My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: AirDog Personal Drone – Action Selfie-Drone with an attachment for a GoPro Camera

Saturday, July 5, 2014

AirDog Personal Drone – Action Selfie-Drone with an attachment for a GoPro Camera

There’s now a new Trend towards having personal Drones that can Replay you everywhere you go, Zedenya Style. I’d like to highlight one today that oddly enough, is already on its way towards achieving Kickstarter superstardom, the AirDog, which bills itself as the World’s First Auto-follow Drone for GoPro Camera as stated in “AirDog tracking Drone could be the ultimate GoPro sidekick”, published June 16th 2014 by Chris Welch, The Verge.

Designed by Helico out of Palo Alto, California, the premise behind this Kickstarter project is so simple, I’ll probably only spend 2 pages explaining this. And it’s already set to be a success!

As of Wednesday July 25th 2014, the AirDog has some 512 backers who have pledged JA$437,743, clearly surpassing their initial goal of JA$200,000. With thirty (30) days left till the end of Saturday, July 26th 2014 1:04 am EDT, most of the early-bird offers are gone, meaning you'll have to wait until November 2014 in order to get an AirDog

This is yet another Christmas 2014 present for the Extreme Sports Enthusiast in your life, assuming he or she already owns a Go-Pro Camera. The AirDog is really a flying attachment for the Action Cam, making me wonder why you would want to have one if the GoPro can already be attached to your helmet!

AirDog personal Drone – Action Selfie-Drone with an attachment for a GoPro Camera

Basically it’s a small Quadcopter (That’s four propellers) that has a mounting bracket for your GoPro Camera as described in “Meet AirDog, An Action Sports Drone For Your GoPro Camera”, published June 16, 2014, by Steve O'Hear, TechCrunch.

It has a max flying speed of 40 km/h but at that speeds it only stays aloft for about 10 minutes. 20 minutes is what you can get from this 4lb Drone flying at slower running speeds, which makes the retail price of US$1,500.come November 2014 look like a steal as pointed out in “AIRDOG AUTO-FOLLOW DRONE PROMISES GREAT VIDEO SHOOTS FOR ADRENALINE JUNKIES”, published June 17, 2014 By Trevor Mogg, DigitalTrends.  But I guess the Video tells a more awesome story!

Once set to one of six (6) filming modes, the AirDog will follow you wherever you go, with the modes being an obvious giveaway as to what they do:

1.      Auto-follow
2.      Circle
3.      Follow track.
4.      Hover and Aim
5.      Look down
6.      Relative position follow

Filmmakers and Extreme sports enthusiasts will love this device, as basically follows you via the AirLeash Tracker, an oversized wristwatch looking device that you strap to your wrist that the algorithm in the AirDog is programmed to keep in focus.

The reason for using a specially designed controller, the AirLeash, instead of an App on a smartphone has to do with the limited range of Bluetooth 4.0, usually 50 m and the inaccurate GPS, which for the AirDog needs to be more accurate to follow you at a maximum distance of 1000 feet.

US$1,195 sounds like a very high cost to pay for a Drone, making me wonder if I couldn’t just build one myself. Also the battery life needs to be extendable for the foldable Drone. Now that they’ve surpassed their funding goal on their way towards the end of funding on Saturday, July 26th 2014 1:04 am EDT, they can possibly spend the extra money.

They can either improve the Battery life or add some Solar Panels for trickle charging and extended flight time measured in hours, not days. Also a smaller AirLeash would be nice too, as that look like it’ll get my wrists very sweaty and soaked with water trapped in the ingress between my skin and its metal or plastic outer shell.

Still if an overpriced Electronic dog is your thing, then the AirDog can help you to play a pricey game of fetch!

 Here’s the link to the AirDog KickStarter Page:

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