Capturing aerial video of your motorcyling, surfing, skateboarding, or biking exploits is usually a two-person job. You have your hands full with pulling off stunning stunts while someone else mans the camera-equipped flying drone, attempting to keep up with you as you grind, ollie, or flip.
The AirDog drone on Kickstarter wants to make daredevils more independent by giving them a GoPro-carrying quadcopter that automatically follows their movements, no second person required. It works by following the signal from a device called an AirLeash, which is worn on your wrist or helmet.
The AirDog can take off and land autonomously, so you don't have to fiddle with it to get it up into or out of the air. The auto-follow feature can be set to a variety of different modes using an AirDog control app for Google's Android and Apple's iOS operating systems. Those modes include repeating a set trajectory, maintaining a certain distance from you at all times, or freezing in position and hovering at a set point.
The design looks to be well-though-out. AirDog has foldable arms, a collapsible body, and fold-down props to make it easily transportable. Helico Aerospace Industries, the company behind the AirDog, says it can take on all sorts of weather conditions, including sleet and the spray from ocean waves.
A flying machine that follows you on an invisible leash doesn't come dirt cheap. The AirDog goes for a $1,195 pledge. The project is aiming for a $200,000 goal and has already topped $127,000 with 39 days to go. This may be as close as you'll ever get to a flying robotic dog that doesn't have to be taken to the vet.