Price (RRP): $599
Drones are going to be a popular purchase this Christmas, and with each coming year they get better and better. We got our hands on ZeroTech’s new and cutely named ‘Dobby’ drone, and took it for a few test flights.
Dobby could be classified as a ‘hobby drone’, or ‘micro drone’, meaning it’s small and light enough not to hurt anyone (much), and isn’t intended for professional drone duties. It also falls under the relatively new class of ‘selfie drones’ because of a ‘follow-me’ feature that can keep the camera pointed at you or someone else while they move around.
The first thing you’ll notice about Dobby is how portable it is. It weighs just 199 grams and is about the same size as an iPhone but about three and a half times as thick. Dobby’s 4 propeller blades fold outwards for flying, and all packs up nicely and can be stored easily in a purse or jacket pocket.
Setting up Dobby for his (her?) maiden flight was easy to do. You simply install the Do.Fun app on your Apple or Android smartphone and set up an account. Dobby creates its own Wi-Fi network to connect to your phone, and the app provides fight controls, camera settings and enables you to transfer and share your footage.
When it comes to flying, Dobby relies mainly on its GPS when outside to figure out its position so it can return home and land if needed. It can fly up to 20 meters in altitude and withstand gusts up to 28Km/h. Inside buildings, it uses a combination of ultrasonic positioning and ‘optical-flow’ sensors to gauge altitude (to a maximum of 3 meters) and position.