Home Startups Lego Drones startup by MIT Alumni, Flybrix targets $43 billion Industry

Lego Drones startup by MIT Alumni, Flybrix targets $43 billion Industry

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Flybrix enables users to build their own Lego Drones using LEGO-like structures. 

Lego Drones startup by MIT Alumni, Flybrix targets $43 billion Industry.
Flybrix is a 2015 startup that markets itself as world’s only Lego Drones Manufacturer. Flybrix’s primary product line is drones that can be made using Lego-like structures. Customers can make a model of their choice and remake it. The target audience for Flybrix is kids with age 14 or more.

  • Startup Name: Flybrix
  • Product: User-end customizable Lego Drones.
  • Price Range (retail): USD 149 ~ 189 segment wise.
  • Origins: MIT/ San Francisco (some garage) in 2015
  • Founder(s): Amir Hirsch, Robb Walters and Holly Kasun
  • Funding:   $ 1 million in seed funds
  • Backers: (Round 1)
  • Investors: Ryan Mickle, Sinovation Ventures, Lab360.
  • Incubator:  Lemnos Labs


About Lego Drones by Flybrix:

Flybrix specializes in self-customized Lego Drones using Lego Structures with Aerodynamics modules. The resulting drones are “Crash Friendly”, so when your drone crashes it won’t be rendered unusable. Flybrix comes with a kit of components. These components are required to make a rebuildable drone. 

Lego Drones startup by MIT Alumni, Flybrix targets $43 billion Industry.
Drone Market Demand Year-wise
Source Business Insider

There are three models that you can build out of a single kit, these models are called Quadcopters, HexaCopters, and Octocopters. The name is derived from the number of motors per drone, Quadcopter is a 4 motor drone, while Hexa and Octo are 6 and 8 motor drones.

Flybrix is intended to be an educational technology toy.  To make children more aware of physics, dynamics and electronics it involves the user in activities that relate electronics, design, dynamics and physics

Hardware is regarded as robust and no less than regular consumer grade drones available on market. Software and Design is open source so building and rebuilding is a quite fun experience for the users, and won’t wear out for a long time.

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Controlling Device

The navigation of the drone is done by Flight Control App for Android and iOS. Apart from there is also a controller that comes with the box.

Software

  • Android and iOS app
  • Open source code[*]
  • GPS module
  • LQR Control Theory and
  • Alternative State estimation

Hardware

  • Highly customizable Lego structured snap connect and disconnect equipment body.
  • Audrino compatible 96Mhz ARM® Cortex®-M4 processor.
  • PCB with barometer, a magnetometer, indicator LEDs, ADC converters, SD card slot and Bluetooth.
  • Wi-Fi and GPS modules can be added later on.
  • Flight path painting ability
Lego Drones startup by MIT Alumni, Flybrix targets $43 billion Industry.
In the Box Flybrix
Source Flybrix

Target Audience of Flybrix

Non-Technical Users. The main audience for the FlyBrix is Non-Technical users who don’t want to go through 4 years of engineering to build an actual drone. The FlyBrix is designed to abstract the technical details of the flying mechanics of Drones to a DIY kit system. It is meant for parents – children relationship building exercise as well.

Technical Users / Developers / Hobbyist. Flybrix also has a very rich GitHub repository that enables developers to build their customized solution for the Flybrix drones. They can study it, fine tune it and who knows some may come up with better flight control and navigation than Flybrix themselves. 

There is also a chrome extension that enables developers/users to tune the motor for the Lego Drones. Developers can develop their own flight logic and come up with flight plans. For example in case of low battery scenario what flight plan should the drone follow? Should it come directly down or should it alert the user about the low battery and most optimized flight path to nearest landing compatible area.

Sales of Lego Drones

Flybrix is looking good, with seed funding of $ 1 Million, the company registered sales of $ 1.9 Million in 90 days post official launch. Since its inception, the FlyBrix has sold over 8000 units of drones. So with these figures, Flybrix is looking good, I will be looking out for its IPO for sure. 

Strengths

  • Uncharted Territory: The toy market in Drone segments is pretty much new, there are not many companies that are making Toy Drones. There were few new ventures that tried to explore this segment in the past but most of them have not got any solid footing in the market so far. There are Chinese companies that are flooding cheap drones into the market. But these products have not got much traction due to various reasons, one of them being it becomes mundane using the same toy.
  • Actual product is experience and learning: Apart from the unexplored market, one of the biggest strength of this product is that it is sold as Recreational Toy that can be reused. One of the major drawbacks of Recreational toys is that kids get bored after some time. Since the product is not drone itself, it is the activity FlyBrix is selling.
  • Open Source: Due to open source nature of hardware and software the company will get more user base than a closed one. This strategy has worked before and it is good for example Google, Python, Linux. These all were free to use and a lot of product they release is open source.

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Challenges

  • The biggest challenge that FlyBrix will face is that its unit price per Lego Drone is approximately 50% more than average Toy Drone in the retail market. A quick search on Amazon and eBay will through a plethora of cheaper options to FlyBrix. These products are not FlyBrix but a potential drone customer won’t be attracted by such price range.
  • Another issue is the cheap Chinese knockoff that will flood the potential markets before and after FlyBrix penetration.

So what are your thoughts on this Lego Drones startup Flybrix, did you like this article? Is there something we missed or would you like us to cover please let us know in the comments. Share this article with colleagues, friends and family. Till next time. 

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