iOS-connected AirDog auto-following drone adds obstacle avoidance

Posted:
in iPhone edited July 2014
As it nears the completion of a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, drone makers Helico Aerospace announced this week that their forthcoming AirDog drone -- which automatically follows users as they do things like wakeboarding or skiing -- will gain a new map-based obstacle avoidance system for safer flying.




Users will be able to program maps with three-dimensional "no fly zones" -- such as trees, buildings, or infrastructure like ski lifts -- that AirDog will intelligently avoid as it flies. The company says that pre-generated maps of popular destinations including wakeboarding cable parks, MX tracks, bike trails, snow parks and ski resorts will be available for download from a cloud locker.

"This will enable the use of AirDog even in places where simple following is either dangerous or not possible," Helico CEO Edgars Rozentals said.

Rozentals told AppleInsider via email that the company is also working to integrate elevation data from Google Maps. This will allow for more accurate mapping by determining if, for instance, a user is following a downhill ski trail or staying in a level area.

AirDog works by automatically tracking a remote control device, dubbed an "AirLeash," that users can strap to their wrist or helmet. The drone can then be placed into one of a number of follow modes so that it will do things like maintain a consistent position relevant to the user or continuously circle overhead.

At press time, AirDog had raised some $1.2 million on Kickstarter with 13 hours remaining. The first kits are expected to ship in November for $1,500.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 21
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    This article would've been informative if it were to mention that this flying thingy can video record. Guess unlike AirDog, AI isn't aiming for the sky.
  • Reply 2 of 21
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post



    This article would've been informative if it were to mention that this flying thingy can video record. Guess unlike AirDog, AI isn't aiming for the sky.

    It would make sense for them to mention it's video recording specs or special recording abilities but I think anyone who reads the article would deduce the main purpose of a drone following someone is to record video (or shoot missiles at them).  I can't think of any alternate reason other than someone's desire to have an arial pet which follows them around and I'm pretty sure the market for such a limited device would be decidedly small.

  • Reply 3 of 21
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,603member

    This is a product that makes sense out of drones. Very cool!

  • Reply 4 of 21
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    In the end, most of the YouTube videos from this will be people having it chase their poor Real Dog.
  • Reply 5 of 21

    duh...drone much? but with all due respect, not knowing age, etc, my grandpa is also clueless about drones...somehow thinks drones mean boring???  i asked, he said something like..it's like his cousin who just drones on and one. had to laugh, not sure how he thinks his cousin is flying over parts unknown throughout the world.

    but....will be interested to see if (and how) they map lifts and stanchions at places like Mammoth, Big Bear, Steamboat. Not a good thing to swipe somebody's nose sitting in chairs on the way up.

  • Reply 6 of 21
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    This will be great for shooting surfing videos. And other sports.
    And not a whole lot more.
    Because the best cat videos consist of close-ups.
  • Reply 7 of 21
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,336member

    That's usually the point of drones.

  • Reply 8 of 21
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,336member

    Typically these drones don't come with a video camera, but allow you to attach a GoPro. That way you can always upgrade the camera, or use it for something else when you're not flying around.

  • Reply 9 of 21
    mac_dogmac_dog Posts: 689member

    the only good thing about drones is they make great substitutes for "skeets".

  • Reply 10 of 21
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    Originally Posted by GregInPrague View Post

    ...the main purpose of a drone following someone is to record video (or shoot missiles at them).

     

    See, that’s a pretty important distinction, is all.

  • Reply 11 of 21
    jkichlinejkichline Posts: 1,336member

    That sounds like a great business! Clay shooting but with moving and intelligent targets :)

  • Reply 12 of 21
    shaminoshamino Posts: 412member
    The mention of elevation data got me thinking. Can the GPS chip in an iPhone return 3-space data (that is, altitude) or is it only capable of returning ground-based coordinates? Simple math shows that it requires a minimum of three satellite fixes (and I think good GPS chips usually try to use four or more, in the name of error correction) to uniquely identify a single ground-based coordinate (three intersecting circles.) It requires a minimum of four satellites (preferably five or more) to identify a single 3-space coordinate (four intersecting spheres.)

    If the chip in an iPhone can lock on to 4-5 satellites at once, then it can return 3-space coordinates (although an iOS firmware update may also be required in order to get those coordinates into apps.) Such a thing would be great for devices like AirDog, since they could then track you as your altitude changes (e.g. parasailing) in addition to tracking your position over the ground.
  • Reply 13 of 21

    "Map based obstacles" huh?  Like trees and monuments and buildings and airplanes and package-laden Amazon drones, I guess... 

  • Reply 14 of 21
    tjwaltjwal Posts: 404member
    [quote name="shamino" url="/t/181565/ios-connected-airdog-auto-following-drone-adds-obstacle-avoidance#post_2569167"]The mention of elevation data got me thinking. Can the GPS chip in an iPhone return 3-space data (that is, altitude) or is it only capable of returning ground-based coordinates? Simple math shows that it requires a minimum of three satellite fixes (and I think good GPS chips usually try to use four or more, in the name of error correction) to uniquely identify a single ground-based coordinate (three intersecting circles.) It requires a minimum of four satellites (preferably five or more) to identify a single 3-space coordinate (four intersecting spheres.)
    /quote]

    Usually an autonomous drone will incorporate a barometer for elevation. Infrared works for when it is really close to the ground.

    This all be for naught anyway. If the FAA has its way, these will be illegal to fly.
  • Reply 15 of 21
    Before you buy this, please check out the Parrot Bebop drone. Depending on the features you want, the Bebop may be the better drone. It is the one I am planning to get. For $1500, I would rather get a DJI Phantom 2 . Those things are awesome!
  • Reply 16 of 21
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,302member
    See, that’s a pretty important distinction, is all.

    You could do both as long as you got the order right. :D
  • Reply 17 of 21
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    philboogie wrote: »
    This article would've been informative if it were to mention that this flying thingy can video record. Guess unlike AirDog, AI isn't aiming for the sky.
    It would make sense for them to mention it's video recording specs or special recording abilities but I think anyone who reads the article would deduce the main purpose of a drone following someone is to record video (or shoot missiles at them).  I can't think of any alternate reason other than someone's desire to have an arial pet which follows them around and I'm pretty sure the market for such a limited device would be decidedly small.

    True, I did assume that, but since Assumption Is The Mother Of All Fuckups I simply had to verify by clicking the link. Nice video BTW. As for an alternate reason, I can't think of any. Just maybe to scare of seagulls if your afraid of being pooped upon.
  • Reply 18 of 21
    kimberlykimberly Posts: 229member

    What about a model with feathers so that when you score a hit the feathers go everywhere for that extra bit of realism.

  • Reply 19 of 21
    philboogie wrote: »
    This article would've been informative if it were to mention that this flying thingy can video record. Guess unlike AirDog, AI isn't aiming for the sky.

    It would have even been more informative if this article had anything to do with cell phones or tablets or Apple or Android or Google or even if there was an app or anything to do with Apple tangentially... or does it...?

    Only the Shadow knows...
  • Reply 20 of 21
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,438member
    It would have even been more informative if this article had anything to do with cell phones or tablets or Apple or Android or Google or even if there was an app or anything to do with Apple tangentially... or does it...?

    It does, see the video on that Kickstarter page.

    And their website http://www.airdog.com/products:

    "Smartphone is only for adjusting advanced settings. GoPro App provides live video stream to your phone."
Sign In or Register to comment.