After a Kickstarter campaign that earned almost $3.5 million USD, the Zano Drone Project has shut down amid high-level staff resignations and heavy delays in production.
On Nov. 18, the company Torque, which was behind the Zano Project — an effort to launch a line of "sophisticated" nano drones with HD video and aerial photo capabilities — sent an email to over 12,000 backers and contributors to alert them that the project was folding.
Then again, many of the backers couldn't have been that surprised: the project had been delaying shipments since its first original launch date, which was supposed to be in June 2015 — subsequently, the few models that were sent out received an overwhelming number of complaints from customers, due to alleged technical difficulties.
While the Kickstarter page for the product was updated in October to reflect Zano's setbacks, it didn't seem to assuage anyone — not even the firm's own directors. Chief engineer Ivan Reedman's update post presented a company possibly harried by delays of its own making.
"We have had a few issues, some customers have experienced some issues and I am sure we will continue to see issues of all sorts but as a team," Reedman stated in his apology, afterward stating that purportedly less than 10 percent of the Zano mini-drones experienced issues.
"[W]e are here to help all customers get the best from their Zano and will continue to improve the software, the app and the experience. That was our promise and that is what we are doing," he added.
Yet, a month later, Reedman resigned due to "personal health issues and irreconcilable differences," according to Mashable.
As per Torque, backers will get at least a partial refund; as of now, Zano has made no comment on this.
You can mourn the demise of the Zano Project in this video featuring the drone below.