Adrenalin junkies can look forward to a new source of excitement.
AirDog is a newly developed autonomous drone that will automatically follow them around and film their stunts thanks to its onboard GoPro camera.
Still in the testing phase, its makers describe the small, waterproof, foldable quadcopter as the first flying drone that doesn’t need a pilot, using a sensor instead of a remote control to determine where to go.
The principle is simple – the athlete connects a special sensor to their wrist or helmet. The drone then follows the wearer wherever they go.
“The technology inside AirDog is very complex,” said Janis Spogis, co-founder of AirDog developer Helico Aerospace Industries.
“The user wears a bracelet that controls the drone with sensors that monitor his route. The drone then moves towards him and directs its camera in the right direction. It was quite a challenge developing it as it required a lot of innovative technology,” he explained.
Weighing in at just over 1.5 kilos, the drone can reach speeds of up to 70 kilometres an hour. And unlike other autonomous drones that have pre-planned flight routes, it can chart its own path and altitude – ideal for skateboarders, wakeboarders and all those hooked on extreme sports, who are always looking for new ways to record their stunts on film.
Racing car driver Janis Eglite is enthusiastic: “Of course there’s still room for improvement, and they’re still working on it, but once it’s finished, it will be amazing,” he said.
If sales take off, the AirDog would retail at around $ 1,500 and could find many more users, including filmmakers and real estate agencies.