PhoneDrone turns your smartphone into a quadcopter

I’m an avid fan of both quadcopters and startup pitch TV show “Shark Tank,” so when the two came together last week, I was eager to see the outcome.

I never expected a feeding a frenzy. All five “sharks” took a stake in xCraft, a company with one drone in production, the X PlusOne, and another now on Kickstarter, the PhoneDrone Ethos.

If you’re curious about the latter, it’s exactly what it sounds like: a drone manned by your phone. It doesn’t use your phone as a controller, mind you, but rather sends your actual phone skyward, using its guts for aerial glory.

See, quadcopters require some sophisticated technology: GPS, gyroscopes, cameras and so on. This is all stuff that just so happens to be built into your phone. The PhoneDrone provides the mechanicals — the four propellers and a shell — while your Android or iPhone delivers the rest.

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