Drofie: The First Pocket-Sized ‘Selfie Drone’ is Being Developed by an Egyptian Startup
Dubbed the ‘Egyptian selfie drone’, ‘Drofie’ has got the world talking. Gaining attention from everywhere from China and India, to the Netherlands, Italy and Switzerland, it continues to attract international investors from all across the world – and it’s still only in its pre-launching phase.
Providing further proof that Egypt continues to grow as an entrepreneurship hub, Mohamed Ghaith’s Drofie is a folding, pocket-sized hover camera.
“All you need to do is just throw Drofie in the air; it stabilises itself autonomously or you can simply leave it at certain position and it will hover where you leave it,” Ghaith told us.
By installing the Drofie application on any Smartphone to establish a connection, users will have three operating features.
“Besides taking aerial selfies, the ‘Follow Me’ feature allows you to move freely while Drofie follows and films; for a more interesting aerial shot , though, you can select the Panorama 360 feature, where it will then speed up to pass you and take a 360 degree shot,” Ghaith explained.
The basic function itself, similar to a selfie stick, isn’t new, but the idea of implementing that on nano drones, with an accompanying application and a unique design are.
Gaith and his company are currently based in Riga, Latvia where they are an active member in the Labs of Latvia – a Latvian startup online community that has provided Gaith and co with invaluable support.
“High tech prototyping facilities, manufacturing expertise and testing labs are something that every hardware project requires – something that Egypt lacks at the moment,” Ghaith told us.
These needs weren’t the only hurdle that the development of the Drofie had to overcome.
“When we started, we had no money, no expertise and it is very expensive to hire experienced hardware engineers. But with time, we were able to recruit a passionate, qualified and experienced team,” Ghaith continued.
After receiving their proof of concept and prototype in May 2016, the Drofie team went on to seek accelerator programs and In June 2016, Drofie was selected as one of the top 20 tech startups under the auspices of the Startup Scaleup six month accelerator program.
As a part of their acceptance in the Startup Scaleup program, Drofie was introduced to the biggest IOT (internet of things) partners in the Baltics where they discussed the possibility of a partnership to carry Drofie in their 50,000 retail outlets across Baltic States.
“We received a letter of intent to carry Drofie in one of the biggest retailers in the Baltic States which works in telecommunication industry,” Ghaith added.
To top all of that, ETH Zurich – an autonomous systems lab – is sponsoring Drofie’s first commercial version in their prototyping facility where they will be working directly with robotics experts.
Aspiring to join more reputable accelerator programs, Drofie managed to beat 865 startups from all over the world and won a place in the Switzerland-based Kickstart Accelerator where they will receive intensive training as well as the opportunity to manufacture their first commercial prototype.
Drofie is expected to officially hit the markets in 2017, but due to issues concerning privacy, Drofie’s availability in Egypt might be delayed.
“We would love to structure an agreement with the Egyptian government to allow Drofie to be sold in Egypt – we are open for discussions.” Ghaith concluded.
For more information on Drofie, click here.