A year or two ago, TDC was out with a group of drone racers in Canada. They were at a park on the outskirts of the city, and one of the guys was ripping around a corner when he lost his quad. He had his goggles on when it happened and knew *roughly* where he’d lost it, but wasn’t sure. Soon, we were all combing through the bush, getting bitten by mosquitoes.
There were about four people on the hunt, poking through the thicket on the edge of a small embankment that led to a stream. We pounded around, pulling back thorny brush to look for the pricey quad. The first five or 10 minutes were fun, then it started to get frustrating. But the time we were up to 20 minutes of repeatedly searching the same zone, including the rocky stream bank, all fun had vanished. We were desperate to find the guy’s quad – and the search had delayed other racers from taking to the air.
Where is this bloody thing?!?!?!?!
Finally, someone spotted a chunk of prop on some muddy sand between a couple of rocks. And there it was, beneath a small plant but none the worse for wear. We returned to base and the racing continued.
It would have been *so* much easier if the quad had some sort of GPS tracker on it.
WE’VE ALL DONE IT
Sound familiar? Been there and done that with a quad, a plane – or even just a set of keys? A pet?
A new crowd-sourced campaign says it has the answer: Ping describes itself as: “The world’s smallest, longest range, longest battery life global (GPS) locator for kids, pets, bikes, drones, luggage or anything important that moves.”
To put it mildly, the campaign is proving immensely popular. With a flexible goal of $50k US and three days remaining, Ping has pulled in more than $1,000,000 and is still growing. The perks start at $99 for one, $189 for two, and $125 for a lifetime data plan to track whatever it is you want to track. Even if it’s a canoe.
There have been other campaigns for trackers that work with WiFi, but this GPS campaign promises, literally, to locate anything anywhere in the world.
(Of course, if you’re running a DJI product with the DJI GO app, you’ll be able to locate your drone anyway, unless you really do some damage or have a complete power failure.)
Regardless of brand, it’s an extra bit of insurance that could really pay off. (And if you’re *really* prone to losing stuff, a 10-pack is $889. Just don’t lose the pack!)