Startup

California based startup Flybrix, is set to sell its DIY drone kits made of LEGO bricks soon at nationwide retail stores. LEGOs were a part of childhood for Flybrix co-founder Amir Hirsch, who has now integrated the concept of drones and LEGO to provide DIY drone kits targeted towards children and adults alike.

The Flybrix basic kit priced at $189 USD (around $240 AUD, quite pricey for a DIY) comes with all the parts required to build a fully functional drone including:

  • (1) Bag of assorted LEGO® bricks
  • (8) Quick-connect motor boom-arms & motors
  • (8) Propellers
  • (1) Propeller wrench
  • (1) Pre-programmed Flybrix flight board
  • (1) USB data cord
  • (1) LiPo battery
  • (1) USB LiPo battery charger cord

The drone can be controlled using a Flybrix Flight Control app as well as a Flybrix controller.

Hirsch, who holds a Bachelor’s double-majoring in electrical engineering and computer science (EECS) as well as a Master’s in EECS from MIT, says the kit can help builders understand basic concepts of aerodynamics such as balance and feedback as well as the electromechanics involved in actually flying a drone.

However, the Flybrix drone cant compete with the flight times of a standard drone. The battery life depends on the build size of the drone, averaging around 5-7 minutes of flight time.

While the company’s primary targets age group of 14 years and above, Hirsch expects to receive interest from other age groups as well. This includes drone enthusiasts.

Flybrix is Hirsch’s third startup. According to Hirsch’s LinkedIn profile, he founded Zigfu in 2011, which received funding via Ycombinator to develop and market an API for Unity3D and Javascript used by developers in making gesture UI and motion games. Prior to that, he founded the company Tinker Heavy Industries, a company that made interactive educational content for children.

As of 2016, Flybrix has sold over 8,000 drone kits online and is expecting to be appear on the shelves of national retail chains this December. Flybrix has also sold nearly 500 units to educational systems all over the world, this includes several STEM-based school programs based in Australia.