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iOS-connected AirDog & Hexo+ drones both auto-follow users for aerial footage

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
The next generation of iOS-compatible flying camera drones appears to be focused on autonomy, as two upcoming devices promise to fly, follow and record users on their own with no piloting necessary.




A pair of high-profile Kickstarter campaigns for the Hexo+ and AirDog both show new types of aerial drones that are focused on auto-follow technology. Each device will dynamically track and record a user as they move, making the cameras more intelligent than current drone offerings like the DJI Phantom or Parrot AR.Drone.

With 29 days to go in its crowd funding campaign, The Squadrone System Hexo+ has already blown past its $50,000 goal, earning nearly $300,000 as of Monday. Its system is shown utilizing an iPhone application that presents users with a 3D model of their camera's point of view.

Using multi-touch, users will be able to pinch and set the distance between the subject and the drone. Then the iPhone app can be used to activate the drone's flight, allowing it to fly to a pre-set position and wait for the subject to begin moving.

From there, the drone will follow and film that subject, providing unique aerial footage without any additional input required.




The Hexo+ has its own GPS, and tracks a user carrying their iPhone with the accompanying app. The two devices talk to each other through a "Mavlink protocol" that allows the drone to follow and record.

The AirDog takes a slightly different approach, following the user through dedicated hardware called the AirLeash. This small, waterproof tracking device sends location and movement trajectory data to the drone, which then performs in-flight calculations to follow and record the user wearing the AirLeash.




While the AirDog app for iPhone won't be used as a tracker, it does allow users to set the distance, height and angle of the flying camera. Users can also use the app to create custom flight paths.

The AirDog hasn't yet reached its funding goal, but appears on track to do so. With 39 days left in its Kickstarter campaign, it has raised more than $110,000 of its $200,000 milestone.

Both drones rely on users to bring their own camera, with included gimbal mounts that are designed to hold and control the popular GoPro lineup. And portability is also a focus for both products -- the AirDog is a foldable quadcopter, while the Hexo+ has a foldable hexacopter design.

Despite the lack of camera, neither option will come cheap: The Hexo+ is the more affordable version, with a planned retail price of $899, while the AirDog and its AirLeash tracker are expected to cost $1,500.

Of course, Kickstarter backers can get in at lower prices if they pledge money now. The AirDog is estimated to ship this November, while Hexo+ backers have a longer wait until May of 2015.
post #2 of 27
Not sure how well to feel that people are getting drones with cameras that follow them around all day.
post #3 of 27
I'm ready for some "drone paranoia" about spying on people, "in the hands of terrorists," etc.... Even though consumer drones have very short ranges, can't deliver a payload as well as you could simply throw it, can only sneak up on people who have neither hearing nor vision, and are easier to control--and thus less dangerous--than the flammable fuel-filled RC aircraft people have enjoyed for ages.
post #4 of 27

How long can these drones fly without needing fresh batteries or more fuel?  10 or 15 minutes?

post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by 512ke View Post

How long can these drones fly without needing fresh batteries or more fuel?  10 or 15 minutes?

35-45 minutes.
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

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post #6 of 27
Sitting here watching the World Cup ...

It occurs to me that there is a soccer ball that can be tracked by an iPhone app showing speed, path of ball, etc. ...

Now, at a soccer match you could have several camera drones tracking the ball (or designated players) concurrently, from several distances and camera angles.

Mmm ... Thinking of a Hitchcock movie with Tippi Hedron, "The Birds". Maybe the 2014 version will be "The Drones".
Edited by Dick Applebaum - 6/16/14 at 10:23am
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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post #7 of 27

Great, now we get get thousands of useless youtube vlogs from people having drones following them on their useless days and documenting their useless existence. 

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Slurpy View Post

Great, now we get get thousands of useless youtube vlogs from people having drones following them on their useless days and documenting their useless existence. 

Flitter?
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
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post #9 of 27
Why do b b guns and slingshots come to mind? And what's the repair cost!
post #10 of 27
Great products but as well as real creative footage we are going to get an awful lot of terrible 'Selfies on Steroids'. What is interesting is that we have two products chasing the same market- even their videos are very similar. There's going to be a bloodbath.....
Regards Isidore
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Regards Isidore
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post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I'm ready for some "drone paranoia" about spying on people, "in the hands of terrorists," etc.... Even though consumer drones have very short ranges, can't deliver a payload as well as you could simply throw it, can only sneak up on people who have neither hearing nor vision, and are easier to control--and thus less dangerous--than the flammable fuel-filled RC aircraft people have enjoyed for ages.

I have a more practical paranoia. Since the user no longer has to pay attention to where they are piloting their toys, how long before they start causing all sorts of damage. Flying into the sides of buildings, breaking windows, shorting out neighborhood electrical grids by flying into wires and transformers, etc.
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

35-45 minutes.

Actually it really depends on the monuevers you make, you'll eat up your battery fairly quickly if you descend and ascend often. My son has a DJI Phantom, its specs suggest only 20 minutes of flight but he is able to achieve over 40 minutes by flying it at over 500m within an area of 1km. It's a fairly neat setup, though my son seems to fly it over one of our local nudist beach's a little to often. We tried to rectify this behavior by taking him to the beach and making him participate, our strategy was maybe he would understand the need for privacy. Unfortunately it kind of back fired on us when he met new friends their. So it looks like we've created a nudist, ugh, kids, I give up.
Edited by Relic - 6/16/14 at 11:25am
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #13 of 27

"... but first, lemme take a #SELFIE"

- "#SELFIE," The Chainsmokers

 

iTunes link: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/selfie-single/id834007400

 

... that's so ratchet.

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #14 of 27
Great !!! Love it
post #15 of 27
This technology is revolutionary - the kind of shots these people are getting right now, imagine how much money it would have cost 7 years ago.
post #16 of 27
It's insane not to use the iPhone for this. Bluetooth can be used to get the distance from the phone.
Extra hardware is wasteful and expensive.
I will wait for the app.
post #17 of 27

Yeah but how about hovering outside the window of a celebrities penthouse with a camera or scouting a backyard before robbing it.. Or hovering behind home plate for a front row seat. These are going to get out of hand as technology progresses.

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

35-45 minutes.

Actually it really depends on the monuevers you make, you'll eat up your battery fairly quickly if you descend and ascend often. My son has a DJI Phantom, its specs suggest only 20 minutes of flight but he is able to achieve over 40 minutes by flying it at over 500m within an area of 1km. It's a fairly neat setup, though my son seems to fly it over one of our local nudist beach's a little to often. We tried to rectify this behavior by taking him to the beach and making him participate, our strategy was maybe he would understand the need for privacy. Unfortunately it kind of back fired on us when he met new friends their. So it looks like we've created a nudist, ugh, kids, I give up.

Hey @Relic good to hear from you!

Yeah: kids ~= unintended consequences ...

He could get one of these new models that will follow him to the nudist beach 1smile.gif
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
Reply
"Swift generally gets you to the right way much quicker." - auxio -

"The perfect [birth]day -- A little playtime, a good poop, and a long nap." - Tomato Greeting Cards -
Reply
post #19 of 27

I imagine these aren't fast enough, but this type of platform would be awesome for things like the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

post #20 of 27
This could be fabulous for some sports, like cross country running or MTB.
It's the heat death of the universe, my friends.
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It's the heat death of the universe, my friends.
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post #21 of 27
I want to connect a leash to one and have it walk my dog, though I would imagine connecting a small doggy like a Chihuahua might not be a good idea as it may become an unwilling ASTROnaut.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Relic View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post

35-45 minutes.

Actually it really depends on the monuevers you make, you'll eat up your battery fairly quickly if you descend and ascend often. My son has a DJI Phantom, its specs suggest only 20 minutes of flight but he is able to achieve over 40 minutes by flying it at over 500m within an area of 1km. It's a fairly neat setup, though my son seems to fly it over one of our local nudist beach's a little to often. We tried to rectify this behavior by taking him to the beach and making him participate, our strategy was maybe he would understand the need for privacy. Unfortunately it kind of back fired on us when he met new friends their. So it looks like we've created a nudist, ugh, kids, I give up.

Funny story!

I saw a video on Vimeo recently called Koh Yao Noi which was shot with a Phantom II and was amazed at how smooth it was. However, the film-maker was professional and he had swapped the camera for a different one. It's a beautiful video.

Maybe you should buy another Phantom for yourself to spy on your son's. 😃
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Funny story!

I saw a video on Vimeo recently called Koh Yao Noi which was shot with a Phantom II and was amazed at how smooth it was. However, the film-maker was professional and he had swapped the camera for a different one. It's a beautiful video.

Maybe you should buy another Phantom for yourself to spy on your son's. 😃

He really wanted one but there were just so many models to choose from when my husband went to the hobby store. So not knowing really anything about these things I spent probably a good two days worth of research on them. Anything motorized, computerized or nerderized and I'm interested. I wanted to purchase a 3D Robotics RTF X8 as it was fully automated, plug in the coordinates and just let it go while you sit back on watch its progress on your laptop. However it was 1200 bucks not including the GoPro in which we would have had to buy as well. My thinking was that I could use it while my son was at school, at least that's how I pitched it to my husband. Logic got the better of me full knowing a 12 year old would eventually find some way in destroying it. So we settled on the Phantom for 800, haha, hey I want to play with it too, it turned out to be one heck of a kit for the price. Lots of options and parts available to make it do pretty much whatever you want it too, including using whatever camera you have lying around. We're using an older Canon 650D, which still takes unbelievable shots.
Edited by Relic - 6/17/14 at 11:15am
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
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When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post


35-45 minutes.

The Hexo+ video stated 15 minutes. Some other devices might fly longer...

post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by steveH View Post

The Hexo+ video stated 15 minutes. Some other devices might fly longer...

I suggest meth injected hamsters in a modified power producing wheel to give you the extra flying time required. Just make sure to have a 9 Volt battery ready to shock their little hearts back to life when the drone lands because replacing the little bugger's could get expensive.

USBHamsterWheel.gif~c200
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
post #26 of 27

USBHamsterWheel.gif~c200

 

Lol! Had to reply, so that your furry friend had a pal.

"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
Reply
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post

Lol! Had to reply, so that your furry friend had a pal.

Ooooh, double the voltage.
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
When I looked up "Ninjas" in Thesaurus.com, it said "Ninja's can't be found" Well played Ninjas, well played.
Reply
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