Latvian AirDog’s latest prototype was introduced at international CES 2015 where more than 160,000 attendees witnessed, which could be termed as the flight of future. Helico Aerospace Industries, the company behind AirDog, was the only Latvian company present at the world’s biggest innovation and technology exhibition. The company also has the credit to kick-start Latvia’s biggest fundraising project at Kickstarter that accumulated about US$ 1.3 million in July 2014. With the team size of only 20 people, it is no less than a feat. And no wonder that Latvian media is going gaga over it.
Since the device is engineered for sports nerd and tough outdoor activities, it is water-resistant and can follow you from up to 1000 feet. Its maximum speed can go up to 45 miles per hour and depending on your speed, it can stay over you for 10-20 minutes.
It is to be noted that auto-follow AirDog is compatible with GoPro and Sony camera. It is like your dedicated cameraman that follows you aerially. Keeping exclusive “sports-focused” gigs in mind, it has several custom modes to shoot several action sports accordingly. Designed for travel and adventure-enthusiasts, it can be folded down easily in your backpack for easy handling.
Since the year 2014 it raised funds in, AirDog has gone through several upgrades and resultantly, now is laced with several sensors including ground collision sensors and OAS or Obstacle Avoidance Solution that help it to avoid or control obtrusions and collisions such as trees and power lines to some extent. It also features new software upgrades such as AirDog frame design and AirLeash. OAS was the latest feature to be added and the prime attraction at CES. The AirDog is still not automated but still gives users the access to swipe over on the satellite image. Though, the need of complete elimination of collision (wanted by the backers and early adopters of drone technology) still exists.
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Along with Amazon’s delivery drones, AirDog should be given the credit to push drones into mainstream for videography. Back then, when it featured on Kickstarter for the funding, Hexo+, which was compatible with iPhone, also raised the same funding amount. 3D Robotics made drones available for all, through open-sourcing but yes, AirDog is different.
Now, it has become officially the best and decked-up drone of the world. When it comes to sports video, no one can beat its performance. While other drones use smartophones, it follows the band or leash worn on your wrist and can be controlled via it. The orientation, control, and positioning of the drone as well as camera is communicated through algorithm operating between the leash and AirDog.
This leash has been dubbed Airleash and comes loaded with sensors like accelerometers and gyroscopes. It also features manual control so that you could focus on your sports and do not have to go to your smartphone out to control the AirDog. Helico had also been testing smartphone compatibility with AirDog too but it finally figured out that it might not be feasible and safe for action sports like water surfing and jet skiing.
Availability and Price of AirDog
AirDog is now ready to be shipped to backers and will also go on sales in this year. Though, the company may want to achieve the goal to fly its drone autonomously and avoid collisions completely. As there has been a delay in delivery, one can spot several restless backers on the social media. While delivering something out-of-the-box such as AirDog, Helico should also try to not to take the hype to its head and stay grounded. But this delay is not due to some technical glitch. The reports say that the company is sending out testing drones to individuals who do different sport. This will help company to test AirDog in different real-life settings and get real feedback to ship the perfect AirDog to you.
The AirDog is shipped with the gear, either a Sony or GoPro camera. This bundled offering is available for pre-order at $1,295. The retail price is expected to go up to $1,495.