AirDog’s follow-you-everywhere camera drone set for August launch

AirDog’s auto-follow action sports drone looks set to take to the skies at the end of August, the startup behind the flying machine has revealed.

These follow-you-everywhere drones have gotten plenty of attention recently, with Squadrone System also pushing out a similar device to the AirDog in the fall.

AirDog, which works with GoPro cameras, lets you grab Hollywood-style aerial shots all by yourself, “just in case you can’t rent a helicopter plus professional photographer,” the Palo Alto-based team says on its website.

It works by connecting with a device called the AirLeash, basically a wrist- or helmet-worn tracker that sends out a signal to the quadcopter to a distance of about 300 meters.

Constant in-flight calculations ensure the copter’s camera is always pointing your way, guaranteeing some pretty dramatic footage – depending on what you’re up to, of course.

A notable feature of AirDog is the way in which it tracks the user. The team has created six Follow modes that enable the camera to perform different kinds of moves, each one offering up a variety of angles, altitudes and maneuvers. “Circle,” for example, performs circular rotations at a pre-set distance, while “Hover and Aim” causes the drone to maintain its position, “perfect for tight places such as smaller skateparks, narrow forest trails, or for activities such as bungee jumping or base jumping, where clearance from equipment is important,” the team explains.

The summer launch means it’s coming nine months later than originally planned after a particularly tricky technical issue temporarily slowed development. Hopefully the wait isn’t proving too annoying for the 1,357 Kickstarter backers who between them pledged a whopping $1.35 million to make the AirDog a reality.

A payment of $1,295 gets you the quadcopter, AirLeash, gyro-stabilized gimbal, battery, charger, cable, and operation manual – you’ll need to fork out extra for the GoPro camera. It’s possible to pre-order the AirDog now, though several batches have already sold out. Yes, it looks like this is going to be one popular flying machine.

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