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August 6, 2014

by Helico Aerospace Industries US LLC

I saw this cool device on kickstarter, a successful campaign coming soon to the skies near you…

AirDog: Auto-follow Drone for GoPro Camera. Designed for sports enthusiasts, outdoor fans and indie moviemakers. Shipping in November.

You can still pre-order and buy AirDog here: www.airdog.com

 

AirDog is a small, agile, foldable quadcopter, especially designed for filmmakers and action sports enthusiasts who use GoPro cameras.

Like its canine namesake, AirDog automatically follows you wherever you go, whatever you do. It’s not bothered by pelting rain, freezing temps, massive waves, or freaking insane places. AirDog doesn’t say “no.” It just follows, flying right along.

AirDog is your sidekick, just in case you can’t rent a helicopter plus professional photographer to take a video of your black diamond run. AirDog is your personal training assistant, allowing you to review what you’re doing right, and where you need to improve. AirDog can transport you to views that you never thought possible. AirDog can persuade others to join you in your extremes.

Just strap the AirLeash (tracker device) on your wrist or helmet, and the AirDog is ready to follow you.

Smartphone is only for adjusting advanced settings. GoPro App provides live video stream to your phone.
Smartphone is only for adjusting advanced settings. GoPro App provides live video stream to your phone.

Inside, AirDog is really complex technology. But using and controlling AirDog is really simple.

Here’s the basic idea

AirDog follows a signal from the programmable tracker – AirLeash. We could use a smartphone, but you need more precise tracking for actions sports. So we designed AirLeash.

The AirLeash is a small waterproof computerized tracker with clever software and sensors inside. It sends signals to the AirDog, indicating exact movement trajectory.

It may look bulky now, but as soon as we start production it will be half the size and with multiple attachment opportunities (helmet, snow-googles, wrist, bike handle-bar, etc)

AirLeash shown in this picture is current working prototype. It is going to be two times smaller when we launch production.
AirLeash shown in this picture is current working prototype. It is going to be two times smaller when we launch production.

The drone performs inflight calculations to correct its flying pattern, and points the camera at the user wearing AirLeash.

Takeoff and landing is completely autonomous, freeing you to focus on your performance. It will land at the end of your track, or return to the takeoff spot when the battery begins to run low. An alarm on the AirLeash tells you when AirDog’s battery is too low to continue.

We spent countless caffeine-fueled hours, hacking intelligent flight code algorithms. The result is functionality that allows AirDog to follow you while you’re riding down the slope or flipping around on a halfpipe. You don’t have to worry about controlling the camera.

Strap it on, cue it up, and do epic things.

There are six Follow modes that you can configure and control with your AirLeash and smartphone app. Each one is a great choice and will deliver stunning results, regardless of your sport. You’ll probably want to use all six.

1. Auto-follow. Will work with almost any sports. In this mode AirDog will follow you repeating exactly your movement trajectory while maintaining its position in preset distance and altitude from you. It will follow you at speeds up to 40 mph.

2. Relative position follow. In this mode AirDog will maintain constant offset relative to magnetic north from the rider. For example, you can set it to keep a 10 meter distance at 4 meters high to the east from your position. Even when you change your direction, the AirDog will stay at the same preset angle from you. We suggest this mode for straight line wakeboard cable parks, surfing, and some other sports.

3. Follow track. This is the safest way to operate AirDog. Simply go for one lap with AirLeash and it will record your track. Then adjust AirDogs trajectory to your liking in smartphone app. AirDog will repeatedly fly over the exact set trajectory and the camera will be continually adjusted to aim at the rider.This is the most creative mode where you can become a true director of your movie. Adjust AirDog’s trajectory to avoid obstacles like buildings or trees. You can even make it to shoot you from different angle on different spots/kickers in the track. It might sound complicated, but its a simple few tap process in AirDog smartphone app.

4. Hover and Aim. The Hover and Aim setting allows AirDog to stay in one position above the ground, but constantly directing the camera at the AirLeash. This setting is 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.

5. Circle. In this setting, AirDog makes circular rotations on a set radius and altitude, keeping the camera aimed at the AirLeash. This for slow speed or static shots to show impressive view around you.

6. Look down. The most simple mode but can produce very stunning results. Simply “walk” your AirDog above a ramp or kicker where you are about to throw some epic tricks and with push of a button it will freeze its position and aim camera straight down. Now make sure you don’t go too high.

Not satisfied with all these amazing options? No worries.

We’ll always be adding new flight modes through firmware and app updates. We depend on user feedback to continually develop Airdog into something that’s jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring.

The AirDog is designed to go farther and higher than you thought possible. If you’ve ever wanted to shoot an edgy music video from off a cliff, the AirDog is your solution. If you’re shooting an indie movie, and want some clutch aerial shots for the car chase scene, the AirDog is happy to oblige.

 

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