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AirDog Auto-Follow Drone for GoPro

By: on July 18, 2014
$1,195
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Looks like tech that autonomously follows its owner around could be the next trend in Stuff You Can't Believe Is Real. Well, maybe not entirely autonomously. Like the HEXO+ and Double the roaming robotic iPad stand, the drone you see here is more like a dog on a leash. An AirDog on an AirLeash, to be precise.

The AirDog is an auto-follow drone for use with GoPro cameras. Claiming to be the first of its kind, the quadcopter links to a remote control AirLeash users wear on their wrist or helmet and then follows along via long-range Bluetooth from up to 1,000' away. Designed specifically for the sporty, the outdoorsy, and the artsy, AirDog can capture some sick and previously impossible (for the non-professional) angles and shots. See your attack on the half pipe from the top down. Check out what awaits over that ascent before you climb it. Film a coupla fighter jets communicating. Keeping up foreign relations. You know, giving one another the bird.

The AirDog apparatus itself is an agile, foldable quadcopter with a GoPro camera mount and built-in gimbal to stabilize its footage and keep its subject in frame. It can withstand rain, extreme heat and cold, waves, "or freaking insane places" without faltering or falling behind. Further, AirDog syncs with its AirLeash flawlessly enough that even takeoff and landing are autonomous. The drone will follow you either to the end of your track, or return to its launch location when its battery begins running low (an alarm will sound if this happens).

The AirLeash component, designed to be a more precise tracker than a smartphone, is waterproof and computerized to send signals to the AirDog indicating its wearer's movement trajectory. Note: Since the AirDog drone system is currently running as a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, the AirLeash pictured is still in developmental stages. Creators Helico Aerospace Industries anticipate the final version will be half this size, plus offer multiple attachment options.

AirDog has 6 different "Auto-Follow" or "Follow Me" modes, all explained in detail here. They include settings for precise mimicry of the user's movement trajectory, a constant offset from the rider relative to magnetic north, and a "Hover and Aim" option wherein the AirDog hovers in one place in the air, but directs its GoPro camera towards the AirLeash at all times.

AirDog runs as a (well overfunded) Kickstarter campaign through July 25, 2014.

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Taxidermy Animal Drones

When I first read about, but hadn't yet seen, Copter Company's taxidermy animal drones I though they just sounded kinda goofy. Then I got a look at the Orvillecopter here. A spread-eagle taxidermied quad-cat-ter flying...

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EHang 184 AAV - Life-Size Rideable Drone

By: EHANG »

EHang cut its teeth on drone manufacturing a couple years ago with the GHOSTDRONE, a quadcopter they dub "smart" and "the easiest drone to fly in the world." But now it's 2016. Smart and easy to fly are standards. EHang...

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Nixie Flying Wearable Camera

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The Nixie may be a ways from reality--and your wrist--but its live demo debut at CES 2016 proves it's a lot more than a few mockup drawings and some dude's dream (or, in this case, a dude and a dudette). The wearable...

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VFO - Frisbee with Mounted Camera

$59.99 from Amazon »

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Lily Autonomous Drone Camera

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My friend Cornelius and I threw a Lily in the air once in 6th grade. She dropped like a sack of twice-baked bacon and brown butter potatoes. (Don't worry, there was a lake there to catch her.) But throw this Lily in the...

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Beastgrip Smartphone Camera Rig

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If the grip is as beastly as the look of this smartphone camera rig, I think we've got a chicken dinner on the table tonight. The Beastgrip Pro is a universal lens adapter and rig system for your phone intended to give...

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Birdie GoPro Camera Launcher

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I hope you got good aim because Birdie is about to take your selfies from point-and-shoot to toss-and-see-WTF-happens. Snap your GoPro HERO 3+, 4, or 5 inside its arcing white cage and launch the Birdie into the air to...

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DJI Mavic Pro Foldable Drone

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DJI is sending a new Mavic to Top Gun and he's looking for a Gos. You in? The Mavic Pro is a folding drone powerful enough to fly at 40MPH for 25+ minutes and buzz the tower when permission is denied. Precise enough to...

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Lowepro Drone Backpacks

$82.21 - $237.44 from Amazon »

Whoa. Is that dude going to fly his drone or catch some ghosts in a proton beam? Lowepro did not skimp on the drama and intrigue during its drone backpack photoshoot. Who is this mysterious quadcopter pilot with the excessively...

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PowerUp FPV - Paper Airplane VR Drone Kit

$139.99 from Amazon »

Lucky for us, PowerUp still hasn't gotten past the making paper airplanes stage of its life. The PowerUp FPV follows the company's original electric homemade paper airplane kit (charge it for 20 seconds, fly it for 30)...

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Crazyflie Nano Quadcopter

$173 from Seeed Studio »

Whether or not this nano quadcopter flies is entirely up to you. I mean up to your skillz. The Crazyflie is an open source DIY kit primed for development and hacking, but its assembly demands proficiency in soldering...