Invention Of The Week? Fotokite Phi Is A Drone On A Leash

If you are a photographer, videographer, journalist, jet -setter, or roam with the paparazzi to capture pics of famous people doing ordinary things, then there is a new invention that just hit the market and it’s one you just have to check out.

It’s called the Fotokite Phi and this is a one-of-a-kind-drone that you control with the use of a leash. This new cutting-edge drone will move in the direction you wish, just the same as you move your dog around during daily walks.

Sure, drones these days are getting some bad press. Many drones being developed are being used for surveillance operations and this has been spooking lots of people out. The right to personal privacy is sacred for many of us.

However the Fotokite Phi is a fun kind of drone and it is easy to use. And what really sets it apart from the pack is that it takes aerial shots in a matter of seconds, and you don’t need a smartphone, GPS, or piloting skills to operate it. Even better is that since you operate it with a leash you are not breaking law with flying an unmanned aerial vehicle. Yes, this device is technically considered a flying kite.

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Sergei Lupashin, who is from Zurich, Switzerland, is the brainchild of this invention. He has closely followed the development of aerial photography during protests of sorts around the world, including the 2011-2013 Russian protests. He discovered that drones used to capture images (still and moving) from high above were cumbersome and complex to use, so he set out to develop one that is safe and easy to operate.

Lupashin and his team have spent the last two years developing the Fotokite.

“We've learned a lot by working with broadcasters and TV crews to make the Fotokite and are excited now to unveil our first offering with the consumer in mind,” says Lupashin

“With its physical connection to users, the Fotokite always knows where you are and stays in place as you move…. Between the leash and the camera at the bottom, it's a cross between an airborne pet and a steadicam in the sky.”

So what happens in the event the Fotokite may crash?

“Should something happen, the leash gives a robust fail safe - the vehicle reduces thrust and it automatically comes back to the operator,” explains Lupashin.

Meet Your New Flying Pet

The Fotokite has been specially designed to give users a birds-eye view from above the ground. It is very light to carry around as well (350g) and you can take it anywhere you go - in your backpack or suitcase - as it is foldable and portable. It also comes with a GoPro & Battery and stays in the air for around 15 minutes. Fotokite can travel up to 26 feet in the air.

The handle for the leash looks just like a yo-yo. Simple hand gestures controls all movement. The Phi mirrors the action from the smart-leash. And your camera can be placed in all sorts of different angles inside the body unit of Fotokite. The device is also equipped with safe propellers with prop guards.

So, will this new drone be a hit? Of course - everyone is going to want to own one to get photos or videos of themselve with this new drone. Look at how popular the new Selfie Stick has been since it hit the market earlier this year. The Fotokite will be even more popular as it captures amazing aerial shots and it is very user-friendly and safe to operate. 

“The Fotokite's tether provides a safer, more direct way to fly. It enables close-proximity operations and the tether provides visual accountability for bystanders and property owners,” says Lupashin

“We are passionate about making aerial photography safer and more accessible to everyone,” he adds.

Fotokite retails for $349.00 (USD).