02 Jul 2014 |
World innovation news |
Information and Communications Technologies
Airdog and Hexo+ Self followers drones
Header picture and pictures of the Airdog drone is from the company Airdog Facebook Website, source.
Two new drones were designed for a very specific clientele: sports enthusiasts, while realizing their favorite sports, who want to be able to shoot themselve to capture their exploits. Filming themselves on ski jumping, motorcycle, bike, skate boards, roller skates, surfboard, etc.. could not be done till now without a crew in a helicopter or an unusual installation. These drones offer an economical solution to this problem. Interestingly, these two emerging companies both claim to be the first to have developed an inexpensive solution to film from the air with a drone. And these two startup companies offer you to help them marketing their self followers drones projects using the Kickstarter funding collaborative platform. Here are their projects:
2. Hexo +
Both companies use the versatile GoPro video cameras to make videos. This type of camera allows, according to the manufacturer, “anyone, anywhere to take stunning photos and videos to capture the most significant experiences of their lives.”
Airdog is a self follower quadrocopter drone that folds for transport. It takes off and lands autonomously without requiring skills flight control of its users.
It is equipped with a monitoring system that works with a mobile application for Android cell type or IPhone OR a waterproof wrist remote (AirLeash). AirLeash has been developed for shots involving water or an high risk of failure while using a cell. In addition, the AirLeash sensor system allows it to achieve the accuracy needed for the camera to point continuously to the user without requiring the development of algorithms. It increases the communication area to 300 meters (984 feet), well beyond the allowable limit of 30-50 meters (98-164 feet) for cell application. There is more: with the AirLeash, there is less risk that the drone loses the signal from the user and, that the user loses the drone in flight …with the camera and the scene immortalized.
The drone has a swivel mount gimbal with a gyro stabilization system to ensure good shots. This support also ensures that the camera will point towards the user during shooting.
The Airdog drone flies 10 to 20 minutes depending on the speed of flight, which is limited to 64 km/h (40 mph). It has a battery of 14.8 V and 4000 mAh. The Airdog system is available for a support prices ranging from 995$ to 2,045$ US for their funding projects which vary between 200,000$ and 500,000$ US according to various subsidy schemes. They have already obtained on June 23rd, 2014, the sum of 358,932$ US. Their first level of funding is already reached. There are still 32 days to invest in this project.
As its name suggests, this drone is equipped with 6 blades. It takes off and lands also independently.
It is equipped with a monitoring system that works with a mobile application for cell type (Android or IPhone) and an algorithm to optimize the position of the drone and the camera.
The Hexo + drone flies 15 minutes at a maximum speed of 70 km/h (45 mph) and a maximum distance of about 50 meters (164 feet). The drone can be taken to pieces to go in a backpack. The Hexo + system is available at a support price between 595$ and 995$ US for their funding projects which vary between 250,000$ and 1,000,000$ under different subsidy schemes. They have already obtained on June 23rd, 2014, the sum of 841,828$ US. Level of funding one and two are already achieved for this company. It remains 22 days to invest in this project.
So which to choose? Duration and flight speed are alike. However, the monitoring system of these drones is different: Airdog promotes a waterproof wrist remote which give, according to them, more accuracy to point the subject and distance between the subject and the drone (300 meters instead of 50). Hexo + has developed an algorithm for accuracy but the distance is limited to 50 meters. Is it enough? The Hexo + system retails for about half the price of Air Drone. Is it better to wait to see independent testing of these systems or to purchase it now and enjoy the introductory price? You decide!