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$121,668 pledged of $150,000 goal
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$121,668 pledged of $150,000 goal
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What is a prototype?

A prototype is a preliminary model of something. Projects that offer physical products need to show backers documentation of a working prototype. This gallery features photos, videos, and other visual documentation that will give backers a sense of what’s been accomplished so far and what’s left to do. Though the development process can vary for each project, these are the stages we typically see:

Proof of Concept

Explorations that test ideas and functionality.

Functional Prototype

Demonstrates the functionality of the final product, but looks different.

Appearance Prototype

Looks like the final product, but is not functional.

Design Prototype

Appearance and function match the final product, but is made with different manufacturing methods.

Production Prototype

Appearance, function, and manufacturing methods match the final product.

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Prototype Gallery

These photos and videos provide a detailed look at this project’s development.

About this project

For more updates and information about the Tanky Drone project visit TankyDrone.com

TANKY, A DIFFERENT KIND OF DRONE

Other drones take videos of the exciting moments in your life. Flying Tanky Drone IS the exciting moment in your life!

Photography drones, such as the DJI Mavic and the GoPro Karma, are perfect for doing what they do—take smooth and steady videos—but you don’t get to fly them, they fly themselves. If you want to push a camera around through the air those drones are perfect for you. However, Tanky is different!

We built Tanky to give you FULL CONTROL. Tanky does exactly what you want it to do, when you want it. It can go incredibly fast, flip, roll, or race through the trees. Tanky lets you truly experience flight, not just observe it!

Think of it this way, it is the difference between driving a stick shift sports car or a cargo van. It’s not like one is better than the other, both are necessary, but you don’t buy a cargo van to have fun. Tanky was designed to be fun, pure fun through and through. Whether you are a beginner or a more seasoned FPV pilot, Tanky was designed to grow with you. It's incredibly fast, fully upgradable, and comes ready to fly. Get started flying FPV with Tanky!

Tanky flying around the field. Real time footage!
Tanky flying around the field. Real time footage!

Tanky features a clean and aerodynamic design that allows it to hit top speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour, a remotely tiltable camera that lets you adjust the camera angle to keep the horizon in sight, a tough polycarbonate skin, programmable LEDs, and a menu-driven OSD that allows you to change settings in the field without a need for a laptop or phone.

TANKY IN THE MEDIA

"It’s blisteringly fast, simply designed, and packed with features to get you up and running in the exploding hobby of FPV (first person view) drone racing…" -UTB Geek

"Tanky’s performance is responsive, nimble, and most importantly, fast…" -Drone Life

"By letting the pilot remotely adjust the angle of the camera to keep the horizon in sight, Tanky offers superior visibility during high-speed racing, landing or just exploratory flying…" -Dronethusiast

OUR STORY

Hi there! My name is Yuki, I am one of the Tanky co-founders along with my husband, Bogdan, the lead designer.

Bogdan and Yuki, Tanky Drone Founders
Bogdan and Yuki, Tanky Drone Founders

Our story began back in 2014. We moved from San Diego to the High Desert in Southern California, into a house that’s completely off the grid. The road to our house is mostly off-road terrain for the last couple of miles. As a result, we had to get rid of our fast toys, 2 bikes and a Corvette. Naturally we needed a replacement hobby. We got into FPV flying and built our first drone. There is a ton of land around here to fly, and the terrain is beautiful.

In late 2015, Bogdan and I started designing a concept for a drone with a detachable head with a tiltable FPV camera. It was originally going to be just a carbon fiber design, but you know how it is, you become obsessed with something, and keep polishing it, until something really cool emerges. Finally we had the drone we always wanted. 

Cool, sleek, wire and clutter free, and damn fast.

After test flying the Tanky prototype we decided that it’s really awesome. I know, we might be biased :) But honestly, if I could buy a drone like Tanky I would! It’s so fun to fly. So if I like it, other people would love it too, or at least that was the logic. So thus Tanky Drone the product was born.  

The inspiration for Tanky’s name came from Tiny Tank, a video game from the early 2000s about a “cute killing machine.” Tanky is a cute flying machine.

It occurred to us that a flying tank does not inspire in the mind’s eye the idea of speed. But Tanky is also really tough, so that fits. The plastic covers around the motors protect the motors from impacts. The plastic is soft enough where it absorbs most of the impact energy, keeping the motors safe, but tough enough to withstand hard impacts over and over again.

To make Tanky incredibly tough we wanted to build it out of polycarbonate plastic. This is the same type of material that is used in the bullet proof windows of armored cars. However, the process of bringing to market a product with injection molded parts means huge up front costs, and this is why we need your help.

We love Tanky and hope you do as well. Back Tanky today and share our project with your friends to help us make Tanky a reality!

FEATURES & DESIGN

 

 

 

Beat the Competition. Tanky is 30% lighter than other similarly equipped Ready-to-Fly racing drones, such as the Vortex 250-Pro. And much faster! By using the best-in-class electronics, a lightweight frame, and some of the most powerful motors in the industry, Tanky delivers breakneck speeds! Tanky will easily compete against all of the production drones currently on the market as well as high end custom built racing drones!

Fly with Ease. With a tiltable camera you have the option to control your speed by remotely adjusting the angle of the camera. As you get more and more comfortable, you can continue to increase the angle of the camera and go faster and faster. If something happens, for example, if you lose orientation, it's not a big deal. Just flip into the gyroscopically stabilized mode and tilt the camera down. The drone will level itself out, and you can look around, figure out where you are, and lean in again for a fast pass.

Reach Incredible Speeds. Tanky was designed with an X-shaped frame. The more you lean it over, as you accelerate, the more aerodynamic it becomes. With Tanky leaned over by 45 degrees it actually provides a slight amount of lift, which means more of the motors' energy can be redirected to forward momentum. Tanky was also designed to have slim arms and an obstruction free thrust column. This means a lot more thrust is directed downward, to provide lift, instead of fighting and beating against the arms and fuselage of the drone.

Stand Out in the Crowd. Tanky comes with 16 fully programmable LEDs, so you can really stand out in the crowd, fly line of sight at night, and instantly know if your drone is armed or if something is wrong. The LEDs can be programed to indicate arm status, flight mode, or even increase and decrease intensity with thrust levels. One additional VERY bright LED is located inside the head, and lights up Tanky as soon as it's armed.

Configure Everything in the Field. Everything about Tanky is configurable directly from the on screen display (OSD). Gone are the days of needing to carry a computer or a tablet with you to tune your drone. Just use your remote control sticks to navigate the OSD menu and change settings, modify PIDs, check on your flight times, or even change the power and frequency of the video transmitter. During flight the OSD shows all of your important parameters, such as battery and signal strength, directly on the FPV screen.

Never Worry About Crashing. Tanky's outer shell is made out of extremely tough polycarbonate, the same material commonly used in the automotive and aerospace industries to produce lightweight and extremely impact resistant parts. To really make Tanky stand out from the crowd all of the shell parts are going to be available in several beautiful colors. When you back Tanky, you can help us select which colors we will manufacture.

REWARD PACKAGES

WITH TANKY YOU CAN...

Race. FPV racing is the motor sport of the 21st century. It's inexpensive to get into and yet insanely exciting and adrenaline-packed! Do you have kids and can't justify risking your life by racing motorcycles around the track? Then this is the sport for you! More excitement, even faster acceleration, and yet it's safe, and you can even race with your kids!

Have an Out-of-Body Experience. Flying FPV is like nothing else, and with the speed, ease and agility that Tanky offers, it feels truly amazing. Discover the world around you and see what the drone sees as you fly. See the world like never before!

Shoot Dynamic Footage. Mount an HD camera, like a GoPro, on top of Tanky and take amazing videos. Video drones like the DJI Inspire are unbeatable videography machines that can shoot amazingly smooth and stable aerial video. But can they dive down the side of a cliff or speed through a canyon, or follow a sports car around a track at full speed? Nope, but Tanky can!

Fly with Friends. Get together with friends and fly together or race around your local park. It's a fun way to hang out with your friends outdoors and a great way to meet new people as well.

Commit Murder. Ok, while this one's a joke, please keep in mind that Tanky is outrageously fast and incredibly tough. A collision with a human at full speed will cause grave injuries. Please fly responsibly and safely, and keep this sport alive and thriving. And of course, never use Tanky for Evil!

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

  • Size: 202mm motor-to-motor distance
  • Weight: 282 grams (plus battery and antenna). 
  • Motors: 2305 2600KV Precision Brushless Motors.
  • ESCs: 30A ESCs with BlHeli-S firmware and hardware PWM
  • Props: Unbreakable 5045 Bullnose Props
  • FPV Camera: 600TVL Sony Super Had II CCD Sensor with 0.01 Lux Extremely Low Light Sensitivity 2.1mm 170 degrees FOV wide angle lens, and Wide Dynamic Range
  • Microgimbal for Tiltability
  • Flight Controller: F4-powered Tanky CoreFC with Custom Power Distribution Board
  • On Screen Display (OSD) with access to PID tuning and quadcopter settings
  • Receiver: 2.4Ghz FrSky Receiver
  • Video Transmitter: 5.8Ghz 25mW / 200mW switchable power video transmitter with 40 channels including Raceband.
Tanky next to a 16oz can of Monster Energy drink for size reference. No affiliation with Monster Energy.
Tanky next to a 16oz can of Monster Energy drink for size reference. No affiliation with Monster Energy.

 

TECHNICAL BACKGROUND

We spent 18 months designing and perfecting Tanky, and during that time we did a ton of research into the aerodynamics and flight characteristics of really fast FPV drones. From experience talking to our fans and backers, some of them find this information fascinating, and others find it mind numbingly boring :) If you are the former, read on, and if you are the latter, and just want to fly, feel free to skip this section.

AERODYNAMICS and BALANCE

Why an X-shape? Why not an H-shape? Isn’t that better and more aerodynamic? NO! In fact, if you look at any recent FPV race you will notice that most of the custom-made FPV racing drone frames are X-shaped. There are several good reasons for this.

  • Even spacing between all four motors makes the quadcopter more tunable, responsive, and improves the yaw performance.
  • The X-shape centralizes the mass of the drone in the cross section point between the four motors, making the drone more efficient and faster during pitch, roll, and yaw.
  • The X-shape naturally reduces the forward facing profile of the drone when it is flying at top speed. Allowing for better aerodynamics.

A lot of people have the misconception that drones fly relatively level and parallel to the ground. That's not the case at all. In fact, at top speeds quadcopters tend to pitch forward at extreme angles, some of the competition crafts, like Tanky, pitch forward by as much as 70 to 80 degrees during full throttle acceleration.

This means that at top speed, when an aerodynamic profile matters the most, the long and wide shape of an H-quad experiences the most amount of drag.

Staged photo of Tanky and ZMR 250 (popular H-Quad) leaned over by 45 degrees, simulating fast forward flight. Notice how Tanky has significantly less surface area, which means less drag and more speed!
Staged photo of Tanky and ZMR 250 (popular H-Quad) leaned over by 45 degrees, simulating fast forward flight. Notice how Tanky has significantly less surface area, which means less drag and more speed!

By contrast, Tanky was designed with an X-shaped frame. The more you lean it over, the more aerodynamic it becomes. Tanky was also designed to have slim arms and an obstruction free thrust column. This means a lot more thrust is directed downward, to provide lift, instead of fighting and beating against the arms and fuselage of the drone. This means more of the motors' energy can be redirected to forward momentum!

 COOLING

With competition drones cooling is important, and the part that suffers the most thermal stress on any drone is the electronic speed controller (ESC). In Tanky the ESCs are mounted inside the arms, directly under the propellers. All that cool air from the props is directly washed over the MOSFETs, the part of the ESC that generates the most heat.

From the ESCs the cool air is redirected through the power distribution board and the flight controller, to cool down those components as well.

DURABILITY

Tanky after a brutal crash from 300+ feet in the air. GoPro disconnected, as intended, and the antenna popped out, no actual damage. Chris disarmed Tanky accidentally while testing. Since then we worked with TBS to develop a foolproof disarm procedure.
Tanky after a brutal crash from 300+ feet in the air. GoPro disconnected, as intended, and the antenna popped out, no actual damage. Chris disarmed Tanky accidentally while testing. Since then we worked with TBS to develop a foolproof disarm procedure.

When you need something tough, but shaped into a complex shape, it’s hard to beat injection molded composite thermoplastics. We experimented with Polyamide (Nylon), Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene, Polypropylene, and Polycarbonate as the options for Tanky’s skin. All of the above mentioned thermoplastics are extremely tough and are commonly used in the automotive and aerospace industries to produce lightweight and extremely impact resistant parts. We settled on a Polycarbonate blend that will provide us with excellent rigidity, amazing strength, and good color characteristics.

TILTABLE CAMERA

Racing drones lean over by 45 to almost 90 degrees when flying at top speeds. As a result, most FPV pilots point their drone's camera straight up so they can see where they are going when they are leaning over to hit those break neck speeds. However, this means you never have an option to slow down and look around, and you can’t see where you are landing. This compromise wasn’t acceptable to us, so we gave Tanky a remotely tiltable camera.

In fact, that’s where the name Tanky comes from. The camera remotely goes up and down, much like the barrel on a tank.

SOFTWARE

Tanky ships stock with a custom made and very powerful F4 32-bit flight controller, Tanky CoreFC, loaded with BetaFlight, an amazingly stable and versatile 32-bit open source firmware. It is the firmware of choice for most drone pilots and racers. However, you can easily switch to CleanFlight or RaceFlight.

Tanky comes fully tuned and programmed with three different profiles. The “Docile” profile, for beginners, the “Smooth” profile, for intermediate pilots and for shooting smooth video, and the “Extreme” profile, for expert pilots who need the fastest response time during a race.

REMOTE & FPV SYSTEM

The world has enough landfills, and we didn't want to add to it by shipping a controller that would be quickly abandoned in favor of a higher quality radio system. This is why we chose TBS Tango. TBS Tango is a professional grade controller with incredibly precise gimbals (joysticks) and perfect ergonomics. It normally retails for $249, and is beloved by racers and hobby pilots. Check out the official TBS Tango video below:

Tango is the world's first RC controller with integrated FPV screen, integrated 40ch (including Raceband) video receiver with amazing range, and a goggles port for FPV goggles (goggles sold separately).

The bind-and-fly (BNF) version of Tanky comes with an integrated FrSky 16ch SBUS receiver, compatible with FrSky XJT transmitter module and the latest FrSky Taranis and Horus radio systems.

Goggles are SOLD SEPARATELY! Above picture is for reference of what is compatible with Tanky.
Goggles are SOLD SEPARATELY! Above picture is for reference of what is compatible with Tanky.

 

THE TANKY TEAM

Tanky was a personal project, that became an obsession to build the lightest, fastest and toughest drone out there. Something unique and new. But what do you do when you build something you really love? You have to share it with the world. So the Tanky Drone project became a Kickstarter idea.

But we couldn't just throw it up on Kickstarter with just a prototype and an idea. We knew how many projects had issues in the past, and that it's one thing to build a one-off drone, and it's a whole different thing to actually have something that could be manufactured. Over the last several months we made connections with manufacturers, suppliers, and partners that will help us make Tanky a reality.

We have a long history of being in business for ourselves and we feel more than capable of bringing Tanky to fruition and to your doorstep. 

THANK YOU

Thank you for checking out our project and your support! We are excited to have you come onboard the Tanky Drone Team and are certain you will have countless hours of fun flying with Tanky!

If you love Tanky as much as we do, please remember to share our project with your friends and family. Thank you so much!

TIMELINE

 

Risks and challenges

As demonstrated in our video, we have FUNCTIONAL Tanky prototypes and we have manufacturing partners standing by to make Tanky a reality. That said, we are aware that unexpected challenges may come up.

Scaling Production: The challenge is to scale from a few units to hundreds, while maintaining the level of quality we demand from our products. We have an experienced manufacturing partner to help us in this process, and we are confident that we can produce 500 to 2,000 units on time. If Tanky becomes a runaway success, we have a contingency plan to bring onboard more manufacturing partners.

International Shipment: Unfortunately, not every country welcomes fully assembled FPV drones. We will be arranging alternative distribution channels, and working with DHL, FedEx and UPS to ensure timely delivery of our packages.

Production Delays: We have built in plenty of margin into our production time table to deliver Tanky on time, but unpredictable things can and do happen. We will make every effort to push Tanky into the world as soon as possible.

Our pledge to you is to maintain transparency via constant updates, and to build Tanky to the same incredibly high standard we would build our own personal FPV drone to.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    Friends of TANKY

    A HUGE THANK YOU! We really appreciate your support! Your name will go on our Wall of Fame on tankydrone.com and you will get all of the project updates, and knowledge that you made TANKY possible.

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    • Your Name Printed on our Wall of Fame at TankyDrone.com
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Custom Engraving

    ONLY available for backers who also chose a BNF or RTF TANKY model as a reward. Just add $25 on top of your pledge to receive this.

    Get your TANKY engraved with your Logo, Call Sign, or Team Name. We will need from you a black and white design in Illustrator format. Not all designs will work as they have to be CNC cut using a 1mm cutting bit. We will help you make it work as best as we can. Design would go instead of the Tanky Drone logo on the right side of the craft.

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    Pledge $349 or more About $349

    SUPER EARLY BIRD - TANKY Drone BNF

    Includes Bind-and-Fly (BNF) Tanky + Carrying Case + Extra Propellers (4 Packs). BNF TANKY comes with a custom SBUS FrSky receiver and is compatible with any FrSky radio systems (including Horus and Taranis) or any radio capable of using FrSky XJT module (not included).

    Includes:
    • TANKY Drone
    • TANKY Carrying Case
    • 4 Sets of Propellers and Spare Parts
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    Pledge $399 or more About $399

    EARLY BIRD - TANKY Drone BNF

    Includes Bind-and-Fly (BNF) Tanky + Carrying Case + Extra Propellers (4 Packs). BNF TANKY comes with a custom SBUS FrSky receiver and is compatible with any FrSky radio systems (including Horus and Taranis) or any radio capable of using FrSky XJT module (not included).

    Includes:
    • TANKY Drone
    • TANKY Carrying Case
    • 4 Sets of Propellers and Spare Parts
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    Pledge $449 or more About $449

    TANKY Drone BNF PACKAGE

    Includes Bind-and-Fly (BNF) Tanky + Carrying Case + Extra Propellers (4 Packs). BNF TANKY comes with a custom SBUS FrSky receiver and is compatible with any FrSky radio systems (including Horus and Taranis) or any radio capable of using FrSky XJT module (not included).

    Includes:
    • TANKY Drone
    • TANKY Carrying Case
    • 4 Sets of Propellers and Spare Parts
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    Pledge $499 or more About $499

    SUPER EARLY BIRD - TANKY Drone RTF

    Includes ready-to-fly (RTF) Tanky + FPV Controller (TBS Tango Transmitter) + Carrying Case + Extra Propellers (4 Packs)

    Includes:
    • TANKY Drone
    • TBS Tango Controller w/Integrated FPV Screen
    • TANKY Carrying Case
    • 4 Sets of Propellers and Spare Parts
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    Pledge $549 or more About $549

    EARLY BIRD - TANKY Drone RTF

    Includes ready-to-fly (RTF) Tanky + FPV Controller (TBS Tango Transmitter) + Carrying Case + Extra Propellers (4 Packs)

    Includes:
    • TANKY Drone
    • TBS Tango Controller w/Integrated FPV Screen
    • TANKY Carrying Case
    • 4 Sets of Propellers and Spare Parts
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    Pledge $599 or more About $599

    TANKY Drone RTF

    Includes ready-to-fly (RTF) Tanky + FPV Controller (TBS Tango Transmitter) + Carrying Case + Extra Propellers (4 Packs)

    Includes:
    • TANKY Drone
    • TBS Tango Controller w/Integrated FPV Screen
    • TANKY Carrying Case
    • 4 Sets of Propellers and Spare Parts
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    Pledge $1,100 or more About $1,100

    TANKY Drone Family Pack

    Includes 2 RTF Tanky Kits with custom engraving on the side.

    Get your TANKY engraved with your Logo, Call Sign, or Team Name. We will need from you a black and white design in Illustrator format. Not all designs will work as they have to be CNC cut using a 1mm cutting bit. We will help you make it work as best as we can. Design would go instead of the Tanky Drone logo on the right side of the craft.

    Includes:
    • TANKY Drone
    • TANKY Carrying Case
    • TBS Tango Controller w/Integrated FPV Screen
    • 4 Sets of Propellers and Spare Parts
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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Distributor Deal

    Includes 20 RTF Tanky Kits with option to put custom logos for your company in the instruction manuals and on the box.

    Includes:
    • 20× TANKY Drone
    • 20× TANKY Carrying Case
    • 20× TBS Tango Controller w/Integrated FPV Screen
    • 20× 4 Sets of Propellers and Spare Parts
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Funding period

- (45 days)