back to article VIDEO SELFIE DRONE: 'AirDog' UAV follows you everywhere you go

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 …

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  1. greenawayr
    Thumb Up

    Two words

    Very Cool.

  2. Ralph B

    Some Contradiction, Surely?

    In the title: "'AirDog' UAV follows you everywhere you go". In the article body: "It's impressive stuff, capable of 10-20 minutes of flight". (My emphases.)

    Well, I guess the title is true, for a certain value of "everywhere".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Some Contradiction, Surely?

      Fair enough, but keep in mind that this is a first run. If they get this to work properly I can see all sorts of applications here which could prompt improvement. Personally, if I had the cash spare I'd buy it.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. AbortRetryFail

    citation needed

    I'm at a loss to understand why the GoPro 2 is superior to the GoPro 3.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Re: citation needed

      As I understand it the GP3 has suffered long standing problems with software crashing and general robustness in comparison with the GP2.

    2. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: citation needed

      We've had issues with the 3. Perfectly good camera, but not with the bacpac, if you value a full charge and it actually recording continuously without shutting down randomly.

      That's our personal experience, whereas our 2 has performed impeccably.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: citation needed

        There's now a GP 3+ out, supposedly with bugfixes as well as the couple of new features.

        1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

          Re: Re: citation needed

          Fair enough. We're sticking with the 2, though. Tried and trusted and all that.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Meh

    Claims mean nothing

    "depending on speed, and a claimed maximum altitude of 3,000m."

    I claim I'm the fastest runner in the world, oh and the best looking person, oh and I'm also 6000 years old.

    1. Martin Budden

      Re: Claims mean nothing

      oh and I'm also 6000 years old

      Lost all faith... Adam???

  6. Semtex451 Silver badge
    Pint

    Now I can let the better-half home alone from the pub

  7. Steve Button

    "cannot see or avoid any obstacles in its flight path".

    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. ;-)

    1. JDX Gold badge

      Re: "cannot see or avoid any obstacles in its flight path".

      Unless you're running through a forest it presumably isn't a big deal in real use.

      1. Spleen

        Re: "cannot see or avoid any obstacles in its flight path".

        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.

      2. Raphael

        Re: "cannot see or avoid any obstacles in its flight path".

        So that rules out using it with any mountain biking in forests.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "cannot see or avoid any obstacles in its flight path".

      "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 [1], and there's already been a conviction with £800 fine and £3500 costs [2] though that may in part have been due to the location of the offence.

      [1] http://www.caa.co.uk/default.aspx?catid=1995&pagetype=90&pageid=11185

      "... 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."

      [2] http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/02/uk-first-drone-conviction

    3. MrXavia

      Re: "cannot see or avoid any obstacles in its flight path".

      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...

  8. Ian Yates
    Joke

    Prior Art

    Immediately reminded me of this superb April Fool's joke from Razer:

    http://www.razerzone.com/eidolon

    1. Lester Haines (Written by Reg staff) Gold badge

      Re: Prior Art

      Nicely done.

    2. Captain DaFt

      Re: Prior Art

      First thing it reminded me of was the hover cameras from Babylon 5.

      Looks like it'd be riskier to headbutt, though.

  9. Billa Bong

    Fantastic!

    Now all I need to do is get out of my office once in a while - then you'll see some real quality action footage. Of my walk to the pub, probably...

  10. Jonathan 29

    Cheaper alternative

    Also using the GoPro3 is the possibly better and cheaper hexo.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sqdr/hexo-your-autonomous-aerial-camera

  11. Pirate739

    Hexo+

    or you could check out the Hexo+

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/sqdr/hexo-your-autonomous-aerial-camera

    About half the price, and you don't have to wear a daft "AirLeash" for it to track you!

  12. Barracoder

    Slap drones!

    Iain Banks is looking down smugly.

    1. Scroticus Canis
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Slap drones!

      Thought a Slap Drone needed intelligence - "smart enough to have a name". If it flies into arbitrary obstacles what will they call this thing? Rototard, Dumbodroid ...?

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wouldn't it be cheaper …

    … 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.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wouldn't it be cheaper …

      Maybe get two or more and do tag team surveillance.

  14. Ivan Headache

    Wouldn't it be more useful

    If it would fly in front of you?

    It could be following anybody!

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not 4 but 3 or 6...

    "the stalking "AirDog" quadchopper"

    Seeing chopper shadow in the video it has 3 arms with rotors on, and freeze framing initial copter shot early on, there are 2 propellers per arm.

    So it's not a quadracopter :-p

  16. Clive Mitchell

    So which part...

    ...of auto-follow action sports drone is a world first? They've all been done before.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Year 2018

    Drone-rage is now a thing!

  18. jackofshadows Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Optional?

    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.]

  19. TopOnePercent Silver badge

    Incoming......

    Anyone else think that sales or thefts of Black Widow style catapults will soar in areas where people use these drones? The local chavs will all want to be the first to bag a drone.

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