A startup is aiming to make drone selfies simple — MyDrone is a compact auto-follow drone that uses seven different modes and a wearable tracker to make flight simpler. Launching on Kickstarter, the California-based company is looking to raise $50,000 to help its first drone take flight.
According to the company, MyDrone’s auto-follow features are what sets it apart from other options in a growing drone market. The quadcopter tracks subjects using a wearable tracker, offering several different follow modes with a range of about 1,300 feet, along with automatic landings when the battery life is low. The drone can follow behind at a fixed distance, orbit the subject or hover in place while directing the camera toward the action. The drone can also fly via shadowing, tracking, selfie, and pre-programmed route following modes.
MyDrone can also be flown with manual controls on the tracker, using arrow keys like playing a flight game on a computer. The startup says the height of the drone can be adjusted without disrupting any of the automated follow modes.
Outside of the tracker, an app expands the drone’s flight controls, including the ability to pre-determine the route on a map. A joystick controller can also be used with the drone in manual mode, included only with the pricier pledges.
The drone carries its own 4K, 24 fps action camera with a three-axis gimbal or can also mount a GoPro instead.
The drone itself folds for storage, weighing about three pounds. The top speed is 50 mph and the battery will last between 10 and 22 minutes depending on how fast the drone flies.
While MyDrone says the quadcopter is the first compact multi-functional auto-follow drone, the drone appears to have several features in common with the Staaker, an auto-follow drone that uses artificial intelligence to predict the subject’s next move with optional manual controls and a design that folds for transport. And if GoPro’s first recalled foray into the drone market is any indication, potential pilots should proceed with caution when it comes to any company’s first drone.
The MyDrone, however, does list a pretty impressive number of features — the developers expect the drone to ship in the spring if full funding is reached. With just under a month until the February 6 deadline, MyDrone has already surpassed half their funding goals. After the campaign, the drone is expected to retail for about $1,500, while early backers could receive the drone for as low as $999 if the Kickstarter is successful.