Quadcopters are all the rage at the moment with new models appearing think and fast but few can claim to be completely hands free, autonomy seems to be the next revolution for our eyes in the sky.
The Helico AirDog is one of the first drones that can claim to be fully autonomous from take off to landing and capturing all of the action in between. Just like mans four legged best friend the AirDog will follow its master through all conditions, keeping close and watching intently.
The key to the AirDog’s unflinching desire to follow you is the AirLeash technology included with the drone. Worn on your helmet or armband the AirLeash allows you to control the Dog and provides a tracking signal to keep it in just the right position.
A number of modes are included with the AirLeash that allow the AirDog to follow you in different ways; auto follow which will maintaining the same angle and distance, relative position (compass position), follow track which lets you do one lap and AirDog follows you while staying on the track, hover look down with camera fixed, hover and aim that hovers and the camera follows you, circle above and fetch the ball mode. The last mode was of course just a joke but how cool would it be.
The specs for the AirDog are no less impressive than its faithfulness; with a top speed of 40mph (63kph), flight time of 10-20mins per charge and an operating ceiling of 4300 meters this electric companion should be able to keep pace with you during almost any outdoor activity.
Designed to be fitted with a GoPro or Sony Action Cam (not included) the AirDog includes a 2 axis gimble to keep the shot stable and smooth. A traditional joystick controller isn’t included with the AirDog, aside from the auto tracking of the AirLeash a mobile app is available for iOS and Android to provide more detailed control of the drone.
After completing a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign in July Helico were aiming to have the first AirDogs delivered by November 2014, this date has slipped slightly but hopefully we can expect AirDog deliveries to start within the next few months.
Priced at $1295 this isn’t the cheapest quadcopter on the market but its abilities do make it quite unique, it may not appeal to the cinematographer in you but when it come to those action selfies the AirDog has it all. The price does include free delivery which sadly doesn’t mean it will just fly itself to its new owner, Helico use snail mail instead.