A Kickstarter campaign to take the art of sports videography to new heights with the stalking "AirDog" quadchopper has thundered past its funding target. Described as "the world's first auto-follow action sports drone", the AirDog will lift a GoPro and then chase its owner wherever he or she runs with a programmable tracker …
Bit shit then really.
Nice idea, but until they sort that one out I certainly won't be buying one.
I won't anyway, as I don't have a spare £1,500 to spaff. But if I did, it would be make some great footage following me down the slopes. Could be handy for insurance purposes at well... this is exactly how I broke my leg. ;-)
I run through a lot of forests. If you wanted to use it to film yourself running (which sounds like the sort of thing it's meant for) then whether it's city running or cross country you would certainly need it to dodge trees. I assume the OP is a skier and the same thing applies.
"I don't have a spare £1,500 to spaff"
I don't know what the US rules are, but UK readers may be interested to note that these things are prohibited by Civil Aviation Authority regulations from use in much of the UK , and there's already been a conviction with £800 fine and £3500 costs  though that may in part have been due to the location of the offence.
"... additional regulations for small unmanned aircraft that are 'equipped to undertake any form of surveillance or data acquisition'. In summary, they prohibit unmanned aircraft from flying in congested areas, flying close to people or property, flying for aerial work purposes or flying beyond visual line of sight unless permission has been given by the CAA."
My thoughts exactly, for 1500 quid I'd expect basic collision avoidance to be built into it.... nothing fancy, just some IR range finders on the rotor arms and a simple "back off an don't crash into things algorithm"... with an instant rotor shutdown (with electronic breaking) when something got too close that it might come into contact with the blades...
… to simply spill vicious amounts of appropriate hate-speech on the official White House Facebook wall or somesuch venue of equal quality? They will have their drones eying you within the hour.
On the other hand, I would love to have this little bugger hum above me at all times simply to make a public statement about the surveillance society. Sadly, a mere 20 minutes of flight will cover neither the whole of my commute nor my lunchbreak.
I would of thought that the addition of LIDAR, Human (IR) sensing, and such would be de rigueur. then again, maybe not. The processing for the first, and having more than one such sensor, would run up the costs. A lot easier in a ground-based vehicle and with a reasonable surface, you could add a larger energy source.
Still, this puppy should be in any activists' toolkit and if more than one ready activist is present, flying them in sweeps should do nicely for documenting police behavior. [Right up until some bright-boy starts TASERing them.]
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