Zano – Intelligent, autonomous nano-drone that will be your future selfie buddy

With the selfie craze hitting new heights in the last year, it is quite evident that it has become something of a staple in our lives – almost every moment of our lives can be captured and shared within an instant. And while smartphone manufacturers are responding to this by equipping their devices with better front cameras and offering smoother integration with social networking sites, one company in Wales, UK – Torquing Group Ltd – have come up with a remarkable bit of gadgetry that aims to revolutionize the way that selfies are clicked.


If ZANO becomes a hit with the public, it would change the way we think about aerial and personal photography. It is small enough to fit in your hand, intelligent enough so that you do not need to learn how to pilot it as it can be controlled through a simple app on your iOS or Android phone and autonomous enough so that according to your wishes, the ZANO will follow you at a preset distance if you’re moving, or hold it’s position, all the time maintaining its altitude and avoiding obstacles in its path – all by itself. If you’re mouth is now hanging open in awe, don’t worry, it’s only natural.

The ZANO could be your indispensable companion for every occasion

The ZANO next to an iPhone 5

If you’re having a party at home, instead of taking out your phone every time to click a picture, you can just task the ZANO to stay stationary in the air and take photos or record videos any time you want. If you’re at an outdoor picnic, the ZANO will do the same, but with no risk or straying away from you – anytime it senses that it is getting out of range in relation to your phone, it will automatically return to your last known position. If you’re cycling downhill and want a recording, just use the ZANO’s virtual tether feature and it will follow you down at a pre-determined distance and angle. Or maybe you’re an adventure junkie and like river rafting – the ZANO will be able to capture your breathtaking adventure like no other device. The opportunities are endless; each and every person can use the ZANO in new and innovative ways to fulfill their personal needs.

Under the hood – what lies inside the ZANO?

The ZANO is a one-of-a-kind, unique and astounding bit of design and engineering. Nothing like it has ever been built for the consumer market, and hence the folks at Torquing have to be admired for their skill and genius in ensuring that the ZANO does all the tasks that are assigned to it and does them in a way that is user-friendly.

This nano-drone houses a 5 MP camera for crisp and clear pictures to be taken – literally – on the fly. Due to the size constraints of the ZANO, it was impossible to boost the camera capabilities by attaching image stabilizers and other hardware that treats the picture after it is taken. For this purpose, the ZANO is connected to a High-Performance Computer (HPC, or basically a supercomputer) all the time and as soon as it takes a picture, it is uploaded to the HPC, where the picture is treated and corrected, and finally delivered back to your phone or cloud. The ZANO also has some pretty cool hardware that allows it to fly without colliding into things or crashing into the ground – Infrared Sensors help in obstacle avoidance while Echo Sonar and High Resolution Air Pressure sensor help it in maintaining altitude and the world’s smallest GPS helps it to keep a track of its location outdoors. With the help of the Android/iOS app, you can control the ZANO from a distance of upto 30 metres.

Control the ZANO from your Android/iOS device.

The next step – bringing the ZANO to consumer

The Torquing Group turned to Kickstarter to make the ZANO a reality, and until now they’ve managed to raise an impressive GBP 700,000 with more than 4,000 backers – a testament to the quality of the product and the popularity that it is already gathering with the public. After meeting the initial goal of GBP 125,000, the team at Torquing have roped in Camtronics (another Welsh company) as their Electronic Manufacturing Service, so the ZANO will be soon going into production. The team expects the first shipments to roll out by May/June 2015.

If you can’t wait to get your very own drone selfie buddy, head over to their Kickstarter pageĀ and check out the different rewards for being an early backer.