This Thumb-Steered Drone Is The UAV You Have Been Waiting For


From DJI to Pokédrone, we have seen our fair share of different sizes, forms, and varieties of drones. However, the one common feature among all these various designs of the latest drones is the dual-joystick controller. Even the autonomous quadcopters come with a manual control option that employs joystick controllers. Not anymore!


Image Source: Shift


The latest Kickstarter sensation is a drone that only requires the use of a single hand, with a stick and a thumb ring, to operate a drone. The developers of this product called ‘Shift’ want to introduce a more intuitive way of flying the drones.


Image Source: Shift


The drone sports a 4K camera that can capture images at 13-megapixel. The UAV comes with 8 GB of onboard memory and, once fully charged, can last up to 30 minutes in the air.


Image Source: Shift


The Shift controller is the real deal! The controller comprises of a short fat stick that can be held in one hand. Users can slide their thumb through a ring on the top. Thumb movements are then used to guide the drone through the air.


Image Source: Shift


The design is quite intuitive; the drone flies left on the left push and vice versa. Similarly, the forward push on the Shift makes the drone fly forward. To increase the altitude of the drone, all you need is to push up a bit! A separate toggle on the front changes the orientation of the drone using the index finger.


Image Source: Shift


Previously, quite a few solutions for controlling drones were introduced most of which relied on smartphones and smartwatches. However, each of these methods of controlling a drone left one unsatisfied and the users ultimately had to revert to using the joystick controllers.


Image Source: Shift


Shift is advertising the one-handed control as its biggest advantage. Piloting a drone requires ultimate concentration, so multitasking as you guide your drone through the air, making phone calls, or even sipping coffee can be disastrous!


Image Source: Shift


Nonetheless, Shift’s Kickstarter campaign is going strong, and the startup has already raised more than US$68,000 so it would definitely be funded once the campaign ends. If all goes according to the plans, the creators of Shift hope to ship their product by May 2017.


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