Pluto X Drone Review
This new start up is really trying to make the drone industry more innovative – we find out if they have succeeded.
PLUTO X DRONE REVIEW
The Pluto X is more than just a drone – in fact, the self labelled ‘aerial robotics kit’ reminded us of being kids and seeing our Dad’s tinkering with model airplanes and the such like – but in a way that is completely on trend in the modern world. Tinkering is the right word, as the company behind the Pluto X, Drona Aviation are self confessed tinkerers.
If you want a cheap drone that you can simply fly straight out of the box then the Pluto X is probably not for you – but if you are looking for something that you can really push beyond the normal boundaries and that will enable you to engineer as far as your imagination can take you then you might want to read on.
First Impressions of the Pluto X
We received our prototype Pluto X in a neatly packaged blue box with the drone taking centre stage upon unboxing. Ours came without a cover for the main circuit board but we understand these are usually included in the package for consumers. That being said, we quite liked the exposed nature of this drone as it is very much a piece of kit to be tweaked, tested and developed rather than a ready made drone.
The drone consists of a 3D printed plastic frame, 4 motors surrounded by propeller guards and depending on the package you buy it will include a range of other pieces – including an attachable camera, wheels (yes we said wheels) and even a different circuit board that has the ability to play ping pong – we told you this was something different.
In addition to the standard kit you also get a drone pilots badge, 2 extra motors and 4 extra propellers – although we found the Pluto X impossible to break – and believe us, we tried! Weighing in at around 60g this drone is not going to be an issue to fly when new UK drone laws come in to play either – bonus!
Pluto X Technical Specs
The Pluto X connects to your smartphone over WiFi and has a range of around 60m. The battery life of the Pluto X is around 12-15 minutes and it charges quickly via a standard mini USB connection (the kind that most smartphones use).
The drone is designed to be coded and is aimed at students or people interested in learning how to code. It uses an open source code with and API based SDK.
If you are brand new to coding or are not sure if you want to go that far then you don’t have to – but for those that do there are plenty of tutorials on the Drona Aviation website and on the app itself.
Controller – 9/10
The Pluto X has perhaps one of the better drone controller apps we have seen and we don’t say that lightly. We had a few initial teething problems connecting to the WiFi (but that was mainly our fault) and support had us up and running in no time. The app has a few nice touches including a calibration for the accelerometer and tweaks to the pitch and roll.
One thing to point out is that this drone is fast and it is not the easiest to control on first flight – luckily it is almost impossible to break but just beware of innocent bystanders especially if you are flying indoors.
The controller can be used as a standard two virtual joystick controller with the camera relaying a real time FPV view if you have the camera attached – or if you prefer to use your phones gyroscope you can tilt to your heart’s content to fly your Pluto X.
Overall, we loved the controller and the built in support within the app itself was a neat touch.
Ease of Use – 7/10
The Pluto X is not the easiest drone to fly – but then it isn’t really designed to be easy. This drone is designed to push boundaries and give people ways of using their drone to do extraordinary things. We have already seen people using these drones to play ping pong, track objects or people and even sense methane gas.
You do get to grips with this drone eventually and once you do you will love the experience.
Safety – 9/10
Despite being tricky to manoeuvre the Pluto X is very safe to fly. It is incredibly lightweight and will not damage or hurt anyone based on impact alone. The only real danger with this drone is for hair getting caught in the propellers – thankfully this was something that our reviewer really didn’t need to worry about.
Camera Quality – 9/10
The camera that ships with the tinkerer kit is 720p HD and has a 1MP lens for still shots. The images are fed back to your smartphone via the Pluto X app and can either be stored directly on to your phone (our preference) or on to an SD card that you can insert. There is no requirement for an SD card and we’d suggest using the in-app storage as it is quick and easy to share your footage.
Value for Money – 9/10
The Pluto X is currently in development and can be found on Indiegogo to raise funds as a startup company. At the time of writing the campaign has raised over 100% of the funds required to get off the ground (excuse the pun) with the tinkerer kit costing just under £200. Whilst this is not cheap compared to some drones with similar camera specs, the Pluto X gives you so much more – and for that we think this is exceptional value for money.
The Pluto X really delivers something different and highly innovative to the drone industry. If you want a quadcopter that has limitless possibilities then you have just found it. Excellent battery life, coding opportunities and a well built frame are just the tip of the iceberg of this product brought to you by Drona Aviation. We applaud them and we will applaud you if you decide to purchase.
- Ease of use
- Value for money
About as innovative as a drone can get
Excellent battery life
Great bundle of accessories and add-ons
Good value for money
Not the easiest drone to pilot