Flybrix Review: Lego Drone Brings to You a Whole New Meaning of Fun

With this lego drone, crashing was never this much fun! When I got my first drone, it remained in air for just about five or ten seconds, as it lifted off slowly but surely into the air and veered dangerously to the left and headed to the nearby wall. I panicked as I realized just at the spur of the moment that I could steer the bloody device just away from the wall to avoid the crash. The frame of the drone was torn into a million pieces and it was just at that point in time, when I came to realize that I had fallen madly in love with my new lego drone.

Flybrix has been engineered by MIT, Caltech and UW Madison alumni and is a kit of lego pieces that includes wired propellers, a battery and a Printed Circuit Board. All this configuration, when joined together carefully, produces an interesting assembly of Do it Yourself drone in just about five minutes or so. And once you get airborne, it is more than likely than the drone will crash into your surroundings sooner rather than later.

The process of setting this amazing drone is way too simple. You just have to connect the controller board which is the drone’s body and brain, to the battery pack. Then you will be required to build a frame for your drone with the help of jumbled pieces of lego, connect the propellers and attach them to the controller board with the help of jumper cables. Then you can either synchronize your drone to your Flybrix smartphone app or even the Flybrix controller. I had quite a decent experience pairing my drone with the smartphone app though. All you have to do now is to turn on the throttle and wait for your drone to get lifted up into the air. As far as my experience was concerned, my drone generally ended up crashing into the surroundings.

Bear in mind that constructing a well rounded, formidable frame with the help of lego is not all that easy. If you are someone who is not that into trial and error routines, then Flybrix have got the issue resolved with their recommendation for three different types of models or variations that can be constructed with the help of parts included in the kit. The three variations include a quadcopter, a hexacopter and an octocopter. Of course, your selection of the model depends on the level of your skill and expertise and how much you are interested in trying out things that are a bit intricate. I did try out these models a number of times following the instructions and modus operandi stipulated by Flybrix. The experience that I had was enough to prove that these designs did not fare that well as compared to the freeform designs that I tried out based on my own intuition. It could be the other way around as well: maybe I wasn’t quite adept at flying these models. More often than not, I ended up constructing my own different versions of lego drones each of which only remained airborne for a few seconds until it crashed either into the nearby wall or into the ground. However, I had real fun crashing and reconstructing my drones.

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It may appear to you that I am more inclined towards crashing my drone than building it at the first place. I believe that crashes are real fun that teach you a lot of good things about how to better control and manoeuvre your drone. Yes, I did crash my drones, but boy! They were some really spectacular crashes. If you have rolled your lego cars down a staircase, then you must be knowing what am I really talking about! Crashing my drone was something I found myself overwhelmed with the entire time. During my experience with this drone, I spend about 90 percent of my time trying to construct a different model, 8 percent crashing my drone into the ground and the remaining 2 percent with my drone in the air.

Typically, flying a drone is a hard skill to master while building a drone with the help of lego is another business altogether. If you are building your own variation, it might turn out to be unbalanced which might make things a bit more difficult for even professional pilots to fly. As a matter of fact, building designs that are balanced appropriately, light in weight and sturdy in built is quite a lot of challenge if you ask me. If you want to learn the art and science of flying drones, this is a challenge that will go a long way in helping you out because more often than not, whenever you crash your drone it will mean that you will have to reconstruct at least some part of the broken or crashed device.

If you fancy building and crashing your drone again and again, it is a great thing as far as I am concerned. It presents you with a diverse range of challenges. Having said that, if you are someone who just wants to enjoy flying, then this might be a tough proposition for you. Hence, Flybrix is a fabulous drone for budding engineers rather than budding pilots who would probably prefer a drone that does not get torn apart in case of crashes and provides a decent flying experience.

The aftermath of a hard landing.

The aftermath of a hard landing.

When it comes to engineering, you are required to be aware of some of the technical knowledge associated with the trade. The circuit board that is actually the brain of the drone does not boast internet connectivity so if you are looking to get it updated with the latest firmware, you will have to plug it into the computer and utilize tools that are generally in the domain of technology freaks. It is not that tough a nut to crack and Flybrix has provided ample instructions to help you out at every juncture. But it could be quite frustrating for those who are not interested in technology or even those who have parents who are not tech-savvy.

Other than these issues, I presume that Flybrix is a lot of fun than any other piece of lego could ever bring to your palette.

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1 Comment
  1. I bought 5 pieces of this piece of shit for the purpose of teaching drone design and programming them to fly. First of all this doesn’t fly at all. It flys less. Crashes more. In one of my crashes its props got cut into two pieces. No auto-stabilization whatsoever. No libraries available for programming. Their tech support is pathetic. Replies after 48 hours and entirely out of context.

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