The Micro Drone 3.0 is small but mighty quadrocopter. While it fits in the palm of your hand, it can stream HD footage, fly in 45mph winds and even fly upside down. One of its most exciting features is that it compatible with Google Cardboard, so you can stream live video from the camera back to the VR headset, so it feels like you’re flying it in first-person. But how well does that work and what does it feel like? We decided to put it to the test for our latest video.
Unboxing the Micro Drone 3.0
So we’ve got a basic Micro Drone 3.0 package from Extreme Fliers here, which costs £80.
Here we have the drone itself, with all four propellers on side. As you can see its quite small, with a diameter of 145 milimetres, so it fits in the palm of my hand.
If we remove this layer, here we have the battery pack and charger for the drone. This 450 miliamperre-hour battery slots into the base of the drone. The charger connects to a microUSB cable.
We’ve also got spare rotor blades and inverted rotor blades and rotor protectors, so the blades don’t take your eyes out when the drone is buzzing around.
Finally, if we dig down to the final layer, here we have the professional remote control.
Controlling the quadrocopter like a pro
As you can tell, this thing is fully-featured. The right control stick allows you to go up, down, left and right, while the left control stick controls sideways banking. Meanwhile these buttons here control the trim, you’ve got buttons here to record video, you flick this switch to fly upside down and this one allows you to toggle between speeds – Slow, Fast and Insane!
If the controller is too intimidating, you can also fly it using the free Micro Drone 3.0 app for iPhone and Android. You can even use the two in tandem using an attachable grip for the controller that holds your phone.
Fly the drone upside-down
As we mentioned, the Micro Drone 3.0 can flip upside down and the flick of a switch – but only if you attach the inverted blades. These are colour-coded white and grey, with the white ones attaching to arms A and B at the front and the grey ones attaching to arms C and D at the back.
Once you’ve done this, you need to flick the Invert switch on the controller down to fly the drone upside down. The drone will automatically flip 180 degrees and the motors will all start working in reverse.
World’s smallest camera gimbal
The camera module for the Micro Drone 3.0 is sold separately for £50, but it’s a worthwhile investment. The 1280 x 720 HD camera shoots 30fps and can live stream to social networks like Facebook and Meerkat.
Rather than mess around plugging in wires, the module attaches using a magnet; simply hold the camera close to the battery and snap, you’re connected. It’s also reversible, so you take forward-facing or rear-facing footage.
As a stretch goal for the Micro Drone’s Indiegogo campaign, you could also get what the manufacturer claims is the smallest gimbal in the world. This robotic attachment use two-axis to make your photos and videos are more stable, for better panning shots and reducing motion blur when flying the drone in VR.
Fly in FPV with Google Cardboard
Now we’ve explained how the Micro Drone works, let’s look at its most exciting feature: the ability to fly in VR.
We flew the Micro Drone 3.0 with Extreme Fliers-branded Dodocase, which costs £20, but you can use any Google Cardboard headset. To set up VR mode for the Micro Drone 3.0, open the Micro Drone app on your phone and from the control screen select the square symbol, then select the glasses icon from the menu options.
If you’ve done it right, you’ll see a split view screen. All you need to do now is pop your phone in the headset, put this to your face and steer using the remote control.
There you have it, that’s how you fly the Micro Drone 3.0 in VR. Would you want to fly a drone like this, or do you already compete in FPV drone racing competition? Give us your thoughts and flying tips in the comments section below.
Do you know where you are allowed to and not allowed to fly your drone? Discover everything you need to know about drone law in Gadget issue 5, out now in all good shops and to download to your device.