Home NewsMarch Manufacturing Update
  • Tibor

    Reply

    I definitely appreciate the level of detail that is in this post. The requirement for replacing the sonar module is a bummer, and the coating for the heat sink. It sounds like you guys had quite a few ready to roll that now require the change. I’m sorry to hear that things are not going quite a smoothly as everyone had hoped. I see the team “taking it on the chin” with all these unexpected set backs, even when the finish line looked as if it was within reach. This is where the rubber meets the road guys!
    Personally I think it would have been nice to know about some of these issues in a more timely manner – since many of us were on the edge of our seats expecting a yay or nay on 1 March production since the odds were 70% sure. So, when the update was delayed for rewrite a “few” times the news was presumed to be: not be what we in “customer land” were wanting to hear. Oh well, the truth hurts, but please try to be more forth-coming with timely information.
    I don’t know about anyone else in “customer land” but I prefer timely bad news, than no news at all. I think James has his hands full answering emails enough that a shotgun blast out to the masses provides a lot of answered questions all at once, rather than each and every one of us pestering James with pretty much the same question, but perhaps asked in different ways.
    Thanks again for the detailed, if not quite timely, update. I’m thankful that instead of pushing out a product that has some deficiencies, you guys are choosing to do the hard thing, announce another delay, and fix the issues.
    You have international recognition now with the ETC win, you have customers who are more patient than I, who are not pestering about updates, and when and where and how, so keep up the hard work, Your almost there!! The pre sales profit margin might not be what everyone hoped at this point, but I’m sure that will all be a footnote at the 2017 Vantage Robotics Company Christmas party when bonuses are announced for exceeding sales forcasts!

    V/r

    Tibor

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    Tibor’s post has nicely covered most of what I was going to say & then some, Cheers Tibor!.
    I know there will be as many supportive comments as well as negative ones & everyone is entitled to their own point of view, but hopefully we can be constructive even whilst unhappy that we are not as close as we thought we were.
    From my own selfish point of view you are still on track for my 50th Birthday in May so keep your feet firmly on the pedal for us all please!!..

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    +1 Awesome update thanks & so exciting to hear about SNAP’s progress to date ???
    If everyone could keep the feedback constructive, that would be fabulous as the other stuff has been done to death & is quite pointless & so boring ?????

    Just for a laugh ?, we (Aussie’s) just got our first glimpse over here of our ‘new’ fighter jets from the USA, 15 years latta & billions over budget, and they should be fully operational in about another 3 years, 2020!!!
    I think VR are doing just fine ???

  • Volker Löbe

    Reply

    Thank you for your information.
    Stay brave and fight down all the problems.
    I’m shure I will get the best dron in the world.
    Greetings from Germany
    Volker

  • Marcus Hawksley

    Reply

    Thanks for the update. Hopefully this new schedule will be more accurate. I understand your desire to release a thorough update. However as others have already said, there is no point dragging out bad news. Yet this update is several weeks late (at least three by your own commitments)
    The problems you are describing sound like the kind of unexpected surprises you must count for. I hope you have accounted for more of the same in this schedule.
    If there are further delays then please let us know in a short blog post asap. This is not just good communication and quality customer service it is basic good manners.

  • John

    Reply

    When In free form tracking mode, is it possible to set the distance from the subject for filming?

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      When using the free form tracking, you start your flight in manual control. Position Snap to be whatever distance you want it to be from you (both horizontally and vertically), and being the tracking feature. It will keep that relative distance from you wherever you go. Does that make sense?

  • Chris

    Reply

    Re: Russell Cadman. In addition if the news about China’s success in quantum radar technology is true then those jets will be obsolete before we get one in the sky.

  • Scott

    Reply

    Thanks for the update. I’ve been pounding you guys hard, and you rightfully deserve it, ESP when you promise to keep us routinely updated but don’t post anything for 10 days after you said you would ship.

  • Kevin

    Reply

    I’m very happy to hear about the upgraded and more expensive sonar module. I think I speak for everyone when I say that I’d much rather wait a bit longer and even spend a few extra bucks to get something that is more stable and works better. Ground avoidance and altitude accuracy are a drones best friends. 🙂

    Keep up all the good work. Can’t wait for April 1 to be here!

    Kevin

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    James you are doing a great job.

    Tobin & Joe,

    You need to quickly show us your plans to make up for this.

    You must atone for wasting our time. June, July, August, September, October, November, January, February, March. On top of those nine months you are wasting April and May as well.

    Time is money.

    The burden and cost of wasting our time must be put on your shoulders NOT your loyal customers.

    Paul E. C.

  • Mark Kedrowski

    Reply

    The third video down is what I was talking about in the rule of thirds. Even with the GPS challenges, it still pretty accurately tracks the subject – but two thirds behind the subject instead of two thirds in front of the subject. Why is that so difficult? Inquiring minds want to know…

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      The third video down is the air tripod video. Perhaps you are talking about the 4th video with the virtual tripod?

  • Brad Dawber

    Reply

    Thanks for the long overdue updates, disappointing as they may be. Some good points have been made by others in the Comments so I won’t rehash that. Totally agree with Paul E. C……time is money. I have patiently waited without ever pestering you guys. Photography has been my living for 45 years now so I have been telling my commercial real estate clients for a year that I have this flying camera on the way. Month after month of delays, it is hard to really know when we get ours. My intent is to shoot stills and have asked for sample of those for quite awhile. Some of these sample stills are kinda funky with the dynamic range and sharpness? Tell me that the original stills are good please as I will be shooting add on aerials of properties as opposed to chartering helicopters which I did for a really long time. I can’t afford to let another “season” go by with more delays.
    I do appreciate you getting things right before shipping as opposed to Karma.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Brad. We are very much aware of the problems that come with delays, and feel them here as well. We would love more feedback you have on the stills. If you could point out specific images that you are concerned about and why, we can take a closer look.

  • Daniel Apperson

    Reply

    I think I’m going to spend the extra time getting out and generating more ideas about how snap is going to change my life through this amazing photography. Just remember those of us that ordered say back in Sept 2105. The extra battery was nice before, so I’m sure you will show your appreciation again as well, and thanks for doing this.

    Daniel

  • manuel guerra

    Reply

    The case is well design is there a solar power film to extend batery life posible printable solar film. ok great job on your updates

  • Eric

    Reply

    Guys, while I’ve been enjoying the DJI Mavic drone that I purchased while patiently waiting for yours (which a long while back was supposed to be done by last June), and while they now sell prop cages similar to what you have (probably STOLE the idea right from you), I am STILL looking forward to getting this drone. With ALL these setbacks, I just hope the system we get is smooth. I wish it had 360 obstacle avoidance, so if you REALLY want to make us happy, since you’re doing all these other things, get that on there and you’ll have everyone else beat!!! Watching some of the test footage, my suggestion is to adjust your exposure algorithms so it is plays it safer with bright areas, the guy running on the beach, and pretty much ALL the daytime footage I’ve seen skin tones and backgrounds are often blown out (overexposed), and we can’t get back that detail. Dial it down a little bit to be on the safer side after evaluating the overall scene. I imagine Manual exposure options will be available, but still. Watching some of the tracking stuff, and If there’s a way you can smooth things out in how it follows, like it was turning a little jerky on the bike ride. Anything to smooth out the changes to remove jerkiness from auto functions, AND from user controls (and if we can adjust it in settings to reduce or heighten those sensitivities it would be great). I want a smooth pan, and it’s hard to do when the controllers respond TOO quickly, and I want the movement to ramp up at the start and down at the end, so again to reduce jerkiness in moves and create more smoothness. So my notes are exposure, and smooth moves improvement, PLUS 360 obstacle avoidance if possible, essentially. If you’re delaying it, it has to be awesome when it comes out. No pressure 😉

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks for the thoughtful comment Eric. We have noticed and talked about all of these issues internally, but love hearing from customers about what they are most concerned about. It really helps us prioritize what to work on. Let me also chime in on some of the specific comments you made:

      -Imitation is the best form of flattery, and we really like that safety is becoming more of a focal point in this industry.  But, until we try these up in the air, its too hard to really say. Based on the user manual and spec sheet of the new guards, we can learn a few things. With the prop guards on, Mavic’s weight goes up 180g and its flight time specs drop to 12 minutes. Also, the guards are only specced to survive a crash at a speed of 2.68mph. We have spent years trying to improve flight performance while still having our shrouds, and Snap is lighter than the Mavic even before the new shrouds are added. The other thing is that the material around the props (specifically on the bottom side) create a ton of drag, and can effect all sorts of performance qualities (speed, flight time, stabilization in wind).  Finally, the Mavic will not fold up with the cages on, making its packaging size much larger.
       
      -We are very excited to the the 360 obstacle avoidance going, but are still focusing entirely on filling pre-sale units.

      -We are constantly tweaking the firmware with regards to things like the exposure and smoothing out the camera movements. Right now, the exposure setting is automatic, but we plan up implementing more user control over that setting and several others shortly. In terms of manual control, we have several settings that let you control flight speeds and controller sensitivity. Based on beta feedback, we plan on widening the range of control for these settings so that you can move really fast or keep things super smooth.

      Please keep the comments coming!

  • Dustin Fennell

    Reply

    Dang, every update is pushing shipping out further and further. I pre-ordered in March 2016. How do I request a refund?

  • Chuck

    Reply

    Thank you for this update. I’ll avoid using April (u know what) as a date for shipping for obvious reasons, i was waaay wrong with a Valentines Day guess, Gonna go for my dad’s birthday of April 3rd, 2017 for my next guess, thanks VR gang for making the changes/improvements to this awesome machine. keep these updates comin ok…love the new Vimeo videos! Thanks Guys/Gals

  • Chuck

    Reply

    Oops…i meant May 3rd, April showers bring May Snap—dragons eh….eye like it!

  • Philip Coccari

    Reply

    Thank you SO much for the update. As I mentioned before, I would rather wait for a finished product than get a “Buggy” product early. Will there be a POI mode? I also am a RC heli pilot with a part 107 license and was wondering if there will be an option for a RC receiver in the snap so I can use my RC controller. Thanks!!

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Philip! Can you describe what you mean when you ask about a POI mode? As far as a DSM receiver, we will be coming out with this feature soon, but it will be an added piece of hardware.

  • manuel guerra

    Reply

    ok thanks for your feedback.

  • Trevor

    Reply

    It’s great to hear the shipment date. Shipping before May is good to me. I think the quality is everything, even though it’s been waiting for a long time, the quality still cannot be ignore. Good Job, VR team.

  • Doug Cochran

    Reply

    Thanks for the update. Not the news I wanted to hear, but I understand the challenges, having worked on a number of new product launches. It would be great to get it sooner, but I’m doing a trip on Memorial Day weekend that I would really like to take it on.

    Is Snap able to take a series of stills that can be stitched into a spherical panorama?

    Keep up the great work!

    Doug

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Doug. Not the news we wanted to give, but really appreciate your patience. We have talked about a stitching panorama feature, but Snap does not currently have that feature.

  • SB

    Reply

    I’d like to echo Eric’s comments / concerns about the overexposed areas in most of the daytime vimeo videos. I don’t have a mavic to compare it to but I’ve watched plenty of mavic footage (unedited) online and by comparison, the snap footage is overexposed. I believe snap and mavic have the same camera, is that right? Besides the examples Eric mentioned, there’s a snap video flying around a statue and at one point the sun comes into frame in the background. The camera is slow to react so half the image is blown out. It looks like the camera then searches for a light “average” and compensates. However, these adjustments in the middle of an epic pan to a sunset will really ruin the shot.

    I love the automated shots you guys are giving us. If we could start with a fully automated shot and then have the option to tweak individual settings manually that would (in my opinion) move the snap from “fun” to a more serious artistic tool. I also second his desire for smooth pans, tilts, starts and stops. It sounds like you guys are already working on that which is awesome!

    I think what Mark Kedrowski is talking about is in the tracking video looking down on the mountain biker. I noticed this too. For the majority of the video the biker is about 1/3 of the way back from the front edge of the frame in the direction he’s going. Typically a filmmaker would want the subject (in this case the mountain biker) about 1/3 of the way in front of the back edge of the frame. For example, if the biker is moving right to left 2/3 of the frame would be in front of the moving biker (left side of the frame from the bikers front) and 1/3 would be behind the biker (right side of the frame from the bikers back). I hope that makes sense. Having the ability to chose not just what subject I want snap to track, but also where in the frame I want snap to keep the subject as it tracks them relative to their direction of motion would be INCREDIBLE. Can you guys make that happen?

    Finally, I’ve been following the VR blog and social media since I pre-ordered last year. I agree with others disappointment in the missed deadlines but I respect how you’ve communicated with us and handled the complainers. While I want to know what is going on I don’t believe my pre-order entitles me to any information or attention from your company. So thanks for being available and responsive when you have absolutely no obligation to. Very excited to get my snap!

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks SB. I will make sure to pass your thoughts around the team. We have discussed exposure issues a bunch, and will keep working on it.

      In terms of smoother movements, that is all super easy. We have all sorts of different speed and sensitivity settings, and they are very easy to change. If fact, based on beta feedback, we recently extended the range for several of these settings to provide a slower, less jerky speed.

      As for as the 1/3 stuff goes, we have also paid a lot of attention to this and are well aware of how to improve these features. As I am mentioned in the past, much of this is limited by GPS, and we hope will get much better once we get our computer vision tracking up and working in concert with GPS. We have implemented some tricks that help Snap anticipate where you are going so to help the camera lead a bit, but it can only do so much. In sum, we know about this and have thought about a bunch of ways to improve it. We will continue to work on improving this, but it will take a little time.

      Thanks again for your support and patience. We love getting this kind of feedback!

  • Stan

    Reply

    Is so quiet – I thought a few days ago. “I don’t know about anyone else in “customer land” but I prefer timely bad news, than no news at all.” – Said Tibor. It is more less what I think.I’m in Indiegogo crowdfunding tu.I was wrong. Good luck I’m with you.

  • Kevin Wickens

    Reply

    Camera Settings:

    For the purpose of my arguments, I won’t be comparing Snap to another company’s drone but rather the industry standard in compact digital photography/videography. Right now there’s some good competition happening but the current on the market big boys are the GoPro Hero 5 and the Sony FDR x3000.

    If Snap can eventually to replicate all the features that those cameras have in terms of camera controls, then I think you will have a real winner on your hands.

    Highlights of an action camera videographer’s “needs” list:

    1) Ability to control resolution (720p) (1080p), 2.7K, 4K, frames per second (24 fps, 30fps, 60, 120, 240, etc.)
    2) Ability to manually control the minimum and maximum ISO
    3) Ability to have manual control over the shutter speed. This one might be one of the harder ones to work on an action camera as the camera only has ISO and shutter speed at it’s disposal to control exposure since there is no aperture mechanism on these types of cameras. This is why people go out and buy ND filters when they are trying to get a slower shutter speed so that the video looks for realistic in the standard format that we are used to looking at. i..e. 24 frames per second with a 1/50 shutter speed, or 60 frames per second at a 1/20 shutter speed. All that being said, Hero 5 allows manual control of shutter speed and the camera should definitely have the ability to do that during still captures so it should be easy to flip it over to the video capture options as well. Obviously most of us would just leave it on auto as the lighting when shooting drone video’s often changes constantly.
    4) Ability to choose lots of photo options like time lapses and burst photos.
    5) Ability to quickly and easily control exposure levels. i.e. EV+/- compensation.
    6) Ability to shoot Raw images, Ability to chose White Balance.

    Etc. etc. etc. etc.

    I’m sure I’ve left some out. Other photographers or enthusiasts feel free to add to the list. Poor James! lol.

    Kevin

  • Danna

    Reply

    Same as Brad Dawber’s post. I’m planning to use more for aerial shots than videos.Assuming, the sensor is Sony Exmor IMX 377 1/2.3” 4K, I looked at devices using the same sensor and found Google Nexus 6P one among them.

    Looking at Flickr samples for Nexus 6P for landscapes, I see the images from this sensor are more sharp.
    e.g.https://www.flickr.com/photos/stevelitchfield/32833705666

    None of the still above has such sharpness. Is it possible to test the drone for still shot with hand-holding/fixed position and in flying mode and provide us the shots for comparison? Wanted to see how well the image is stabilized.

    Thanks!

  • Kevin

    Reply

    Haha. No sir James sorry that’s just the long wish list for future snap camera settings. 😉

  • Fady

    Reply

    I really like you guys and I like your product and your great idea. but I decided If you guys will not deliver in May as promised in this blog, I will ask for refund. Nothing personal but I believe missing the delivery date by almost 1 year is more than enough.
    Wish you all the best team.

    Thanks.

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    I will say again,

    You have wasted our time; Months have gone by.

    The burden is on your customers’ shoulders. Tell us how you will atone, and put the burden back on your shoulders. You are responsible for this. Please take literal responsibility for your actions.

    Paul E. C.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      We too are incredibly frustrated by these delays, and more than anxious to get you flying. We are very grateful to our customers, and appreciate your patience and support. Our team has been working tirelessly to get this ready as fast as we can.

      With all due respect, asking for atonement seems off base. This is a product. It isn’t finished, but the first units off the line can be reserved through a pre-sale. In exchange for a future delivery, we offer our pre-sale customers the opportunity to be the earliest adopters of Snap and the first ones in the air. Further, pre-sale customers get a reduced the price and some extra accessories (the second battery was added as a thank you specifically for waiting through our delays). That is the deal. If you think that is fair, we love your business. However, if you don’t like the deal, you have the option to cancel your order and wait until the pre-sale is over. There will be no wait, but you will miss the perks. There is no burden being imposed on you or anyone.

  • SB

    Reply

    One of the first things I want to do when I get my snap is hike to the top of a mountain and do the orbit shot! I was wondering, is there an option for a short delay after you select an automated flight? A 3-4 sec pause to give you time to put your phone away before snap starts recording and doing the automated flight? I’d prefer to not have the beginning of the video be me looking down at my phone.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Steve. We have talked about implementing a timer on these shots, but have not done so yet. Hopefully we can add this in a future software update.

      Until then, you can set the shot up all the way until the ‘start flight’ button is ready, then slyly press it from inside your pocket (this is how we have done it in the past). Also, specifically with the orbit, remember that it will first have to fly the radius of the orbit from its origin point (typically you) before it starts the actual orbit, so you have a little time.

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    1+
    Polite, courteous & nicely put James ✅

  • Marcus Hawksley

    Reply

    James,
    I agree that there are limitations on the demands we can make from you as pre order customers especially for the discount. I am hoping that the pre order price for snap means it will still be good value for the technology that is now at least 2 years old. However, it has crossed my mind that a significant discount on the first add on purchase would be a lovely token of appreciation and be very much appreciated by us all 😉
    What I would love though, is a little update on how the rest of March is looking.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Marcus. We have discussed a bunch of different things we can do for our loyal customers in the future, but don’t have anything concrete there yet. March is going well. The new sonar is looking much better.

  • BRAD DAWBER

    Reply

    In regards to the stills, my concerns are-
    – Sharpness, depth of field, dynamic range, etc.
    Not sure what the images shooting into the sun were supposed to prove? The exposures are bad as it is challenging to shoot into the sun, no details in the dark sections. The close up of the guy using the controller looks really out of focus.
    Maybe look at my website and see a lot of my aerials as that has been my specialty for a really long time. Since some of us will be using the camera for real estate images the quality has to be there. So maybe show some perfectly exposed images of homes or landscapes so we can all decide if we like the quality.
    I love the whole concept of Snap , which is why I preordered a long time ago.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Brad. We will continue tweaking the camera, and are about to have a photo contest with our beta testers in hopes of getting some epic stills. Hopefully will have top notch shots soon!

  • Ken

    Reply

    Sadly, I’m going to have to go with Fady. If not delivered by April, I’ll be canceling my order.

    It’s quite embarrassing having a bunch of my friend always asking “Are you going to bring your drone?” and me having to tell them that it still hasn’t arrived. After so many delays, it’s hard to believe anything anymore.

    Technology is only going to get better and the price will continue to decrease, so there will come a time where the other companies catch up. That time is coming sooner than later.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Sorry to cause any embarrassment Ken. If it helps at all, we all get plenty of those questions (both at work and from friends) as well, and empathize with you there. We understand that your patience is running thin here, and are doing everything we can to get you flying asap.

  • philip

    Reply

    Today I had some fun with a friend’s Mavic and I realised that – spec wise – we might be waiting for the Mavic-beater. But that still is to be realised.
    And these friends and their Mavic’s are meanwhile at it…

    I had a Phantom II a long time ago – sold it because of little use – but for now the Mavic seems to be of much more use than a pre-ordered Snap.

    And I hear DJI is coming out with lots of upgrades and additions… so really VR – speed it up !

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Philip. Believe us that we are moving as fast as we can.

      DJI is a great company, and the Mavic is a great 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.

      We have also seen some of the new accessories DJI is coming out with and are excited to see how well they preform.

  • Jeff

    Reply

    James, I waited to respond on this comment because I was curious how VR would respond. I’m having the same issue as you and Ken. Friends and family have been asking about mine, and I have to keep telling them the product is delayed. Unfortunately, several friends have gone with DJI because they didn’t want to wait any longer to see mine first. One is even considering Hover since it’s available!

    If you have some units that are complete, I hope that VR is sending them out ASAP instead of waiting for X+ units before shipping. We’re all terribly anxious and want the best product possible. But at a certain point, the product has to ship… You can make a 2nd edition!

    Please consider shorter posts and/or lifting the NDA with beta users so they can post.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Both the Mavic and Hover are cool products, but are all very different from Snap. If you are curious, we can get into more detail comparing Snap to either or both of these. We will be shipping units as we make them once we go into production, and will be sending units out sequentially based on when you ordered. We would love any feedback on why you would prefer a shorter post if you have a moment. Feel free to shoot us an email at contact@vantagerobotics.com

  • Jeff

    Reply

    I realize Snap is quite different than the other two products. Like others who have defended VR, I chuckle when I see people abandoning ship for the competitors. I have a hard time seeing why people would buy Hover other than they don’t want a larger drone around $300-$500 or to spend $900+ for a small drone. Hover fits in a niche area for selfies and close up videos with a limited battery and very limited range. DJI’s Mavic came out with propeller cage guards. Attaching them every time takes away from the quickness of setting up a portable drone.

    A lot of VR blog readers, including myself, keep hoping for updates. Releasing videos on Vimeo was a great decision to help quell the masses. But the last video was a week ago. We aren’t hoping for perfect videos. We just want to see what a regular person can create.

    Your posts are lengthy, detailed, and occur about once a month. A weekly post with 1-2 paragraphs, with possibly a video, is enough.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Jeff. There are a lot of logistical reasons that makes a detailed blog post once a month substantially less work than shorter posts every week or two. That being said, we are trying to post a non-shipping related update in between each of our monthly(ish) posts. Next one will most likely be on the iOS app.

  • Kevin Wickens

    Reply

    James!

    1) You are awesome. I don’t know how you keep up with all of us.

    2) I asked this I’m sure like I dunno sometime back in 2016 but I want to re-confirm again.

    EIS…… can you confirm that she’s available in 40K at 30 FPS.

    You the man!

    Kevin

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      40K?! That sounds fun.

      Thanks for the support Kevin. The answer is that no, EIS will not work in 4k. Its a bit complicated, but I can try to explain why if you are interested in the reasons for this.

  • Chuck

    Reply

    ok james me buddy . . . im needin somemore videos put up on vimeo, k? im needing ah ‘snap-fix’ iffn ya know what eye mean . . . please

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Haha. OK. We posted a few over the weekend, and I will ask around to see if there is anything else that can be posted. Also, we are drafting a blog post on the iOS app and were going to hold off publishing the video we made showing that off, but will just throw it up there now.

  • Chris

    Reply

    G’day James. I am going on a Charity event in October, a 10,000km 22day motorcycle ride around Australia. Do you think I can plan on having Snap along to document the trip? Also whats the chance of having the speed prop set in time for the trip?

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Your chances of flying by October are extremely good. The speed prop set is going to be one of our first accessories, and will be much easier to make than Snap itself. Its chances of being ready by Oct are also pretty good.

  • Trevor

    Reply

    We are now in the end of March, may I ask are there any pre-orders been shipped?

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    James,
    It’s nice to see the short demo of the IOS app, looks good!.
    Cheers & keep your head up!!.

  • Mark Kedrowski

    Reply

    Where is the iOS demo? I really want to see it.

  • chuck peck

    Reply

    Big Thanks James, i notice when snap is set to do say an out and back…the gimbal does a slight (very slight) turn to its left before execution of the manuver, and it also does another upon completion of the anuver…is this a correctable software thing or just a ‘live with it’ characterestic? Love hoe great the 4k is looking…cant wait to get one of these, tks again for putting up some goodies James (Place BIG smile here)!

  • Jeff

    Reply

    James, you said the beta will go on for a few more weeks. It’s sounding like 5% will go out in April, 15% in May, and the remainder in June? Should we revise our expectations to July to receive SNAP? :-/

    Is it possible to expand the beta program and lift the non-disclosure agreement? Or are you expecting the beta units will have to be replaced? If they have to be replaced, then it makes sense why VR wouldn’t expand the beta. If it’s software that affects the video, then please ship and update later!

    iOS software looks great! Thanks for posting.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Hi Jeff. In this post, we stated that we expect to begin shipping in late April. That is still our current estimate. If we change that, we will announce it.

      Unfortunately, we will not lift the NDA until we are out of beta. Beta is meant to help us find and sort out bugs, not to have people review an unfinished product.

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    James,

    I notice you usually get to these replies sometime after lunch, so I hope that you can think about this one over breakfast, maybe do some thinking in the AM, then have an answer by afternoon on April 30.

    You have the list of orders. You know in what exact order they will be shipped.

    I want you to email me (selfish) and tell me exactly where I am in line. And you should tell everyone of your very loyal early investors where they are as well.

    I need to know if I am a late April, or a late June, July, August? 2018? I won’t hold you to your word, but it is nice to know where we stand.

    Paul E. C.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Sorry Paul. We are not publicizing our sales numbers. We started our pre-sale in Sept. 2015. There was a bit of a surge that first month, but sales have been pretty steady every month since then. You can use that information to gauge your position in line, but that is the best we can do.

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    *March 30, not April 30

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    I have taken the time to transcribe the Instruction Manual from the iPhone video. Not all pages were looked at in the video, and I did not try to reproduce the settings table on the last visible page. Take a look!

    Page 1 of 9

    THIS IS PROTOTYPE THAT HAS NOT BEEN THOROUGHLY TESTED FOR RELIABILITY. YOU SHOULD ASSUME THAT IT CAN FALL OUT OF THE SKY AT ANY TIME AND FLY ACCORDINGLY. DO NOT FLY DIRECTLY OVER PEOPLE ANYWHERE IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO RECOVER SNAP IN THE EVENT OF A FAILURE OR HIGHER THAN 30 FT.
    • Return to Home has not been implemented from the app. It is functional on connection loss.
    • Out and back and orbit have suability bugs and should be tried with caution
    • It is sometimes necessary to exit flight control to the home screen and return in order to make video streaming work. Force quit the app and restart if this doesn’t work.
    • When flying in GPS mode, Snap can become difficult to control if the GPS signal becomes too weak., Switching out of GPS mode will enable you to quickly regain direct control.
    • Return to Home on signal drop will return to the first GPS fix location (this is a bug). Kaje sure to get a first GPS fix in a suitable landing location.
    • If you experience any issued, please record a brief description of the issue and the time. This will enable us to find the control log …(illegible because of shadow page counter )… the problem.
    • The sonar module is not working … (illegible because of shadow page counter )… control is not as accurate as it will be and ground avoidance is not working (illegible because of shadow page counter )…

    Page 2 of 9
    {This page is a diagram of the virtual controller with labels. }

    Page 3 of 9
    Your First Flight
    Here’s the bare minimum for getting into the air and back down safely.
    Your first flight should be outdoors in an open and uncrowded area
    Getting Connected
    1 Connect Snap to rotor set and battery. It should make a single beep followed a startup chirp. The gimbal will go through a calibration routine.
    2 Connecting phone to Snap:
    a) Go to settings in iPhone
    b) Select wifi
    c) Select “Snap_XXXX where XXXX Is the serial number for your device. This can take up to 30 seconds to appear.
    d) Password is 1234567890

    Preflight
    1) Open the Snap App
    2) Button on right side should say Go Fly, Tap it
    3) Go through a few preflight checks {GRAPHICS NEEDED HERE}
    a. Confirm that arrow icon in lower right points in the same direction as Snam +/- 15 degrees. Gently wiggle Snap side to side to calibrate the magnetometer if it doesn’t
    b. Confirm that connection strength(upper left) is 100%
    c. Wait for full GPS lock. This is the indicator in the upper left next to the signal strength icon. It may take 60 seconds or more to get a fix in a new location.
    d. Check that the attitude shown in the artificial horizon is approximately level when snap is level
    Getting into the air
    1) Place Snap on flat ground with props clear of obstructions and slide the takeoff button upwards.
    2) Snap will climb smoothly to 1m above the ground and maintain altitude and position.
    Flying
    You are controlling a powerful flying robot. Take it slow. Keep Snap close to you and close to the ground.
    1) Tap and hold the tilt control deadman switch on the right to move snap laterally. Snap will move in the direction you tilt your phone
    2) Slide the left stick up and down to control altitude.
    3) Slide the left stick side to side to control snaps rotation. Lateral control will remain relative to you even as snap rotates.
    Getting back down
    1) Press land button {GRAPHIC NEEDED HERE]
    2) Snap will slowly come down and to props should shut off automatically. In the event that they don’t, pick Snap up and twist it briskly 90 degrees to shut down.

    Hand Takeoff and Landing
    Hand takeoff and landing is much faster and more convenient than ground takeoff, but it does require some care to avoid finger contact with the propellers (this hurts, but wont slice or dice). We recommend landing on the ground un conditions with large wind disturbances.
    1) Holding snap in one hand from the top and phone in the other (Snap in you left hand and phone (sic) is our preference), Slide the “Takeoff” button upwards. The props should spin up DO NOT LET GO OF SNAP IMMEDIATELY
    2) The props will take about 2 seconds to spin up and be ready for hover. Snap should feel nearly weightless. Lower Snap down a bit and confirm that it pushes upwards before letting go.
    3) You should be able to fly Snap away from you using the controller as you lwt go.
    4) If Snap has GPS lock, it will also maintain position. Otherwise, it will maintain altitude and drift laterally until you take control
    5) To hand land, fly Snap back to you, grab onto the fuselage from the top and twist Snap briskly 90 degrees about the yaw axis.

    Transferring Video/Photo
    Take out Micro-SD card from slot on the underside of the fuselage and transfer to computer using MicroSD card reader. Ignore the .thm files.

    Note that some older video graphics players are unable to play our video format. The latest version of Quicktime and VLC players are known to work reliably.

    Sharing your Video
    We are eager to see what you do with Snap! You will get a link from us for a private Dropbox account for sharing your video. We may use this video for marketing purposed, so please don’t share anything you don’t want the world to see.
    Per the confidentiality agreement please do not share your video publically without our approval until the beta period is complete.
    Charging the battery
    Charging the battery takes about 1 hour. Here is how to do it.
    1) Plug in the charger and then attach the charger on to the battery. This occasionally does not work the first time. Removing the charger from the battery and reattaching fixes this.
    2) The battery lights will blink slowly as it charges. The number of lights illuminating indicates the current charge status.

    (BUG) The battery will sometimes not start charging or stop charging before it is complete. Disconnect and reconnect the charger until it successfully completes.

    Storage and Travel
    Snap is tough. It can be placed in bags without protective packaging. Avoid stuffing Snap too aggressively., as this has the potential to damage the gimbal or rotor set.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      We appreciate your enthusiasm here Paul. However, the purpose of this video was NOT to publish our manual, but rather to show where the manual will be. As you can clearly see, this is very rough, old edition of our manual. Almost all of the bugs mentioned have been fixed by now. It is being used as a placeholder while we finalize our actual manual. We have a separate, more comprehensive and current document that we send to our beta customers. That document contains the up to date user manual as well as a ton of content to help guide testers through the beta program.

      We understand that this wait can be agonizing, and thank your for your patience.

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    Ok cool. I am looking at what you publish and the date of which you do it. How am I to know that I transcribed “old” information? It was new to your loyal pre-sale customers, correct?

    I am still going to operate under the assumption that you have not fixed those bugs since no new information has been published to prove your sentiment.

    Those are some big’ole bugs. You aren’t going to release Snap to us with those bugs, that much is clear. Jammie I am afraid that you are going to have a Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, Zeta, Eta phase, dragging all of us into the summer and fall.

  • Scott

    Reply

    Will there be a way to transfer video files from snap via Bluetooth or wifi versuses having to remove the sd card and place it in a computer?

  • David F

    Reply

    I’m curious about the 4k resolution on Snap. You list only support for the wider 4096×2160 (cinema 4k), but most UHD “4k” TVs are 3840×2160 (the same 16:9 ratio as 1080 and 720 TVs before). Do UHD TVs default to crop the right and left ends, or optionally shrink to fit the 4096 columns into 3840? Can you tell us your reasoning on the resolutions you support, and do you expect any changes? Do you have a table for which modes support electronic image stabilization (EIS), or is this still subject to change?
    I’m looking forward to getting my Snap! Since I’m sticking with my old TV for now, I expect to typically shoot in 1080p60 with EIS versus 4k without (correct?) I’m impressed by the sharpness of the 1080p video samples.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Hi David,

      We have been getting a lot of questions like this recently, and have just updated our specs page. You have several questions here, so lets dive in:
      -The camera sensor size is 4096×2160, but it will shoot video at 16:9 ratio in 3840×2160. This has just been updated.
      -We plan on building out the camera features to include as many settings as possible. However, not all will be ready at launch so we just selected a few. Future software updates will expand these features.
      -The same goes with EIS. We have just updated the spec sheet to show what settings will support EIS. We plan to build out these features in the coming months. Also please note that none of our demo videos have EIS yet enabled.
      -Personally, I love 1008p60 as well.

  • Joe Kerby

    Reply

    Is it possible to get some videos put up that are filmed with the EIS enabled? Some of them are starting to look pretty good without it. I was sure it was enabled on at least some of the vids. It would be nice to see some samples of what it looks like fully stabilized. Thanks and can’t wait to get my snap!

  • SB

    Reply

    Even better, a side-by-side comparison of the same shot with EIS on vs. EIS off?

  • Kevin Wickens

    Reply

    Side-by-side EIS comparisons tend to be fan-base user generated. That being said, Vantage Robotics is quite a bit more connected to their customers what with all of their VIMEO video posts so ya never know.

    To get a general idea of what the EIS with the Amberella A9SE75 SOC is capable of I’d look at a side by side comparison with it on and off on an action camera that utilizes the same SOC. Most notably the Yi 4K (NOT 4K+, regular old Yi 4K). You can just do a youtube search for Yi 4K EIS. I won’t suggest any video’s in particular cause honestly there aren’t that many good ones. The best one is one guy ridding on a mountain bike on a gravel road. Side by side but it’s not a very good comparison. I imagine you’ll probably get a better idea doing searches for Gopro EIS On VS Off. Although not the exact same System on a Chip, I imagine that will give you a very good idea as well. This of course doesn’t come close to what will be possible with snap given the 2 axis gimbal plus amazing Field Oriented Control Motor Controllers (just took that term from their specs page)….. These are all handheld or handle bar mounted and not flying and none of them have the 2 axis gimbal so none of this is accurate at all. It just gives you an idea of what the EIS is capable of.

    Anyway, I doubt we’ll see a side by side until after Beta is finished but ya never know. SB, I can promise you as soon as snap starts shipping and I get my unit, I’d totally do a side by side comparison for you! lol.

    It sure will be nice to see or know when the EIS video’s start getting uploaded to vimeo. James has indicated that up until now everything has been without EIS. It will be good to know when the first EIS ones go up so that we can see for ourselves the difference even if it isn’t a side by side comparison.

    = D

  • Tibor

    Reply

    Kevin,
    Excellent advice – and break down. Doing a google search for EIS vs non should be very helpful!

    V/r
    Tibor

  • philip

    Reply

    So meanwhile another 4 weeks (or almost one more month) have passed and we are only 3 weeks away from ‘late April’. An update on your progress and shipping plans is due, I believe.

    No need for a multi-pager – just the brief and probably grim reality !

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      We have no update for your at this time. There are a million little tasks that are required, and we are pushing through them as fast as we can. Our timetable still has the end of April as our goal for beginning shipments, and that is what we are pushing for.

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    Yes, I agree with Philip!

    VR normally tells us a week after they miss a deadline, that they have missed it and plan to push it back 4-6 weeks. VR knows 3 (technically 2) weeks out if you will make the deadline or not.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      I am afraid that your understanding of Snap’s development is a bit off Paul. I don’t know why you assume that we have definitive answers 2-3 weeks before shipping. Those are critical moments. We are still on track to start shipping at the end of April, but there is a lot in motion.

  • Ken

    Reply

    Any way of setting expectations? You could start shipping one a week and still be true to “Starting shipping end of April”.

    Are you looking to send out dozens daily, weekly? Can you at least give us that kind of information?

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      We are hoping to start shipping in the last 7-10 days of the month, and plan on taking around 6 weeks to fill all orders. We will have a much better idea of our production rate once we start shipping.

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    James,
    Sounds promising on shipping, keep juggling all of those balls till you get everything out of the door.
    Thanks

  • Marcus Hawksley

    Reply

    James,
    *insert any of my previous posts here*
    Come on dude. It really is time for a another schedule update.

    We are all expecting further delay so you don’t have worry about breaking expectations. You don’t have to spend time making it pretty either, just a quick summery of where you are and when you reckon we can expect delivery.

    Also interested to see the app post you promised us!

    M

  • Adam Hodges

    Reply

    As I watch the great mountain bike videos I wonder, is there a way to locate the Snap if it falls in the bushes? That is some pretty dense brush in the bike videos and I have had this scenario happen before with an older drone.

    Patiently waiting (ugh) but still excited

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      We are doing everything we can to ensure that you won’t crash into any bushes. That being said, we understand that these things do happen. Snap is designed to disassemble on impact. I most scenarios that involve an unexpected landing, the battery disconnects to Snap, which will cut out any feed. We will however, being adding a feature to the app that will show the last know GPS location. It won’t be exact, but will get you close.

  • david

    Reply

    Hi James,
    I guess you are really busy working on our special toy 😉 but it is more than one month without updates. When do you expect that we have a new post from you?
    Regards

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      We don’t have any big update to give right now. We are still planning on going into full production at the end of this month, but there is a lot to do in the meantime. We will try to draft something up soon, but no news is good news right now.

  • david

    Reply

    ok, thanks for your quick answer. Let’s wait a little more and we will cross our fingers 🙂

  • Eddiebo

    Reply

    James. . . . I actually really like your “no news is good news” update. Much appreciated and carry on!

  • Ken

    Reply

    “no news is good news” is horrible customer service. If I told that to my customers, I’d get fired. That’s something that a customer can say to a vendor, but not the other way around.

    Good customer service is frequent updates with on-time deliverables.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Sorry to upset you here Ken. I actually said that we don’t have an update to give right now. We have a lot to do, but are still on schedule. In the mean time, one can think of no news as good news. The fact is that bringing a new piece of tech to market is incredibly complicated, and there are still a lot of variables in play. Nothing has come up to cause a big alarm, which is good. But, until all those finer details are sorted out, we cannot guarantee anything.

  • Chuck

    Reply

    the video i noticed this in james was the one of the guy who is flying in a farm setting, a child comes out with an older man and a older woman as well…kinda looks to be out in the country …best i can do fo a description, also a dog comes out while he is flying and they are all interested in the quad while he is flying…guessing at length of the video, i think it was about 4.5 mins in length. tks for asking james

  • Chuck

    Reply

    james…that above post was in responce to your asking me which video i noticed the gimbal doing a ‘slight turn to its left’ before it started a mission, then doing another slight turn to its left upon completion of the mission…i gave an out and back as a sample of the mission being flown…tke james

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Chuck. Are you talking about the Farm Orbit video on our vimeo channel? Those are my grandparents on their 70th anniversary! We actually noted the gimbal problems in the comment section of that video. It has been corrected.

  • Max

    Reply

    can you tell us where we are on the list for shipping snap to us? or at least say those purchased Sep to Dec of 2015 will be shipped when? Those purchased Jan to Mar of 2016 will ship when? And so on?

    Thanks

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Hi Max,

      We started the pre-sale in Sept of 2015. There was a surge of orders that first month, but sales have been pretty consistent every month since. While we aren’t giving out any specific numbers, that should help you get an idea of where you are in the queue. We don’t have any specific dates for shipping yet.

  • Scott

    Reply

    Two weeks out. Hopefully, based on your tack record, this doesn’t mean it will be three weeks before another update stating you guys are delaying shipping, but “very close.” No news is good news right? Well what about news put out by your competitors? Gotta warn you, the other companies are “very close” to be putting out a product that will match snap. (Hovers next drone has a gimbal, Dji has the upcoming “spark”).

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    Can we please have an update? Ditto on what Max said:

    “can you tell us where we are on the list for shipping snap to us? or at least say those purchased Sep to Dec of 2015 will be shipped when? Those purchased Jan to Mar of 2016 will ship when? And so on?

    Thanks”

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    http://www.droningon.co/2017/03/15/interview-with-vantage-robotics-snap-drone/

    ASH: What is your current realistic date for arrival of a Snap drone on the doorsteps of customers?

    TOBIN: “We have been shipping beta units for the last 3 months. We expect to ship productions units beginning in late April and complete pre-orders by the end of May.”

  • Kai

    Reply

    I second what Paul E.C/Max said regarding an April blog update and a window for shipping dates based on pre-order dates, as well as what Scott said about your competitors… Hover especially which is already selling on Apple Stote and with their gimbal version, Snap has little more to boast apart despite being a superior product… Remember Betamax vs VHS, etc… At some point, it is going to be too late for VR and Snap if they don’t ship by late April, early mid-May at the latest. That’s my hard line, and I will cancel if I don’t get mine by end of May as I have missed out on too many flights and jobs using this drone already… It will take weeks and months for the pre-order community to put Snap through its paces, we are your best ambassadors and can also be your worst ones too. Right now, based on your track record I cannot say that I can recommend Snap to anyone and that what you sell is at best a pipe dream until it is actually shipped. Your vimeo demos are nice buy who’s to say it is a beta or not some kind of prototype? Noone can tell really… Branson and XTC is nice but honestly they have a pretty poor track record… VCs and pro investors invest in dozens of firms to minimize risks… So in the end, excuses are getting tiresome. I really hope you succeed as a pre-order customer who joined in later, but I can fully understand some of your earliest adopters frustration… You basically ruined their excitement for your project by being late… As a firmware engineer in high tech, I have to say that I and my team would have already been canned by now had my project been 9-months late, and if this was the company’s star product. Obviously you guys are a startup, but still… don’t let us down by becoming Lilly not because you couldnt get a production unit made but because you came so late in the market, trying to tweak your product too much, instead of shipping something that works well with the basic features avail, and allowing the customer to upgrade firmware in the future. My 2 cents…

  • Jeffrey Cornell

    Reply

    The last 10 days of the month starts on Friday and 7 days on Monday, right? Any word on shipping? VR should know whether or not it will start shipping at this point. If there’s hardware issues, it would seem there’s no chance to ship. If it’s software, ship it and update it later unless it’s absolutely critical to delay yet again.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      We are constantly working out bugs or improving certain features. In that work, deciding whether an issue is software or hardware related is never clear. Further, there are a ton of other logistical issues that need to be dealt with. Moving from small batches to large scale requires a lot of coordination between vendors, engineers, manufacturers, distributors. Everything is coming along, but 10 days is actually quite a bit a time.

  • Scott H

    Reply

    You answered a question from me a few months back about sound being able to be recorded on the phone controlling the Snap. I looked carefully at the vimeo post of the app and didn’t see anything that had to do with sound recording. Hope I just missed it or at least that it is something that will be added soon. Still hoping to get my Snap before the beginning of June when my son gets married.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Software is always the last thing when developing a product, and the app is changing a lot. That being said, the audio syncing isn’t currently implemented. We had it working in earlier builds, and it is a pretty high priority once we get these pre-sale units shipping. Right now, we are focusing on more critical software features. Check out this older video to get a feel for it though

  • philip

    Reply

    So meanwhile another 4 weeks (or almost one more month) have passed and we are only 3 weeks away from ‘late April’. An update on your progress and shipping plans is due, I believe.

    No need for a multi-pager – just the brief and probably grim reality !

    The above is what I posted 2 weeks ago:

    Now – I paid on 9/9/2015 – is it too hard to ask for a firm and reliable indication when my (probably early) pre-order will ship ?

    I my part of the world, shipping late April means about next week !

    Sorry, but faith a really slipping fast now

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Sorry to test your faith here Philip. We are also incredibly anxious to get everyone flying. We don’t, however, have much of an update to give right now.

      We are very close, and things are coming along. There are still several tasks that we need to accomplish, but we are pushing through them. It is still likely that we will meet our estimate of full production at the end of this month. However, its hard to estimate how big a bug is until its full unpacked. Also, we are relying on a whole network of partners to fill our inventory, assembly our components, ship our packages, and so on. We cannot reliably guarantee any dates until we are confident in every step of the process.

      We understand that the wait is killing everyone, and will try to post another update as soon as we can.

  • Scott

    Reply

    Not looking good at all.

  • Jeffrey Cornell

    Reply

    April 7, “We are hoping to start shipping in the last 7-10 days of the month, and plan on taking around 6 weeks to fill all orders. ”

    Sounds like there are still problems with the product. Please just tell us it’s delayed…

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    As sure as you’re born…May delivery has turned into June…and more likely August.
    This is year old tech. FAKE NEWS!

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      We appreciate your frustration and skepticism here Paul. Clearly these delays have been trying on all of us. However, the accusations of ‘year old tech’ and ‘fake news’ is neither accurate or productive. If you have truly lost faith in this product or our company, you can cancel your order for a full refund.

  • philip

    Reply

    Basically the update is here – production not ramped up until at earliest end of the month. That is VR speak and means not until mid May in my language (which actually is Dutch). Fulfilling orders from September 2015 (like mine) not likely until late June, and possibly/likely not before the Summer is over….
    If I would an investor in VR and I would be asked to provide bridge financing until they are in full shipping mode, I would need more info first.

    For my payment on pre-order, I can live with the financial implication, but to again not have a device this upcoming holiday, would seriously p*** me off !

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Sorry to upset you here Philip. At not point have we hinted or implied that an order made in Sept of 2015 will be delayed until late June or later.

  • Scott

    Reply

    James, correct, but your reputation has.

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    +1 James’s comment – I’m disappointed as everyone else I don’t have SNAP yet but I don’t think the principle of ‘the squeaky wheel gets the oil’ applies here 😉
    Just wondering James, has shipping been sorted for your overseas customers?

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    @Russell Cadman,
    A very good point there, James any update on this point & general production & shipping now we are closer to the end of April rather than the beginning?.
    Hopefully for all involved it will be good news, I’m not expecting production to be in full flow yet but a gentle flow would be reasonable.
    Thanks.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Gizmo. I have already said all of this, but we don’t have much to announce right now. Things are moving forward and speeding up, but there are still a lot of logistical hurdles that we have to push through. Sorry we don’t have anything more concrete just yet.

  • Growing Impatient

    Reply

    Tobin and Joe who are co-founders and where the buck stops; are you listening/reading these comments? You have lost the trust and faith of your earliest supporters and most likely if you don’t hit the start shipping mark of end of April and all pre-orders being shipped by the end of May you’ll probably lose them/us as customers. From what James is saying it sounds as if you’re still waiting for parts from suppliers for production? If so, and I’m not trying to be a nay-sayer, I don’t see how you reach your latest shipping dates; which would be a travesty. I know you’re a start up company and this isn’t the easiest product to develop but you are soooooo off your original estimated shipping dates. James has been on here for months with his infamous saying “Very Close”, but as you can see its growing old and frustrating. I wish I could treat my clientele like this and still be in business but unfortunately I couldn’t and morally wouldn’t.

    To all pre-order costumers that are posting on here. The best way to send a message to Tobin, Joe, VR as a company and its investors; cancel your orders if they don’t hit the latest shipping marks. If not, then you’ll just have to live with what ever they tell you. I’m debating myself what to do. Leaning towards cancelling if they don’t hit there shipping marks. My biggest concern and it should be yours too is if they can support the product down the road.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Tim,

      I can assure you that, every week, the entire team reads and acknowledges what is being said in meetings and presentations, in customer emails, and on the blog/social media. We are all well aware of the situation and of frustration that is expressed on this blog. We are also frustrated with delays.

      However, i disagree when you say we have lost the faith of our earliest supporters. We are constantly encouraged by the outpour of support and excitement we get here and on other platforms. There is a trend where those who are upset tend to make public posts while those who are excited usually write emails. Flying in person always draws in excited spectators, and investors see us as having a bright future.

      I have mentioned that there are many logistical hurdles still, and keeping inventories fully stocked is a constant challenge. But this product is sound and will be shipping soon. We have been developing for close to 4 years, and are talking in a scale of days/weeks before you are flying. ’Very close’ is accurate. Snap has been slower out the gate than any of us liked, but isn’t going anywhere.

      Please let us know if you have any questions and have a good weekend.

  • philip

    Reply

    Don’t know how to quote a reply to a reply but James said:

    Sorry to upset you here Philip. At not point have we hinted or implied that an order made in Sept of 2015 will be delayed until late June or later.

    No, I implied that what you said about starting to perhaps ship this month might mean the above – VR speak for later than late.

    And I do not care about the delay or the absolute dates – I fully understand your issues.

    What I do care for – and I believe you don’t – is transparency and reliable information in a timely fashion – f*** ups happen, but keep the crowd informed. Since you consistently have not provided timely info and also consistently missed all your (self imposed) deadlines, trust is disappearing faster than DJI is shipping Mavics.

    So be a man about this – and give us the full and terrible truth – or be faced with implications like the once I am making..

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks for the comment and for taking the time to elaborate Philip. Every day, our team makes improvements and encounters challenges. Some of the challenges are quickly solved, while some linger. But this is a fickle process, and is incredibly difficult to predict. If this were an table with a broken leg, it would be easy to describe. But the subtleties in our hurdles are much more opaque. We find alternative solutions for most of them so that they don’t cause any delays, although some do push us back. There is no ‘full and terrible truth’, but a series of minor delays both internally and across a vast web of partners we are working with. We are working with the best estimates we have, and relay those estimates to our customers.

      Pulling back out to that broader picture though, we are still pushing to start full production in the scale of “days” and “weeks”, not “months”. If you would like to make a guess or assumption that we will be many more months delayed, I understand why. However, that is not to conversation anyone involved is having.

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    I demand to hear from Joe. Jammie, please get your boss to comment.
    This has gone for months on end and I fully do not believe that what you say anymore.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Joe is our CTO, and is incredibly busy solving technical issues. He will not be spending any part of his very long work days moderating this blog.

  • Scott

    Reply

    I am still predicting for a fall timeline for shipping, especially since it is obvious that they will once again miss their preojected shipping date of late April.

  • Mark Kedrowski

    Reply

    James, that that “…virtual wire + audio” also have close to 1/3rd rules correctly on the video? Pretty close to leading, but it was a really short video… The video quality in general is at least getting better.

    But that’s beside the point. Vantage have consistently been guilty of major over-promising and under-delivering (like every startup.) Anybody who expects them to suddenly change course with the shipping dates is in for an awakening.

    I, for one, expect these delays (even though I shouldn’t.) If even if it ships at all…

    Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Mark. Again, we are well aware of the rule of thirds, have spent some energy trying to program this in, but are not focusing on it currently. It will certainly be looked at again once these pre-sale orders are filled.

      While we are not certain of specific dates yet, we are all very very confident that it will ship in the near future.

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    Just checking about shipping o/s & specifically to Australia has been sorted.
    Customs can be a little strict over here so u have to have the i’s dotted & t’s crossed!!!
    Neato Robotics shipped me via FedEx some replacement parts from the US to Sydney last year & because someone missed putting my telephone no. on the paperwork, Australian customs wouldn’t release it & it was flown back to the US…
    Neato’s customer service was amazing & they resent it back to me immediately. FedEx was the company, so u can’t rely on the big shipping companies to ensure all the paperwork is spot on…

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Got it. We are working with a distribution partner to sort out many of these issues, but I will make sure to pass your comment along.

  • Ken

    Reply

    “At our current pace, we expect to ship about 5% of our pre-orders in March, an additional 15% in April, and the balance May.”

    Less than one week away. Sounds like that 5% didn’t happen in March. Gonna be able to do at least 20% of the pre-orders in the last week?

  • Nick

    Reply

    my dads second marriage past by, shame we had to rely on a shaky hands guy to climb up a tree and take a blurry picture of everyone invited, shame. still hoping to get mine before june for i have a trip to Russia, a kremlin video would be awesome. May is upon us and it marks a year since i pre-ordered. not planning on waiting much longer than that. please do try and speed things up.
    i bet most of the software issues you are fixing can be solved by an email with a file customers could update on their own to snap. Im no expert, not my field, but still, i’d be willing to risk that for some time if it means recieving the drone a bit faster, just saying.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Sorry Nick! Make sure to thank your tree climbing friend for us. Please know that we are moving as fast as we possibly can here. You are correct when it comes to software though. Software will constantly get updated and improved, even after units are in the field.

  • Jeff

    Reply

    Can we expect an update this Friday? Have any non-beta units been shipped? In a response to shipments, James, you said, “20% this week is probably a stretch at this point, but we have made substantial progress.”

    Is the beta period over? Have some production units been shipped? Or will they definitely ship by Friday?

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      We are transitioning from the beta and into full production, and will post an update when we have news to report.

  • Scott

    Reply

    It’s obvious that you guys are once again going to miss a shipping deadline. What’s pathetic is the fact that YOU KNOW YOU WILL, BUT YOU WILL NOT OFFICIALLY INFORM YOUR PAYING CUSTOMERS UNTIL WELL AFTER.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Scott. We understand you are frustrated. We are working tirelessly to get Snap into your hands, and are quite close. Thank you for your patience.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Scott. We understand you are frustrated. We are working tirelessly to get Snap into your hands, and are quite close. Thank you for your patience while we finalize these last details.

  • philip

    Reply

    It’s obvious that you guys are once again going to miss a shipping deadline. What’s pathetic is the fact that YOU KNOW YOU WILL, BUT YOU WILL NOT OFFICIALLY INFORM YOUR PAYING CUSTOMERS UNTIL WELL AFTER.


    and that is the point exactly – that they are later and later and later is something I know from the many startups I a involved with But that they do not – pre-emptively – communicate about this frustrates the hell out of.
    Now, if there would be a good alternative I would have cancelled my 18 months older older without any thought – but the Snap product looks appealing, so I bear with them.

    But I also want it soon – and if that is not possible – be open about it.

    No-one is blaming you for being late (although there are degrees of late that are less late) but the lack of communications installs a feeling of arrogance that VR should not want to create…

    Nevertheless,we are seen as problem makers and people who make noise to they get their order sooner than the less vocal…..

    Again, as an investor in VR this would trouble me since the challenges they face now are only small compared to when the real scaling up starts.s..

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Philip,

      We have not been silent nor has arrogance dictated our actions. Over and over we have tried to engage and answer questions, and explain why we don’t have concrete answers to your question. We understand that you want more updates than you have been getting, but have also attempted to explain the process around our updates several times. Everyone is very anxious to get Snap in the air. Thanks for your patience in this final stretch.

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    Should we just expect to have a package waiting at our front sometime between now and…whenever?
    Will you notify us when our Snap has shipped?

    What are the specifics?

  • Scott H.

    Reply

    Any chance of some new videos getting posted? Been a week since the last one and it would maybe make the wait for my Snap a little easier.

  • Eddiebo

    Reply

    James. . . . Thanks to you and VR for posting the updates and replies you have. I personally appreciate it and can’t wait to get my flying machine.

  • Scott

    Reply

    We will continue to call the units “beta” until we have fixed all known impactful bugs and are seeing our customers have consistently good experiences. Our expectation is that this will happen in late April.

    Are you guys going to say you meant April 2018?

  • Hanako

    Reply

    I was expecting the shipment to happen by end of this month.
    James, please answer all of my questions.

    Are you starting to ship this month?
    If no, what is causing the delay and what is your new estimate ship date?

    You really should inform us about above, before we ask you.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Sorry Hanako. Not sure how I missed this comment. Yes. We are planning on shipping this month. We will be posting another update shortly.

  • Ken

    Reply

    April 12th

    “We are still planning on going into full production at the end of this month, but there is a lot to do in the meantime. We will try to draft something up soon, but no news is good news right now.”

    Still no news and there’s definitely no good news…April is over

  • Scott

    Reply

    Can’t wait to hear their excuses this time

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    Please tell us what is going on.

  • Scott

    Reply

    Well VR, we are now into May, almost two months after your last update, and 5th time you have not fulfilled a promised shipping date. I am smelling a lawsuit, ala the likes of Lily.

  • Philip Hartog

    Reply

    Sure Scott. I will make sure to get some footage from this weekend posted.

    that is probably also that 2018 weekend then…

  • Scott H.

    Reply

    Like I said in a post a while back, ask for your money back if you aren’t happy instead of constantly complaining. There are plenty of other drones out there that will give you the instant gratification you seem to need. I have full confidence that VR will deliver the Snap. I did my research on the company after losing my money on a couple of crowd funding projects and told myself that I wouldn’t invest my money without checking things out a lot more. I’m not happy with the wait either, but I know that I will get a superior drone in the end.

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    Well said Scott H!!
    I’m eagerly awaiting an update from James just like everyone else so the totally pointless complaining is really so boring and adds zero to the conversation.
    Do the 99% of customers patiently waiting a favour & just cash in your chips & move on already ??????

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Russell. We are also incredibly anxious to get you flying, but are really excited at the same time.

  • Scott

    Reply

    yea, they missed yet another shipping deadline without providing any substantive update.

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    So they missed another shipping deadline, so what is thei issue either you believe in VR & you wait expectantly trusting in them or you don’t & ask for a refund which they will gladly supply?.
    I believe Scott H already said similar above.
    The journey for me is almost as crucial as the final destination & I can’t believe people are still quibbling over what is probably only a couple of extra weeks?, Yes its been a bumpy ride but at least its been interesting & we have all grown along with the project & the Team.
    Oh Well fingers crossed from when VR move from beta to shipping &
    bring on the Summer!!.

  • Toby

    Reply

    Could we get a very quick update on the shipping schedule please guys? Keep up the good work 🙂

  • Scott

    Reply

    Well, they’ve been missing shipping deadlines for about a year now.

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    James…Please say something meaningful…

  • Marcus Hawksley

    Reply

    James:
    Your promised update is very very late, also, I haven’t seen the promised iphone app post anywhere. If you we’re to use the time that you use to selectively respond to the posts you like then you would easily have managed to put out an update. I know you seem to think that a blog post takes weeks to write, however that is not actually true. Seeing as you have the put your name on these posts I think you should be ashamed of your track record in terms of failing to meet your own promises.
    Your replies to the posts suggesting complainers shut up or ask for a refund makes it very clear what vantage robotics thinks of its customers. It is pathetic!

    To those whine about the complaints:
    1. VR has taken our money on the understanding that they will send the product by a set date. Delays are understandable, however the fact that they don’t have the decency to update all their customers on further delays is rude, unprofessional and somewhat disconcerting.
    2. This post is titled March Manufacturing update. Therefore all discussion of delays and asking for information is definitely on topic. There is no reason to suggest that people should shut up just because you are happy the receive poor service. In fact silence simply encourages this kind of poor customer service.
    3. The fact that some of you have a different opinion does not take away the right of other voices on this forum.

    VR: . You have either made the conscious decision to keep quiet and not inform us of anything or James is incapable of doing his job and should be fired (from his previous efforts I doubt this). Either way, it is sad that you have gone from such promise as a new company to being another company that does not give a duck about professionalism or decency. Get your act together!

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      We are very sorry for these delays and to have upset you Marcus. We do value our customers, and will be posting another update shortly. We would like to accommodate your desire to know more about what is happening here, but not at the expense of slowing production. That being said, we do plan on posting a short update shortly. Snap is incredibly close to final now and we thank everyone for their patience.

      I am sorry if this response is less detailed than others. My ‘selective responses’ comes from a desire to be more productive and constructive with my time, and I can only respond to the same statement in so many ways. Please know that your comments are shared with the whole team every week.

  • Ken

    Reply

    It’s not necessarily the delays that are upsetting. It’s the lack of good communication.

  • Paul E. C.

    Reply

    I second Marcus Hawksley’s well written comment.

    Seeing James’s froo-froo comments like, “Thanks Russell. We are also incredibly anxious to get you flying, but are really excited at the same time.” is spit in our collective face. James, you have not said anything worth reading since April 27 which was still just more of your delay, delay, delay tactic.

    “We have not been silent nor has arrogance dictated our actions. Over and over we have tried to engage and answer questions, and explain why we don’t have concrete answers to your question. We understand that you want more updates than you have been getting, but have also attempted to explain the process around our updates several times. Everyone is very anxious to get Snap in the air. Thanks for your patience in this final stretch.”

    Unacceptable. Tell us exactly what is going on.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      I am sorry if I somehow insulted you with my response to Russell, or if you are unsatisfied by my responses in general. But I stand by the sentiment. We have invested an incredible amount of our lives over the last few years into this project. These delays can be grueling, but they do not negate the fact that this project is really coming together. While our shortcomings can consume our thoughts, we hope to share the excitement we feel when we look forward.

      Many times I have told you exactly what is going on. We are working with a huge network of partners, and are sorting out all kinds of new bugs found through our beta program. The progress has been substantial, but timetables can only be based on estimates. We hope that you can accept that we are working with educated guesses. Please email us if you cannot. We will be posting another update soon.

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    Sorry ? didn’t have time to read the very long posts… the record’s stuck, the record’s stuck, the record’s stuck…. (yes a Monty Python Fan?)
    Good time management skills might be why the quick easy posts are acknowledged first especially if other longer post’s questions will be addressed by the imminent VR update.
    I’d rather VR spend their time working on bug solutions, not telling us what we already know that it’s now May and answering the same questions over & over again ????

  • Gizmo2001

    Reply

    @All,
    What I like about this community is that we all have our say either critical of delays/updates or giving a big thumbs up to VR at times & we All deserve to be heard.
    That said I do believe personally that asking for James to be fired is pretty low ball & not fair to pick on him when he is the voice of VR, don’t get me wrong I’m not happy with the delays because like yourselves there are times that I would have loved to have my Snap with me to record events now lost to me but in the big scale of things guys & girls Please keep a reality check on things as we are only talking about a drone & not a cure for a terminal illness.
    OK I’ll climb back down of my soap box.
    Now James give me my Snap before I cry(only joking, well about crying anyway!).

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Thanks Gizmo. Funny you all mention this though. I have actually been training my replacement all week. Ron is going to start taking over starting….now 🙂

  • Marcus Hawksley

    Reply

    Just to clarify. My comment was not to suggest James should be fired. He has done a Stirling job. It was to say that someone is making the decision to keep quiet. VR is no longer giving answers to complaints or providing an update.
    This drop in customer service is either James’s fault or not.
    My belief is James hands are tied. My point was that someone near the top needs to make the decision correct this.

    Whilst I’m filling up the screen. I will repeat that all frustration stems from the fact that i think Snap is going to be fantastic and meet my needs in a way that other drones won’t. I literally can’t wait!

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Hello Marcus, I am Ron, I am taking over from James. James is off to new adventures and everyone here at Vantage Robotics wishes him the best. Your questions and concerns are my highest priority and I will endeavor to get you the information you request in a timely fashion. Snap is going to be fantastic and our commercial manufacturers are working to get them out to all customers as soon as possible.

  • Scott

    Reply

    One week after the late April shipping date. Still no update.

  • Dirk

    Reply

    Hi guys,
    still hanging in there? Kudo!
    VR has missed countless shipping dates since October 2016. The communication is structured identical with every deadline missed.
    “We will deliver if nothing unexpected happens”
    “We are working tirelessly”
    Deadline
    -silence-
    “We are bound to get you flying. Post is too time consuming”
    -silence-
    “Apologies with some explanations and next vague deadline”
    …and the circle starts from scratch.

    Those are the facts. They are indisputable. For me, I come back here just for entertainment and various of lessons:
    A) how much pain a customer can take
    B) how the Stockholm syndrome applies to customers too
    C) how a human mind works in case it has to admit having done a bad decision, although there are literally no consequences but the broken ego itself.

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Dirk, we are committed to delivering the best product we can make. The Snap is one-of-a-kind and has unique challenges to overcome. Vantage Robotics has weathered every production storm we have faced, and our commercial manufacturing plant is in the process of cranking out an amazing product. A product, we expect, all of the supporters who have stood fast with us will be happy with.

  • philip

    Reply

    The point is that they communicate very poorly and what they say is also not reliable.
    If there would be a good alternative to Snap I would have cancelled long time ago.
    Now hanging in there but missing all kinds of moments that could have been captured perfectly with Snap – or even a Mavic or other device.
    If I would have known last fall what I know now, I would have bought a Mavic for use in the mean time, still hoping for Snap to arrive.
    But their misleading information caused me (foolish, I know) to hang in and postponing.

    This shows disrespect for the early customers, the patronising replies amplify that feeling where a open and pre-emptive way of communicating could have strengthened our faith in the team and the product.

    Even after many remarks along these lines, they apparently still do not get that, which is worrying me. Also, once shipping and scaling up, they will face many more, new, and unexpected challenges and my faith in how they will tackle those is not growing.

    That again worries me for the long term usability of Snap and also the promised add-ons are going to be at risk, I think.

    So, I keep hoping that a new and unexpected rival will come to this market soon, but I have not seen any yet….

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    LOL… OK lets try and stay with both feet on the ground and as someone else said lets keep things in perspective…
    We’re waiting for a quadcopter that can take cool vids & snaps (pun intended ??) for business, sports & pleasure… Nobody’s died… Trump hasn’t started WW4 yet… & the Russian’s haven’t quite won the French election yet either… ??
    There are so many more worthy happenings in the world to rage against rather than VR’s all too optimistic deadlines & sometimes delayed updates ?????✅

  • Mark

    Reply

    One of the first things I plan to do when Snap finally arrives is shoot some video with it and post it to show everyone how cool my new toy is. I’ve been very excited about this product and I really look foward to that first flight. I pre-ordered a little over a year ago now and told my kids about it at that time. Now my kids are even throwing their hands up asking “When are you going to get it??” I can only imagine that the people that bought in during that first month in 2015 have really been chomping at the bit and would be even more eager to do the same.

    In the DroningON interview posted on 3/15, it was said that beta units have been shipping for 3 months. Has anyone seen or heard anything about video shot with one of the shipped units? Anyone know anybody who has one or heard any comments?

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Mark, your excitement is awesome. We are doing everything we can to get you an amazing product as soon as possible. As for the Beta program, our testers are required to sign a non-disclosure agreement with us. The only place to see Beta footage is through one of our video channels.

  • Kristopher Edewaard

    Reply

    Team VR and James in particular, thanks for the updates and prompt responses, although I would prefer updates more often. However I realize taking time away for updates and replies to comments takes time away that could be better used.

    I appreciate your diligence in ensuring that you are working out as many bugs as possible prior to release. I understand that and hope others will also. Apple didn’t come out with the Mac overnight.

    Now all of the early pre-orders don’t forget, we are getting and extra battery, case, and soft/hardware for video game controllers included….not to mention we are getting a deep discount on the price! I appreciate all your hard work VR and the efforts you are making to help remedy time delays. I can’t wait to get my Snap and take my videos and pics!!!! 🙂

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Kristopher, thank you for your continued support. We can’t wait to see some of the amazing video you shoot with your Snap.

  • thi ha

    Reply

    I am new guy here. Found this after looking for alternative for Mavic pro.
    Looks like better go for Mavic pro since March update, still cannot ship anything, right?
    The drone looks super cool and light weight is the key for me with a small kid.

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      We just posted an update on our shipping outlook. If you are interested in a comparison between the Snap and any other drone out there shoot us an email at contact@vantagerobotics.com and we will be happy to get you any information you need to make the best consumer choice for your needs.

  • Russell Cadman

    Reply

    & James will be…
    a) getting a promotion ?
    b) has a better offer ?
    c) won the lottery ?
    d) going travelling the world with his SNAP?

  • Heidi

    Reply

    I have stayed silent until now. I have a summer camp gig that would REALLY benefit from the Snap. That’s why I (pre)bought it. It involves lot’s of flying around people, which I trust the Snap more than my current drone (Q500+). PLEASE ship these before late May or early June!! I can’t wait to see it in action! I think we all had expectations of things we wanted to film this Spring/Summer. I am ever hopeful…?

    • Ron Gryn

      Reply

      Hey Heidi, That summer camp gig sounds awesome. Snap is great for safely flying around people. We have started our commercial manufacturing process and are working hard to put Snap in your hands. We are so close, and we are incredibly grateful for your support and patience. We can’t wait to see the cool shots you take with Snap this summer.

  • Boca Autohaus Motors

    Reply

    Looking forward to using this thing for our (coming soon) exotic automobile videos. Soon as our videographer gets his we’ll be showcasing Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bentley, BMW, Aston Martin videos and more! Very close sounds good!

  • Michael

    Reply

    The last update was in March 2017. It’s October now, six months later, any further updates as to when shipping will begin? I’m getting worried that the Vantage technology will become obsolete compared with other drones by the time it ships. Any news would be welcomed.

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      We have posted several updates since March. You can go through all of them here: vantagerobotics.com/blog. We will be posting another update shortly, so stay tuned.

  • Ben

    Reply

    James, bottom line is…..when will I get my SNAP? It’s already been more than 2 solid years!! 2017 is fast finishing…!
    Ben

    • James Squires Post author

      Reply

      Believe me that we want to get you flying more than anyone else. We will be coming out with a shipping update next.

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