Ah… the dangers of the internet. Turns out the eye3 drone hexacopter which was being touted as the easiest flying camera platform on earth was just way too good to be true.
Kickstarter pulled support for this project when eagled eyed Helicopter enthusiasts noted that the helicopter in the pitch video was actually photoshopped images of the Chinese built Xaircraft which is currently selling for $669.
Furthermore, the team behind the eye3 Hexacopter, Grayson and Kellie Sigler were the owners of a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) company called Lumenlabs which was selling a computer controlled 3D lathe called the MicRo. But order fullfillment has been abysmal, customers reporting that they haven’t recieved shipment for orders placed 8-10 months ago. LumenLab’s Facebook page and Yahoo Group paint a very nasty picture of a company that simply can’t deliver.
According to a forum message on LuminLab site The company and the Sigglers had to stop production on the micRo due to Grayson Siggler’s recent medical battle with Lupus. In that forum message, Mr. Siggler seemed to indicate that the eye3 hexacopter project was designed to provide funding to keep Luminlabs in operation – a project that was supposedly started before Grayson got sick, but there’s no evidence they ever built or tested a model to begin with before launching the Kickstarter campaign.
In the same post Grayson seemed apologetic to customers who had bought the micRo 3d lathe but it doesn’t look like unfulfilled orders could expect any sort of refund (or product for that matter).
Whether the husband and wife team are just big dreamers who got in way over their heads or a couple of fishy crooks remains to be seen. Luckily a watchful internet community was able to spot a potential fraud and, under the rules of Kickstarter, no money was exchanged because the project had not reached it’s deadline.
But for the budding aviator, there’s still a silver lining. Paul Mather of DIYDrones.com put together a shopping list of parts that you’ll need to build the aircraft as seen in the picture. What’s not included is the hours of trial and error and fine tuning to get it successfully off the ground. But with a final cost of between $1000-1600, the possibility of flying your own Xaircraft hexacopter isn’t that far off.
And the demo video for the Xaircraft is way more impressive than anything in the Kickstarter Campaign…