Kickstarter Update: Microcopter

Well, my latest kickstarter “investment” looks set to be a record-breaker.

At 8am this morning I received their first update email… which said “Woohoo! We made our target!”… 5 hours later, they’ve doubled it… and they have 30 days to go.

So far on kickstarter I have funded:

1) extruded Aluminum rollers – for CNC machines and Camera Sliders
2) a smartphone controlled robot
3) a universal smartphone to tripod attachment
4) a recycle plastic to make feedstock for 3D printers machine
5) a floating ecosystem/machine to create biofuels
6) open source, web-based video-editing software.
7) indestructable, modular earbuds

On indiegogo I also punted $100 to Jeniferever

I’ve also punted money to Wikileaks, and The Real News Network. I think that covers it. If America decides to <airquotes>call</airquotes> wikileaks a terrorist organisation, than I have materially aided terrorism and can be deported/imprisoned etc… but then so can a lot of people, and really, the only way out of this one is for everyone to go into Spartacus mode… everyone donate.

Still… two of the things I’ve donated to in the list above were just $1 – because I think they’re interesting projects and want to be kept on the mailing list. Of the things where I’ve pre-ordered… the only thing that’s turned up is a T-Shirt from Jeniferever… which is fair enough, since I gave them $100 and it was me that suggested they go on indiegogo in the first place.

As to the others? The roller-bearings should have been here ages ago. I’ve talked the bloke… apparently as I’m a donor, I should jump to the top of the queue…. still… vaiting vaiting vaiting. In the time that it’s taken this thing not to turn up, someone else (who did apparently get what they asked for) has made an entire 3D printer.

makerslide

I’m not impressed with turnaround times… even if these things are still in development. I can remember when the standard mail-order delivery time was 28 days. Every magazine that had adverts for mail-order had 28 days as a standard policy. Amazon.com kicked that one right out the window. Now it’s A-fucking-SAP. I’ve ordered things off Amazon UK and had them turn up in the letterbox the next day. For my own mail-order stuff, I try to get them out the door same day that the order comes in. I find it really stressful having to wait 10 days for parts to turn up (If I’ve run out). It looks to me as though crowd-sourced funding could do with the same kick up the arse that Amazon gave mail-order. I know development takes time, but it doesn’t take that much time.

So… Kickstarter. Not a good way to do your shopping.

In terms of investment? If they make this helicopter, then the whole thing is worth every penny… in fact if any of these things come off then it’s worth every penny… but particularly the helicopter.

ps: And Kickstarter STILL doesn’t have an RSS feed even though I’ve told them twice that they need one – and their navigation is kindof crap… all about “staff recommendations” and “popular”. I’m not interested in “staff recommendations” or “popular”. I’m only interested in every single new thing that turns up, preferably filterable by category, and I don’t want to have to manually revisit their site looking for updates. That’s last-fucking century – so instead of finding new things through their site, I’m reliant on other people’s blogs, and twitter.

So that’s today’s complaining out of the way.

edit:

So it looks like the reason that Kickstarter pulled this project is not (as I’d thought) that they took fright at the legalities, but because the people involved were quite possibly bullshit-artists.

Which is a shame. Still. There you go. The excoriating eye of the internet is a tough one to fool once it’s got you in its sights.

Fooled me though.


4 Comments » for Kickstarter Update: Microcopter
  1. Nick Taylor says:

    Arse – they’ve canceled the microcopter project.

  2. roid says:

    “FUNDING CANCELED
    Funding for this project was canceled 1 day ago.”

    oh dear

  3. Nick Taylor says:

    Yea, I know – they sent out an email to funders almost immediately.

    It’s unclear why kickstarter canceled on them, but I have my theories. Two theories in fact:

    1) It was an innocent mistake

    2) Amazon pulled the plug because they’re a bunch of craven corporate cowards (see wikileaks) – and they got wind that the export of way-point capable autopilots is illegal under US law.

    Which would make sense – I seem to recall that DIYdrones had to give their autopilot software away free (ie: open-source) because technically it was a munition. Ok to give, not ok to sell.

    3) or maybe Kickstarter got frightened.

    Seeing how Amazon behaved in the past though… they’re definitely the weak link in the Kickstarter chain. They’re the reason that Kickstarter is only open to people with US bank accounts.

  4. admin says:

    Yea, I know – they sent out an email to funders almost immediately.

    It’s unclear why kickstarter canceled on them, but I have my theories. Two theories in fact:

    1) It was an innocent mistake

    2) Amazon pulled the plug because they’re a bunch of craven corporate cowards (see wikileaks) – and they got wind that the export of way-point capable autopilots is illegal under US law.

    Which would make sense – I seem to recall that DIYdrones had to give their autopilot software away free (ie: open-source) because technically it was a munition. Ok to give, not ok to sell.

    3) or maybe Kickstarter got frightened.

    Seeing how Amazon behaved in the past though… they’re definitely the weak link in the Kickstarter chain. They’re the reason that Kickstarter is only open to people with US bank accounts.

1 Pings/Trackbacks for "Kickstarter Update: Microcopter"
  1. [...] I think running the Kickstarter model outside Kickstarter is a very good thing indeed. I think that it has a built-in reputational-system (like ebay) built in… given that the quick-silver speed and efficacy of crowd-sourced sleuthing… this was what shot the Kickstarter DIY drone project down in a matter of days. [...]