Zano drones promised a beautiful, ephemeral moment. The palm-sized drones, controlled by a smartphone app, were supposed to be the selfie-stick-without-a-stick, a drone based solution to a minor problem no one really had. It was still a delight, and when the project closed in January this year, 12,075 backers pledged £2,335,119 (or $3,556,386) to it. Now, Zano makers Torque Group Limited are pursuing a “creditor’s voluntary liquidation,” which leaves the company dead and the already-in-production Zano drones with an uncertain future.
We covered the project when it launched in December, writing at the time that the $220 drones would respond to gesture commands, and enter the drone market as one of the cheaper, camera-carrying options. It promised so much fun in such a little device.
As recently as October 15th, the team announced they were capable of shipping 200 Zano drones a day. Torque’s official statement is locked for backers only, but the BBC reports that it included this line: “Having explored all options known to us, and after seeking professional advice, we have made the difficult decision to pursue a creditors’ voluntary liquidation.” Project backers looking for a refund may not ultimately get one. Kickstarter instead requires that project creators “bring the project to the best possible conclusion” for their backers.