Delivery Update v2

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Delivery Update v2

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We know many of you have been eagerly awaiting an update on our progress with Snap’s delivery. The team has been working fiendishly to deliver Snap as quickly as possible, making sure you get a product that is worth the wait. Since our last update two months ago,  we have tackled a thousand little challenges and few big ones. We’ve had many successes, but we’ve also had a few setbacks.

We are slightly behind the schedule we previously shared. Our expectation based on the current schedule is that the Voluntary Beta units will still go out later this summer and the rest of the orders will ship this fall. We believe we can be at the earlier end of these ranges, but until all testing is complete and every last component is in stock and tested with inbound QA, we need to be ready for surprises.  We’ll make sure to keep you in the loop with all the details behind the scenes,  so you can keep up with our progress.

The team has faced three primary challenges that have been beyond our expectations:

  • Additional board revisions to optimize GPS performance by removing RF interference from our camera
  • Delays with our tooler completing the fuselage top injection molded part
  • A supplier significantly delaying sample and volume shipment for one key component

Despite these specific challenges, we remain confident and excited about creating a flying camera like nothing else in the world. A camera that will change the way you capture stories and adventures. We can’t wait to get Snap into your hands and and assure you we are moving towards that goal with dedication and conviction.

————–

Nothing significant comes easily and this definitely hasn’t been an exception.  We’re happy to share a much more detailed explanation of our journey through design, tooling, sourcing, and testing over the past two months, below:

Design

When we published our last update, the design was complete, but we still had a few remaining bugs to fix and changes to make that were needed for reliability and design for manufacturing (DFM in product design parlance). In the past few months, the team has addressed issues from our toolers, solved cosmetic problems with tooled parts, and tuned the design in areas where we saw small opportunities for improvement (like getting the magnetic pull force just right for our increased force of the additional pogo pins on our updated battery connector). This effort is largely done, however, we are still in the process of completing a few last DFM and DFA (design for assembly) changes for the gimbal design, as well as finalizing a few details on indicator lighting.

We’ve also completed some additional design work for ancillary parts like our battery charger and product packaging. Here’s an image of the charger below. Like it?

Battery-Charger.480

We weren’t satisfied with the smartphone interface and decided to redo several portions of the design. Here’s a sneak peak of the latest. We’ll be sharing more details about the app in an upcoming blog post.

blogtest2

While the bulk of the design effort for Snap’s software has been done for a long time, making Snap reliable, spectacularly easy to use, and capable of recording gorgeous video has not been, ahem, a Snap (yes, this bad joke may be repeated again). The team is working on getting those last details right that will truly make the difference between an “oh” and an “oh wow”.

Examples include a magical and reassuring take-off experience from your hand, a really cool battery that tells you its state of charge just by picking it up, tuning video compression to remove artifacts in all recording modes, and reliable video streaming from Snap to your phone. Software tends to get completed last, both because it often depends on hardware which needs to be completed first, and because there tends to be lead times for hardware fabrication and assembly that leave bandwidth for more intense software development at the end. We have been steadily growing our software team (per our previous update) to support this final acceleration. Get ready for a number of exciting updates on this front as these details come together.

Tooling

When we published our last update,  we had completed several of the hardest tools and expected to have tooling done in two weeks. This did not happen. We recently received the first shots of our fuselage top parts, and needed substantially more back and forth with the tooler than we expected (frustratingly, they ended up making a design nearly identical to what we originally proposed in April). The molder still needs to fix a sink (places where the shrink of the plastic causes indentations in the surface) and short shot issues (places where the mold doesn’t fill completely), but we’re told these issues are already fixed and new parts are en route from our shop in Korea.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We now have just a few easy parts to go and tooling will be complete after much more effort than we expected. 3-D printed parts work as fine substitutes for all remaining components, so we can now take our testing efforts to the next level.

In addition to making tooling for parts, we have also been creating jigs for assembly as we make the transition to assembling higher volumes and need to ensure consistent quality. Here’s a particularly beautiful jig that Aaron Breen, one of our kickass engineers, created for assembling the pod pair parts for our rotor set:

IMG_6215 (1)

Sourcing

There are 386 unique parts in Snap, with 111 custom parts and 275 off the shelf parts. Over the last few months we’ve been working through getting sufficient quantities of all parts for production, which has presented new challenges. While 99% of this has been smooth sailing, the remaining 1% has required massive amounts of work (I think we already mentioned the earthquake in Japan shuttering our image sensor factory as one example). The team has solved nearly all of these sourcing challenges and has removed components from the design with upcoming end-of-production lives; almost all of the third-party components are either in stock or awaiting delivery.

Unfortunately, there is a single critical component for which the vendor is several months late on their delivery schedule for both sample units and volume shipments. This has delayed both our testing as well as our anticipated release date for the Beta units. There are alternatives to this component if absolutely needed, but using the alternatives means reducing performance in an area we would prefer to avoid. We are working extremely closely with this vendor to make sure we understand the reason for the delay and expected schedule, as well as to accelerate the schedule where possible. They are committed to our project and we’re confident they’ll deliver with flying colors, albeit a bit behind schedule.  (Note the lack of detail here is out of respect for our relationship with the vendor.)

Testing and Debugging

As we also mentioned in our last update, the scope of our testing process was limited by both the high cost of making parts without tooling (a 23-gram rotor set part started its life as a 2 kg block of polycarbonate) and the scarcity of some key components due to sourcing challenges. Since then, we’ve steadily gone from scarcity to abundance as we’ve completed tooling and solved sourcing challenges, and our rate of testing has ramped in parallel. The fuselage top part we mentioned in the tooling section was the final key piece, and we are currently building a 20-unit run of Snaps for internal testing.

The most critical bug has been improving the accuracy of our GPS, which has been getting jammed by electromagnetic emissions from our 4k camera, reducing the quality of the signal it registers from the satellites in space and the tightness of our position control. Conceptually, this is sort of like listening for a friend whispering from 12,500 miles away while a stranger next to you is shouting in your ear. We’ve done several spins of our electronics to improve this and made massive progress to the point that our camera now has lower emissions in the GPS critical 1.2 – 1.6 GHz range than any other 4k camera we’ve tested. That said, we still see a bit more room for improvement and we’re working to make it happen as the quality of the GPS fix is critical to smoothness of video you can capture.

———-

The road to completing Snap has had a few more twists and turns than we anticipated and we know this has required some patience and understanding on your side as you await delivery. Thank you for your continued support and kind words of encouragement throughout this process. We can’t wait to get Snap in all of your hands and see the amazing things you are going to do with it.

Our best,

Tobin, Joe, and the rest of the Vantage Team

  • Chad

    Reply

    So I am disappointed to hear yet again it is being delayed. With that being said I am sure excited to get mine. I ordered mine clear back in October of 2015 and am still waiting on a product. I haven’t complained one bit but I have passed up on a couple other “flying cameras” because I bought this one so I sure hope this thing rocks. I bought this with the understanding that it might be a little bit before I get to use it. But I do have to say I better have something before the snow arrives in Oct- Nov again this winter or I am going to get very frustrated.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Sorry to disappoint here Chad. We don’t like this any more than you. However, delays aside, there is also a lot of excitement over here and things start coming together. We think you are really going to like this once you get your hands on it.

  • Philip Coccari

    Reply

    I am truly excited at the progress you have made. I know perfection can take time! I would rather you get it right and be late than send out an inferior product. I can wait!

  • daniel Apperson

    Reply

    chill chad…. Look at where this thing is going. It will be years before someone makes something better than this…. Get it right and bring it on

    Daniel

    oh yeah I bought mine in September

  • Tibor S. Beczo

    Reply

    All the information is greatly appreciated. I’m sure the team is just as disappointed with the vendor issues as all of us pre-order folks are to read about the frustrations you guys have encountered. After watching all you guys’ videos on Vimeo (sp) I have come to respect the efforts that your team have put forth for more than the last two years. Getting to see all the prototypes (Sula and Seraph) videos was a treat which really helped me see just how long and how committed to this product you guys really are.
    The pictures of the empty body shells were cool to see, along with the JIG for the propellers. Getting the challenges side of this undertaking allow us to see into what you guys are going through, transparency is a highly valued virtue in my book, and I applaud you guys for being as transparent as you can with your customer base. Keep up the great work, your investors believe in you, which leads me to believe that you guys are not going away any time soon. The history of development that you have shared through many avenues including Vimeo, your website, facebook, twitter and perhaps some that I’m not aware of keep us informed, and informed customers are happier than those who are kept in the dark.
    Thanks again guys! Fight the good fight! I know from your posts you guys are taking care of everything you can that is directly in your control I look forward to continued updates – Good or Bad.
    V/r
    Tibor S. Beczo

  • Dirk

    Reply

    Most of the arguments sound reasonable, but the app part. This shouldn’t hold you back, since you can deliver updates later on.
    My main concern is a personal one: will leave on a big trip in mid Oct. I’ve ordered 2 months ago and I live in Europe. I really hope, I will travel with snap.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks Dirk. Just to be clear, the app is not holding us back. It will be ready to go when Snap is, and will also have updates once we ship.

  • Chad

    Reply

    That was pretty chill.

  • Robert Cupisz

    Reply

    Thanks for all the info and keep up the good work, guys!

    Please make sure to send out a survey before shipping to give us a chance to change the shipping address. I’m sure in many cases it will have changed in the span of several months.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks Robert. We will certainly email you before we ship. Also, if you ever want to change your address, just email us at contact@vantagerobotics.com. Include your transaction number (found in the confirmation email we sent when you ordered), and the new address.

  • Matt

    Reply

    I agree with Chad… This thing had better deliver.

    *Ordered in Sept 15.

  • Rusty

    Reply

    Neigh-sayers will always be there. I’d rather they get the hardware as right as possible. Always a shame about the 1%.

    Nice work with the batteries & charger.

    I’m hoping we can have some camera control and the ability to add ND.

    Thanks for the regular updates!

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks for the kind words Rusty. We are pretty juiced on the SmartBattery. Camera hardware is pretty solid, and the controls are software features that will continually improve. ND filters are often requested, but are, unfortunately, not currently getting developed right now.

  • Erik

    Reply

    Thanks for the update! It’s going to be great. I really appreciate your commitment to making a quality product. Anyone complaining about delays has no idea how complex this project is. Good luck to you guys, your almost there!

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks Erik. No one likes having to wait, and we understand why people can get upset about this. Believe us that we don’t enjoy waiting either. But, as you said, this is a very complex project and we are committed to the best quality. We hope that Snap will be worth the wait for you!

  • Bob Krist

    Reply

    I actually had to go out and buy a Phantom 4 because I just couldn’t wait any longer for a couple of projects I needed to do this summer. But I’m looking forward to having the SNAP as a travel option. One thing I have learned since flying the Phantom 4 is how important good ND filters are so you can maintain a low enough shutter speed for the cinematic look. As long as you’re pushing your delivery date back again, please don’t forget an ND filter option for the camera. It’s really important for smooth looking video. Thanks!

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks Bob. The Phantom 4 is a great product, but we think Snap will provide a few very important advantages. Compared to the Phantom 4, the Snap is about 1/3 the weight, a tiny fraction of the packed size, none of the prop cut danger, same video quality, and lower price. We have gotten a lot of requests for adding an ND filter. Unfortunately, that will require a substantial design change that we cannot accommodate right now. We will certainly look into this soon though.

  • Roger

    Reply

    Lets do it!! Looking forward to getting mine!! Good things come to those who wait!! 🙂

  • Ken

    Reply

    Sadly I ordered this with the hopes of taking it on an adventure or two before camping/backpacking season ended. If I won’t be receiving Snap until October or later it will probably not get much use until next Spring. I know there are always delays, but I am a bit disappointed

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Sorry Ken. We totally understand that people wanted their new camera for all their cool summer adventures. We too have been in the office a lot summer, and haven’t had nearly as many cool adventures in general. We hope you will still be able to find awesome stuff to shoot this fall!

  • Melanie Ware

    Reply

    So, so disappointing! I really want to be happy with our decision to buy Snap but feeling a little left out in the cold. When we pre-ordered, the ship date was early spring then September and now its not even clear if we will get it this year. Starting to feel buyers remorse.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Sorry to disappoint you here Melanie. Just to clarify, ‘early Spring’ was never the expectation. No one (especially us) likes delays, but we are still very excited about Snap that hope you will think it worth the wait once you get it. If you cannot wait any longer, we don’t want your buyers remorse to eat you up. Shoot us an email at contact@vantagerobotics.com, and we can refund your order.

  • Patrick

    Reply

    Thanks for the update guys. As with any new project, there are always unanticipated delays. I obviously can’t speak for everyone who has pre-ordered, but from my perspective, I’m more than comfortable waiting for the final product to by 100% and not 80%. The flying camera/drone market is extremely competitive and an inferior product will be quickly written off, whereas a groundbreaking product will become the new benchmark.

    Keep up the great work guys and take as much time as you need to get it right the first time. It will pay dividends in the long run.

  • Eric

    Reply

    I still remember watching Tech Crunch and one of the panelists questioning you about manufacturing and you were standing pretty firm on that June date despite this guy kind of rolling his eyes, haha. Clearly this person understood the process and the issues that come up. I also think of all the other big name manufacturers that put things out before they are totally done as the can release firmware updates. Hardware of course is another issue. I know you guys are doing great, work, I see the parts, I loved this thing from the get go, the transportability, the safety features, crash impact protection (where it magnetically flies apart to protect from breaking). If you get all of it right, especially the quality of the camera, and the smoothness of the moves, then it will have been worth the wait.

    Quick note: Look into this style of filter as a possible easy add on option for the ND filter: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1001722-REG/xp_photogear_xpmfp42_42mm_magfilter_with_polarizer.html
    Makes sense with your Magnet work, as long as it stays on, and doesn’t mess up any other functions. You just need to create something similar, and appropriately sized for your lens, OR contact this manufacturer to see if THEY can do it, and sell it as a Third Party filter (like the way Polaroid does nd filters for my Yuneec Q500).

    It’s a shame ND wasn’t factored into the original design. You just need to add in threading to the front of the lens ring, or some way to attach a filter. Accessories are a good extra on your sales. It’s business guys. Also, I wish you had a camera person on your crew, you would have known that was important. I’m standing by you guys, can’t wait to shoot with this thing. Everything looks awesome, but please try to avoid any more delays. Get the hardware right, test it like crazy (send me a beta unit I’ll help!), but remember you can update firmware software as you go. Get it as perfect as possible, but as with any software/hardware business, things will come up after release that will need your attention, or that you couldn’t implement into this release because of timing. I expect it to be amazing though.

    • Tobin Fisher Post author

      Reply

      Thanks for your kind words and the details on the ND filter Eric. We’re excited about this feature as well. The challenge with optional filters is that our gimbal needs to be precisely balanced to work correctly. If one adds a filter to the front, it will throw off this balance, unless a corresponding counterweight is added to the other side. This is doable, but adding features like this take time and reduce focus (in the non-camera sense of the word), which we can’t do. The good news is that the gimbal is easily replaceable, so we can work on additional features for subsequent module upgrades once we’ve made good on our original promises.

  • Bruce Powell

    Reply

    Please take your time to ship my unit, until you think it is ready. I would rather it have all the bugs worked out and the design complete than to ship on “schedule”.

  • Thor Larsen

    Reply

    Having been building my own camera helicopters, planes and quads as far back as 2000, I can say that this is no easy task. The direction your team was taking with unique design, miniaturization, and shoot the moon functionality is what sold me. The renderings excited me. The updates have teased me. This blogpost raises my anticipation level to new heights and makes my want it even more. Despite having waited since September, and despite now being on the vacation I had hoped my snap would share with me, I am confident that your product will be second to non. There will be future vacations and future flying opportunities.
    (As a side note, i am awaiting another similar but different product in the similar technical area but much more simple, and their team is even farther behind than you are….. It happens).
    Please keep the updates and teases coming. I realize this takes time, but keeping you customer base in the loop will help promote future sales, keep current customers happy and also have the added benefit of giving you ideas for future work which might be outside the scope of a simple survey – the magnetic filter idea, for example.
    Thanks again, I can’t wait for the time when I will be holding my fantastic product.

  • Al B. For

    Reply

    I was excited about this with your first Advertisement but had my reservations about Pre-orders. Being 60 years old I’ve had many experiences of “productions promises”. I’m still excited and would commit.

    Could I give you a 50% deposit? Please let me know.

    ~Al

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks Al. Unfortunately, our payment partner is not set up for partial payments. We can, however guarantee that every penny from every pre-order is held separately from our working capital. We are a privately funded company, not a crowd funded company. We will only invest your pre-order funds when we enter full production. We have not, and will not tap into those resources for payroll, engineering, prototyping, testing, marketing, or any other non-manufacturing expense. At any point before shipping, you can cancel your order for a full refund.

  • TJ

    Reply

    I’m okay with the delays, I mean yea its frustrating but I expected delay. I just hope the product delivers on my expectations and can function how you say it will. If it will perform to expectations these delay will be easily forgiven IMO

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    Hi Team,
    Thanks for the detailed update & the photo’s to tease us!.
    I’m really looking forward to my “Oh Wow” moment in the future & hope all goes well.

    When you say you hope to get it out to us in the Fall what does this mean in term of month?, as in the UK we don’t use this terminology.
    I pre ordered mine in March of this year so when can I expect mine if all goes to plan please?.
    Many Thanks & keep up all of your hark work.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks Gizmo! We are looking forward to Wowing you. We said the Fall rather than a certain month because we don’t know the exact month. If we say November but it turns out to be September, we upset people now for no reason. If we say September but it turns out to be October, we upset people in September. We will make sure to send more concrete timelines as we have them. Thanks for understanding.

  • Desmond wong

    Reply

    Just like Bob Krist, I have went ahead to purchase Autel x star premium n it is a excellent drone with good customer service support. But am still fully supportive with Snap, as your unique selling points are portability, safety protected rotors n smallest gimbal. Autel will serve my outdoor flying purpose now while Snap will be my travelling drone for holiday. Really hope it’s delivery will happen before X’mas, while this will be the gift under the tree, keep up your hard work, cheers!

  • Lindsay

    Reply

    Sad to hear about more delays.
    Glad we’re getting more regular updates though.

    I do have a question.
    Launching the snap. Do you HAVE TO do this by hand? If I made a little stand, could I launch it this way? I ask because I would like my kids to learn to use my snap, but worried that even with the design, they are more likely to hurt themselves. So launching from a little home made stand would be a great answer.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      We primarily launch by hand, but you don’t have to. As long as you have a flat surface, and nothing like long grass or carpet to get in the props, you should be fine.

  • Jake

    Reply

    As disappointed as I am with the delays, I remind myself that this is not something that has been on the market for any period, and it takes time to work the kinks out of a newly developed product. I have purchased drones, digital cameras, and video cameras that were pushed through to the market to meet the schedule and demand, and then suffered through ungodly software updates, firmware updates that should have been part of the standard installation, crappy apps, and the like. I think most of us have been there at some point.

    Looking at some of the other drones/cams offered in the same timeframe as this, and offered since this one began serious development, I can honestly say I have not seen anything else worthwhile that is not already somewhere on the market (such as the Phantom line, etc.). This particular item has an amazing amount of flexibility and portability, and I intend to use it while hiking, fastpacking, and trailrunning – things I can’t do easily do with other crap on the market. For that reason, I am willing to wait longer for the finished product. I’d rather be disappointed on the front end with delays, and have no issues or complaints with the finished product, than to have the product delivered on time, and lose that saved time (and maybe even more!) on the back end with a whole host of minor issues that should have been resolved prior to delivery.

    Keep on keeping on, and keep us updated! Thanks!!! 🙂

  • ila

    Reply

    So disappointing! I bought the drone for my work and now I’m in trouble. I spent my money for a product not for a lot of words… I myself have been very involved to promote your drone with my manager and with the company I work for. I deeply regret for my purchase… I’ll pay a penalty for you for being late… Sorry, but I really hope anyone else buy your product!

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Very sorry to disappoint here Ila. Believe us that we have done everything we can to move things along as quickly as possible here, and hate delays more than most. We hope the final product will be worth the wait. However, if you cannot wait anymore, shoot us an email at contact@vantagerobotics.com and we can cancel/refund your order.

  • Doug Cochran

    Reply

    Thanks for the update. I must admit, my primary concern is that I’ll get this thing and immediately lose control and crash it into a tree, lake or cliff. Your efforts to lower the likelihood of that happening are greatly appreciated – even at the expense of having to wait a little longer. Looking forward to flying it soon though! Keep up the great work!

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks Doug. We are investing a lot of energy to make sure that Snap is so easy and safe to control that you won’t lose it!

  • Lindsay

    Reply

    Thinking more about launching the Snap, I might’ve missed on the detailed info.
    Will we get an sort of “auto-launch” features? It would be cool to be able to set the flight plan/path/position, then put away the phone and do a sort of “drop launch” when you are in position and ready to go.
    Also, how does the app handle being in the background? I currently use my phone to track my rides / runs using a fitness app. Will the Snap app be able to work like this?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Thanks Lindsay. The app should work fine if you are in tracking mode. The auto-launch scenario you described won’t be available at launch, but we will be adding lots of features as time goes on.

  • Finn

    Reply

    When will people be able to bye a snapdrone from the shops

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Right now, we are focusing entirely on filling our pre-sale orders. And for the time being, our website is the only place where you can order Snap. Once our pre-sale is over, we will invest more energy in reaching out to potential distributors.

  • Blayn

    Reply

    I hope we do get this soon. I do understand set backs but appreciate if you keep us posted more often news on progress. I been waiting also since the beginning…just want to be able to fly something.

  • Jason Hatfield

    Reply

    Per your website: “Starts shipping in August 2016 in the order received.
    Orders placed today will ship September 2016.” Does this reflect the most current update? I ordered Oct 17th and just want to determine an estimated arrival time and whether I’ll need to purchase another drone before autumn in Colorado starts, about September 20th. Thanks!

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Hi Jason,

      Those dates on our website have been updated. As this entry describes, we are working tirelessly to get Snap out the door, but there are some variables that are just out of our control. We hope to get the first wave of units out the door very soon, but cannot guarantee any dates right now. We will make sure to post any more details as we get them. Thanks for your patience.

  • Paul

    Reply

    I’m starting to think the blog is being used mainly for big updates and major announcements. You may want to check out Vantage on Facebook because they’re posting more photos from ‘behind the scenes’, testing and stuff like that over there. I’m also hoping to be in the air sooner rather than later!

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Hi Paul,

      Yes, these blog posts require a bit of work to compose and publish. While we do want to keep everyone informed with our status, we spending time on blog entries requires bandwidth that we would like to use on development. So, in between bigger blog posts, we have been posting smaller entries on our FB page. The hope there is to keep everyone in the loop while still spending most of our energy on getting your flying ASAP.

  • Timothy Smith

    Reply

    Unlike Chad, I am beginning to lose my chill. And I don’t know what you mean by “early Spring was never the expectation.” When I pre-ordered Snap, you said you wanted to start shipping in early Spring 2016. So I certainly had the expectation that it would ship then, or at least by summer! Or maybe you just meant that you guys at Vantage Robotics never expected it to ship in early Spring, in which case I feel tricked, and like I maybe should have bought a different drone. Also, I can’t be the only one who felt more than a little concerned when you posted to the blog in late July that you were hiring a Head of Manufacturing Operations. That seems like a position that should have been filled MUCH earlier, and if it was an existing position, that means somebody jumped ship during crunch time. Either way, these aren’t encouraging signs for an investor to see. I understand the risk I took when I sent you my hard-earned money a year ago, I guess I just assumed your business sense was as sharp as your product’s design. Not trying to hate, just being real.

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Hi Chad,

      Sorry to hear you are losing patience here. You have clearly been following Snap for a while, and have some understandable concerns. Let me try to address everything that you brought up here:
      •We never committed to ‘early Spring’, just to ‘Spring’. We may have hoped for an earlier month, but summer doesn’t start until the end of June. We knew that there are always unforeseen delays, and always made note that we wanted to leave a buffer in our timeline for these curve balls. This is a small detail, and doesn’t make our current timeline any less frustrating. Trust that no one is more frustrated about these delays than us. However, by no means did we give out any false information for the purposes of deceit.
      •We have had a Head of Manufacturing Operations for a very long time. He has been a great help, and is still working closely with Vantage. However, he primarily works remotely. Together, we decided that it would be best for the product and the company to have someone working in house. Until we find someone new to fill this roll and get up to speed, we will continue to work with our current Head of Ops.
      •I also want to take a moment to mention that every penny from every pre-order is held separately from our working capital. We are a privately funded company, not a crowd funded company (and our investors have great confidence in their investment). We will only invest your pre-order funds when we enter full production. We have not, and will not tap into those resources for payroll, engineering, prototyping, testing, marketing, or any other non-manufacturing expense. At any point before shipping, you can cancel your order for a full refund.
      I hope that this clears up some of your concerns. If you have any other questions, please shoot us an email at contact@vantagerobotics.com.

  • Joseph Sarigianopoulos

    Reply

    Ughhh. You’re killing me guys!!! Lol. Only because I’m dying to get my hands on mine! I also believe that it takes time to perfect perfection! Sure I was supposed to have it for my summer vacation on the ocean, but there will be other vacations! Keep up the great work. I’m selling my DJI Phantom Pro3 in the meantime. FAA regulations have become ridiculous for commercial use. And as a hobbyist (and let’s face it, for occasional work too) I’ll only need 1. Thanks guys!

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Sorry for the delays and thanks for the support Joseph. Please know that these delays are killing us more than anyone. We will get you flying soon we promise.

  • Nick

    Reply

    Its a shame theres another delay. I sure hope to see this being sent before december though. On the bright side: I LOVE what youve been doing over facebook, that shows dedication and effort on your side, I very much appreciate you posting alk those pictures over the last couple of weeks. Keep that up because its great to get constantly reminded how hard you guys are working.

  • Kevin Wickens

    Reply

    So I’m really late to comment on this blog update but the wait’s a bit worth it cause I have some better information now. This drone is probably one of the most anticipated toys, cameras, professional pieces of equipment that we are all super excited and understandably impatient for. A few years ago my friends and I bought U2 concert tickets for an upcoming summer tour. Well the concert was canceled because Bono threw out his back. 14 months later, the concert was rescheduled, we all had our same original tickets bought 14 months prior and it was the best concert of our lives.

    Snap is going to quite possibly be one of the absolute best aerial cameras currently marketed towards us normal folk. What I mean by that is we’re not comparing snap to corporate commercial drones but consumer / prosumer drones in and around the same price range.

    I must say, I’d be totally frustrated waiting so long for a sub par product but so far from what we’ve seen, Snap is going to have by far more features than any other drone currently available to consumers. Here are some key areas where it dominates all other current drones and why I think it’s definitely worth the extra wait: 1) Safety. The biggest advantage. 2) Portability. 3) 240 FPS HD capability. Huge advantage over other competitors for action sports. 4) Full control over ISO and Shutter speed. (future software update) 5) Amazing future modules in the works some of which are leading edge and not found in other drones. Some are found in other drones but not implemented to their full potential. Higher burst shooting than P4. One of the absolute cheapest per minute of flying time drones on the market. So for those of us who are going to stock up on additional batteries, we’ll be saving considerable $$$$. 6) The ability to use the camera as a hand-held on the ground. (SO SO SO SO EPIC!) 4K gimbal stabilized ground cameras cost a FORTUNE! Okay the list goes on and on and on and on and on.

    Keep it up guys. Knowing just how epic this product is going to be is like adding fuel to our patience gas tank.

  • Ben C Ng

    Reply

    So, when is it likely to ship out the first batch of SNAP?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Right now, we hope to get beta units out in Sept., and start shipping pre-sale units in Oct. We will make sure to announce any news regarding this timeline as we get it.

  • Richard Fox

    Reply

    Will we be able to purchase extra batteries at the same time we receive the SNAP or even earlier? I am wanting to get several and don’t want to be delayed further after I receive the SNAP…having to wait for these additional batteries.

    Thanks!

    • James Squires

      Reply

      All pre-sale orders will come with a second battery for free. We will also be selling extra batteries on our website soon. You will be able to order them, and have them shipping in the same package are your Snap.

  • Joan Solitario

    Reply

    Waiting patiently like the others and hoping we get this soon! 🙂

    Please send a new update when you can.

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    James,
    Fingers crossed for a great update with some exciting news!!.

  • Jeff

    Reply

    Been awhile since an update on shipment. Have the beta versions been sent? Would be good to have an update on expected delivery dates.

  • Ben C Ng

    Reply

    Understand……open my letter box in October, then. Best wishes…

  • Mark

    Reply

    I’m hoping to get the update before the Karma and Mavic are announced by GoPro and DJI. You guys really need to get your act together as far as marketing or else your product will fail!

  • BobJ

    Reply

    Congrats guys. I just saw the GoPro Karma. It is big and unsafe. Keeping my Snap 🙂

  • Ticked off buyer

    Reply

    yeah…waiting on that “day or two” update….starting to get the feeling the executives of this country may not return from China on their next “production” visit…

  • Denis

    Reply

    where are the news now? It´s now 4 Days after last post…

    Can´t wait for the drone…

  • Joe K

    Reply

    I’m also in the same boat with a few other comments, not too impressed with the GoPro Karma announcement. Nothing really special about it. I’m sure it will be a good drone but I’m still waiting patiently for my snap. I think one of the best features is its portability and safety. I also have a blade chroma and went to Hawaii this summer and found myself not taking is with me as much as I would of liked because it wasn’t convenient. Just too much work to figure out where to put it after loading the whole family up in the car I ended up leaving it at home more than not. Keep up the good work guys and amaze us with snap!

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    Again fingers crossed for some good news as some the big boys are getting in on the act with release dates & specs but personally the karma is to big & heavy, not mentioning that bulky carry case.
    Please don’t miss out on getting Snap into the public domain & it getting lost with all the other recent & upcoming releases.

  • Greg

    Reply

    Go pro Karma will be available/shipping on 23 October. Price is $799, free 2 day shipping, and includes an FPV controller, handheld mount and other mounts. Intro videos also look absolutely fantastic. If snap isn’t shipping by then, i think I’ll have to cancel my order and buy a Karma instead.

    What’s happened to the promised update?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Sorry for the delays Greg. We are just finalizing another update, and will be posting shortly.

      The Karma looks like a cool product. They are still in pre-sale as well so we don’t know all of their specs. However, it still seems like there are some big disadvantages with the Karma. It does fold up, but is still pretty big and requires a full back pack to hold the controller and accessories. It still has dangerously exposed blades. The field of view of the GoPro is not optimized for aerial footage. Also, that $799 doesn’t include the price of the GoPro camera that is also required.

  • Kevin

    Reply

    Karma was and is a huge disappointment. The Hero 5 was and is a huge success. Me thinks that action camera companies should stick to what they are good at and quad copter companies should stick to what they are good at. lol.

    Pressure is on the Vantage team in a big way with the Mavic being announced / released September 27th.

    Fingers crossed for good news in this next update. I personally very very strongly believe that you cannot put a price on you, your loved ones and especially your children’s eyesight. To me the cost of a drone’s blade wizzing at 5000+ RPM and potentially flying into someone’s face causing permanent scars or god forbid permanent blindness is worth every single split nano-second that I have to wait. Forget about lost vacation opportunities. Every vacation I have been on in my entire life I have not had a drone with me. I can wait a few more vacations for the peace of mind that no one will get hurt from my flying lawn mower.

  • Buchner Engelbrecht

    Reply

    Would one be able to use the fuselage of the snap in the same way as the Osmo Handheld Gimbal camera?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Snap is really designed to be a flying camera, and we are not designing it to work like the Osmo Handheld Gimbal. That being said, it will shoot without the rotors attached.

  • Tibor B.

    Reply

    I think it’s very cool, that even though completely unintended, and not originally intended, that the Snap will take video without the rotor set attached. Since it wasn’t intended that way, it can not be marketed that way, completely understandable. I just find it amusing and ironic that Snap will operate without the rotor set allowing a gimbal stabilized 4k hand held camera. Totally not endorsed as a handheld 4k camera 🙂 I just think it’s cool. Folks who choose to do something like that would really have to be very careful not to tilt Snap too much because of the tilt limits of the manufactured angle specifications.

  • Hyun Kyu Park

    Reply

    It’s 22th september.
    Please show us your progress and shipping plan…

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    Not really unexpected news but I’d rather have a product that works as promised instead of a rushed half hearted one that doesn’t deliver as promised.
    The Karma is of no interest to me due to weight/size & those deadly props.
    That said there are many other options opening up for buyers, none as beautiful & safe as yours as yet!.
    Keep working hard for us please so we can have them under our trees for Christmas.

  • Rob

    Reply

    Another two month minimum delay added to the last two month delay. At this point why don’t you simply say coming some time in 2017? I’ll start saving for more rentals and just bill my clients….my own fault for believing you guys to begin with…..Can you point me to where I can get a refund, just in case?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Sorry Rob. No deceit here. We are not planning to wait until 2017. We are working with the information given to us. When news hits us that there are other delays, we extend that to you. If you would like to cancel your order, email us at contact@vantagerobotics.com and we can start that process for you.

  • Gabor

    Reply

    Dear Vantage!
    A long time ago paid for the product, so slowly that price reflected similar drones. Or those with disabilities. When can we expect delivery?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      Hi Gabor. As we mentioned in this post, we don’t have any precise timeline for shipping right now. We are working tirelessly to get Snap in your hands as fast as possible, but there are some variables that we cannot control. Right now, we hope to get beta units out in the next few weeks, and start shipping pre-sale units later in the Fall. We will make sure to announce any news regarding this timeline as we get it.

  • chuck peck

    Reply

    Have there really been nothing else said on this blog since oct 10th?, my calendar sez its nov 3rd now…anything guys??? common, a few crumbs… what happened to more vids that were being worked on…seems pacifying buyers is going around now by other product producers as well, e.g. karma, mavic both…so if it wasent so dang infureating (sp), id be laughing cuz all those folks who needed their quad right away are now waiting like a l l the rest of us, so maybe ill laugh anyhoo lololololol

    • James Squires

      Reply

      haha. Sorry Chuck. You should check out our Facebook and Instagram feeds. Both have posted more pics and video recently. We are drafting another big update now, and will have it out early next week.

  • Paul

    Reply

    chuck peck – there has been some crumbs posted on the VR Facebook page and Instagram account. It’s apparently quicker and easier for them to post brief messages on social media than to write a full blog entry here. There’s a few new photos, answers to questions, a demo of the twist to shut-off feature, and I think it was today a new video clip was posted. They did also say to expect a new blog post next week. If you’re not on Facebook here’s the YouTube link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhqQXFkyZ_E

  • chuck peck

    Reply

    thanks paul and james, will go and ck it out, tks ☺️

  • Rob

    Reply

    Any updates on deliveries?

  • Rob

    Reply

    Any updates on deliveries? When will the rest be shipped?

  • Gary

    Reply

    Thanks for your New update.
    How about a video of Snap flying Out a mile in Auto mode to a point and doing an orbit around a point of interest and returning home.

  • Rich

    Reply

    What advantages will this have over the
    DJI Mavic Pro?

    • James Squires

      Reply

      DJI is a great company, and the is Mavic is a cool product. It seems like a very different type of camera than the Snap though. Mavic and Snap are both small, 4k flying cameras with many similar features. But Snap is really designed to be used around people. Every feature has been focused to make Snap provide the simplest, most intuitive, and safest experience so that you can capture those amazing aerial images around your friends and loved ones without having to be an experienced pilot. And, as your needs vary, Snap’s extensibility will allow for you to specialize your experience.

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