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Neighborhood watching with the Swinglet CAM high resolution flying camera


November 9, 2010

The Swinglet CAM can take off, snap aerial photos along a chosen route and then land, where the operator can upload the images to a waiting notebook

The Swinglet CAM can take off, snap aerial photos along a chosen route and then land, where the operator can upload the images to a waiting notebook

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With the help of the Swinglet CAM you can create your very own local aerial map a la Google Maps, or monitor wildlife distribution in a given area, or maybe just get a feel for what's going on in the neighborhood. The small, unmanned aerial vehicle can take off and land on its own and its integrated camera will snap high resolution images along a predetermined flightpath or as directed by remote control.

Swiss sensor manufacturer senseFly sees the Swinglet CAM high resolution aerial photography drone being useful for such things as traffic monitoring, security applications, mapping, crop monitoring and wildlife watching. It comes packed in a suitably-sized case, has a wingspan of 80cm (31.4 inches) and weighs 500g (17.6 ounces). Its Li-polymer battery will power the UAV for 30 minutes which is said to give it an operational range of up to 20km (12.4 miles) and a top speed of 30-50kph (up to 30mph).

Once unpacked from the case, the onboard brushless electric motor is activated with a few shakes of the device. The drone can be programmed to follow a pre-determined flight path based on up to 20 GPS coordinates, but also comes with a remote control. So long as the device stays within range (up to 2km/1.2 miles), it is also possible to alter a pre-programmed flight plan while it's in the air, but there's no live photo feed so operators will have to wait for it to land before being able to get at the images.

As for the images, they're automatically snapped with an integrated 12 megapixel camera. The Swinglet CAM package also contains a radio modem, battery and charger. Operators will need to load the included "e-mo-tion" software onto a suitable notebook, but there's also a version which includes a semi-rugged notebook ground station.

Pricing information is available on request from senseFly but we wouldn't expect the Swinglet CAM UAV to be available at the cheaper end of the scale.

The company has produced a video to show what its product is capable of:

About the Author
Paul Ridden While Paul is loath to reveal his age, he will admit to cutting his IT teeth on a TRS-80 (although he won't say which version). An obsessive fascination with computer technology blossomed from hobby into career before the desire for sunnier climes saw him wave a fond farewell to his native Blighty in favor of Bordeaux, France. He's now a dedicated newshound pursuing the latest bleeding edge tech for Gizmag. All articles by Paul Ridden





Ideal for keeping an eye on the police, council enforcement officers, politicians or the wife. Make sure they are working hard and not, for example, mindlessly cruising news on the web.

David Tobin

Nice video! Great product! Everyone now can be like agent 007 :)

Facebook User

If they could make it out of some kind of transparent or translucent plastic it would be a great stealth espionage device.

Michael Crumpton

screw that! get something affordable and readily available! http://ardrone.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/usa/

Makes all other choices moot!


That\'s a very impressive video. The plane did seem to be wobbling a bit in flight, and the photographs and have a large amount of overlap. It looks like the plane is made from expanded polystyrene and you have to be very careful when closing the lid that you don\'t snap off the fins at the end. The photos at the end seemed to be taken from a height of about 700 feet? Is it still within transmitter range at this height?

The next step obviously is a live camera feed, then this would be very useful for police surveillance, instead of using the very expensive helicopter option. the frame rate could be fairly slow.The wing design is very neat with no fuselage.

I have a MUVI miniature video camera, which can record for up to an hour. This would provide a lot more information, and probably doesn\'t weigh any more than the installed still camera. Way to go!


Well.. @windykites1

Technical specs

Camera: 12MP Wingspan: 80cm Weight: 500g Speed: 30-50km/h Endurance: 30min Operational range: up to 20km Data link: up to 2km Can operate in winds up to 25km/h

But i mailed them for the price, i think it\'s something above 2000$

It would be very cool to have one !

Shahin Mokhtar Moshfeghi
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