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This camera-equipped drone is so small, it even flies under the FAA’s radar

It wasn’t all that long ago that nano-drones were considered second-rate citizens, but ever since the FAA launched its drone registration program, slipping under the FAA radar is a good thing.

Published onJanuary 4, 2016

Axis Vidius nano-drone with controller

It wasn’t all that long ago that nano-drones were considered second-rate citizens to their larger, more eye-catching quadcopter brethren. But the diminutive stature that previously caused nano-drones to be overlooked has recently become their biggest strength.  Ever since the FAA launched its drone registration program in December 2015, slipping under the radar is a good thing.

This is because micro drones and quadcopters that weigh in at less than .55 pounds are exempt from being registered with the FAA. With FAA drone registrations costing $5 a pop and the information being publicly available, not everyone is as eager to jump their drone through hoops as they once were.

While regulating the increasing numbers of private drones and quadcopters in US skies is important work, nano-drones have suddenly become a much more enticing option for drone enthusiasts that don’t necessarily want the hassle of dealing with the FAA.

Axis Vidius nano-drone colors

Enter the Axis Vidius. While its name sounds like it came straight from The Force Awakens, the Axis Vidius is in fact the world’s smallest camera-equipped drone. At 1.5 inches square, the Axis Vidius is way smaller than palm-sized but still comes with a camera capable of live streaming video over Wi-Fi at 420p.

The Axis Vidius can be controlled via the included controller or with an Android or iOS device from up to 100 feet away. You can post photos and live video straight to your social media channels or messengers with the free Vidius app and enjoy 5-7 minutes of flight time from a short 20-minute charge cycle.

Like larger, better-equipped quadcopters, the Axis Vidius’ 6-axis gyroscope stabilization keeps everything balanced, even when performing flips and rolls in its special trick mode. If this sounds cool, you’ve got until January 7 to pre-order the Axis Vidius at a discounted $75 before it returns to its usual $95 price tag.

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Axis Vidius nano-drone with controller and phone

If you want to enjoy all the benefits of camera-equipped drone flying without the hassle of FAA registration, the Axis Vidius is worth a look. It’s not super cheap, but at least it’s hassle-free as far as the FAA is concerned. For those with larger drones (between .55-55 pounds), the FAA requires they be registered by January 19.

The FAA is kindly waiving the usual $5 registration fee until January 20 and while many drone owners will likely ignore the warning, it won’t be easy to fly under the FAA’s radar for long. That is, of course, unless your drone is so small that no one takes any notice.

Have you flown a drone? What do you think about the requirement to register with the FAA?

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