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Flying high: Hexo+ autonomous drone tops $1 million in Kickstarter campaign

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When the Hexo+ autonomous drone launched on Kickstarter a month ago, it reached its $50,000 funding target in a matter of just a few hours.

Interest in the drone that follows and films you wherever you go has grown to such an extent that with a only a few days of its campaign remaining, the fund has smashed through the million-dollar mark. The success of the campaign has prompted the Palo Alto team behind the flying machine to start looking at how it might enhance and refine the design of its drone.

“One thing we’ve been having a blast doing is interacting with you guys and learning more about what you expect Hexo+ to do,” the team said in a recent blog post. “All of your feedback is a treasure for the project, as it helps us shape our system to your expectations.”

It said it’s working on a design upgrade of the existing Hexo+ system based on funders’ feedback, adding that thanks to its generous backers it now has the resources “to gain access to very talented engineers, industrial designers, UX and UI designers, that we will bring on board to take Hexo+ to the next level of usability.”

The Hexo+ (shown below) communicates with your smartphone to establish your location, and can track you at a distance of up to 50 meters. A top speed of 45mph means it should be able to deal comfortably with fast-paced activities that cover a lot of ground, giving you the chance to capture some spectacular footage along the way.

The device, which is targeted primarily at action-sports enthusiasts who want the ability to record their adrenalin-fueled exploits without having to call on the services of a camera operator, is expected to go on sale for $699, or $1099 with a GoPro Hero3 camera. Backers who pledge $499 or more should receive the Hexo+ in May next year.

The team said it came up with the idea for its autonomous drone as it searched for a way of making aerial filming possible “in the most remote places: on mountains, in the snow, and in all sorts of unpredictable situations that were quite a pain to deal with when trying to sync a drone pilot, a cameraman and a rider.”

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