YouTuber (and CNN employee) Casey Neistat may have retired from daily vlogging, but he hasn’t quit making videos. His latest holiday video goes bigger than ever, with a giant, custom-made drone that’s capable of lifting and flying around an adult human being (in this case, Neistat, on a snowboard).
Neistat says the drone was customized for the video over the course of a year after being unable to find any commercially available drones for the project. The drone itself is an absolutely massive 16-rotor machine — which makes sense, given the weight it needs to be able to carry.
And while we’ve seen one-man drones capable of carrying people before, Neistat’s finished product offers a level of polish and practical use that earlier demos have lacked.
Much of the video itself is extremely reminiscent of Neistat’s earlier videos, where he snowboarded while being pulled by a car, with the car replaced by a drone. But intermixed with the drone-assisted snowboarding are some legitimately impressive aerial shots of Neistat being lifted approximately 25 feet in the air.
As cool as the actual human-carrying drone is, Neistat is quick to remind viewers at the end that the video was heavily sponsored by Samsung, which casts a sour, branded-content shadow over things. And while this sort of promotional video is nothing new for Neistat, it reduces the genuinely cool idea to what is essentially a Samsung advertisement. Samsung’s Gear 360 camera also makes several prominent appearances in the video, in addition to being used for some of the filming. A separate, 360-degree version shot entirely with the Samsung camera is expected to be uploaded later today.