was previously known for the cloud-connected Live 3G tracking module, has moved from making drone accessories to a drone of its own. The Sky is a small quadcopter that can be used to capture aerial video or deliver small packages—you can see that it’s just large enough to hold a 12-ounce bottle of beer under its chassis. A video camera isn’t included, but it’s designed to hold a GoPro in its nose.
The quadcopter stands out from the crowd in a couple of ways. It carries two batteries, and can fly for up to 35 minutes at a time, although it’s not clear how the weight of a payload will cut into its operating time or range. It also has integrated 3G cellular capability and GPS, so its position is tracked at all times, and you don’t have to worry about keeping it within a certain range of the iOS or Android device that you’re using to control it. There are two flying apps—Sky Pilot for casual flying and videography and Sky Messenger for package delivery.
Of course, it may be a while before you’re able to receive a package via drone in the U.S. Amazon has been testing the technology, but anyone else would need permission from the FAA to even consider operating the service. Minnesota brewery Lakemaid was sending cases of beer to ice fishers in early 2014, but was quickly shut down by the FAA.
Even if FAA does ease drone regulations, the Flytrex Sky may face another obstacle. In order for it to complete a delivery, the recipient of the package must use the Sky Messenger app to land the drone. That may be fine if the payload is some delivery food, but we all know how annoying it is to have to be home to sign for a package, yet alone having to take care of landing the delivery drone and retrieving it.
Practicality aside, as a tech demo, the Sky is intriguing, and shows just how quickly drone technology is moving. The Sky is available for pre-order now for $749, with the price increasing to $1,099 when it ships this August.