The Piko Owl V2 is a thrill to fly. At 145 millimeters diagonally, this drone is the biggest micro DRIVE/AERIAL has tested, but you'd never know because of how buttery smooth it felt in "Hover"—a self-leveling flight mode that restricts sharp stick inputs. The Piko Owl felt fine flying around tight areas and office furniture, but was undoubtedly best utilized in "Acro"—a fully manual flight mode— and racing around bigger indoor areas where you can hit full throttle.The powerful motors propelled this around our indoor course with ease, helping us forget that this was the heaviest micro we tested at 64 grams.
The frame of the Piko Owl came with a 3-D-printed prop guard. The guard's give left us initially feeling like it would break, but its rubbery flexibility allowed it to bounce off obstacles and continue flying without scratching up delicate equipment around our showroom. We also like that FlexRC has myriad options concerning customizability, so if the 3-D-printed parts aren't your thing, you could get the Piko Owl with a carbon fiber ring instead—or swap rings for different environments. For our purposes, flying our indoor course around expensive equipment, we opted to stay with the softer 3-D-printed parts, which made it feel safer to fly.
In the next and final episode of Micro Madness—our month-long series dedicated to micro drones—we compare the HoverBot Nano, Moskito 70, and Piko Owl V2 in different categories, pointing out where each quad would be best flown, and ultimately reveal which one reigns as champion.
Video shot by Erica Lourd and Andrew Siceloff, edited by Andrew Siceloff and Erica Lourd, and produced by Cait Knoll.