Zano drone fails to launch – to Kickstarter investors’ dismay

Zano Drone backers won’t be receiving the device after the company behind the project went into voluntary liquidation

Delivery drones are a major research area for Amazon, with the UK one of the destinations of focus for the project

The creators of the Zano drone, once the most successful European Kickstarter in history, have entered liquidation and announced that backers will not be receiving the promised product.

The Zano’s Kickstarter campaign ended in January this year, with backers pitching in £2.3m to get the palm-sized drones off the ground. They were scheduled to be delivered in June, but problems saw them delayed to August. Torquing, the Wales-based technology firm behind the Zano, lost CEO Ivan Reedman on November 12. The project was officially shut down a few days later with Torquing pursuing a creditors’ voluntary liquidation.

This isn’t the only major Kickstarter to fall into trouble recently

“We would like to make a sincere apology for the understandable disappointment felt by all of those that have supported the project,” read an update on the Zano’s project page.

“We would like to reaffirm the significant efforts made by the board of directors and every employee of the company to try and bring this project to fruition and thank their unwavering commitment over the last 12 months.”

The post stated that upgrades to the design increased the weight of the device, and mass production of the drone led to software calibration issues that couldn’t be fixed.

The Zano was supposed to automatically lock onto a smartphone and intelligently avoid obstacles to capture footage of the user. Cost allocations for the project were released, but that hasn’t stopped Trading Standards from launching an investigation into the project.

Kickstarter doesn’t offer refunds, and it is very unlikely that backers will be getting their money back.

This isn’t the only major Kickstarter to fall into trouble recently. PUGZ, lightweight wireless earbuds that were funded in October, will have to be redesigned after announcing that Apple will not allow the earphones to be charged directly from the iPhone. The Coolest Cooler from 2014 was supposed to combine a drink cooler with a blender, Bluetooth speaker and a USB charger. Backers put down $13m for the idea, but most are still waiting for a product. In an update on the project page, the creators asked for understanding and assured that the project is still going ahead.

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