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We often look at Kickstarter projects with pretty jaded eyes - everyone has a story of how they got burned by a project that never delivered. So, for a nice change I’ve got a reasonably happy story to tell. I didn’t get what I wanted, but I also came out with a nice result.

I couldn’t sleep the other night, so as you do, I was scrolling through twitter and suddenly thought - I wonder what my first tweet was? I bet it was something profound and insightful…

Spoiler Alert - It wasn't

Well, sadly not - I’m pretty sure there was an earlier tweet but it’s been lost somewhere in the mists of time.

But, as I was scrolling through all my tweets, something caught my eye: “I’m getting a drone!”.

I'm getting a drone!

It certainly seemed plausible - but as I lay in my semi awake state it occured to me that I didn’t own a drone and have never owned a drone.

So I clicked on the link and amazingly enough, there was a kickstarter page for a drone. And seeing the picture triggered some vague memories of this project.

The Drone

A quick trawl through my old emails (one of the benefits of never deleting anything) and, sure enough, I had backed this project $520 dollars! Quite a chunk of change. Where was my drone? My initial reaction was: “oh dear, what a plonker, you backed yet another failed kickstarter project”.


I thought to myself - mayby it’s still being worked on - it was after all only eight years ago. A long time, but you never know.

Scrolling down to the project updates I found this final update. But weirdly I didn’t seem to be a backer of the project after all.

Not a backer

So, back to the emails - maybe I had cancelled the pledge and forgotten about it… but no I hadn’t. What I found instead was that I’d actually been refunded.


So, for a nice change it’s a successful conclusion to a kickstarter story. The guys behind it realised it wasn’t feasible and did the right thing. They refunded everyone’s money. What a nice result!


Looks like the CyPhy guys soldiered on for a while, but sadly they shut down in 2019. Hardware is a tough business.

To be honest - I would have been dissappointed if I’d lost the money, it’s a reasonable amount, and with the current cost of living it would be nice to still have it in the bank.

But, you’ve got to go into backing a Kickstarter project with your eyes wide open. It’s a gamble and a risk. Don’t be doing it unless you’re willing to lose your money!


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Chris Greening


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A collection of slightly mad projects, instructive/educational videos, and generally interesting stuff. Building projects around the Arduino and ESP32 platforms - we'll be exploring AI, Computer Vision, Audio, 3D Printing - it may get a bit eclectic...

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