Zero Zero Robotics’ recently released Hover Camera has received an avalanche of attention thanks to its enclosed propellers that promises increased safety. But as it turns out, this cover reduces flight efficiency significantly, as admitted even by its product manager, and after thorough testing it seems that the drone is not as safe as it is claimed to be.
The Hover Camera is unique in being able to talk off from the palm of your hand. When I tried, I could feel the propellers touching my fingertips several times. While it didn’t hurt, it’s a sign that this design has its flaws.
Designing the cover is tricky. For maximum safety, it should cover as much of the propellers as possible. But covering the propellers comes at the cost of increased weight and reduced efficiency. Because of this, the cover has to be hollowed out as much as possible to reduce weight and extend flight time (in practice, the drone can fly for about 8 minutes on a single charge).
While the company has really tried to balance efficiency and safety, the result isn’t fully satisfying. As shown above, an adult woman can put her finger through openings in the cover, and of course kids can, too. So for all parents out there: this is not a toy for your kids to play with alone. With such a seemingly safe design, it’s actually more likely that accidents will occur.
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