Kendall Toerner Designs Ultraportable XENON Drone


XENON is an ultraportable drone that minimizes the cognitive load on the user, doesn’t distract the user from the outdoors, and optimizes the space it occupies.

Most drones are overly complex; they are hard to carry, store, assemble, and use. With XENON, these problems are mitigated through matching geometry that produces intuitive graphic elements. Two separate matching forms stack onto a third form, which is both a handle for launching the drone and storage space for the propellers. A controller wraps around these to create one cohesive portable drone. 


To start flying, attach the matching drone forms in the center, and place the propellers onto the motors—this is all done magnetically. XENON can be launched from anywhere with the launching handle layer, eliminating the need for a large, flat, clean, stable surface. The controller slips onto any smartphone with an elastic rubberized band. It augments the smartphone display with surface haptics, which provides a tactile, dynamic, flat surface that replicates a joystick. 


The smartphone app gives the user a live view of the onboard camera and flight data, as well as a simple user interface to control the drone. XENON has a 3-axis gimbal-stabilized camera with the dual-lens configuration for wide-angle and telephoto shots, which unfolds from underneath during flight to record stabilized 4k video and photos. Using intuitive cues and affordances, as well as hiding complexities from the user, XENON lets you focus on your adventure while maintaining a powerful tool for capturing it.




All images with courtesy of Kendall Toerner

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