Meet AirDog: The Drone Designed to Follow You

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June 27 (Bloomberg) -- Edgars Rozentals, CEO of Helico Aerospace Industries, discusses the technology behind the company's AirDog drone which uses GoPro cameras to follow people on their adventures, automatically - via a wireless leash. He speaks with Pimm Fox on "Taking Stock." (Source: Bloomberg)

The chief executive of the maker of the airdog.

Tell us a little bit about the detail of this airdog.

How did you conceive of this particular drone?

Everything started because quite a few of our team work guys doing action sports, including myself.

I am a fan of kite surfing, snowboarding, and wave boarding.

We were building industrial drones for aerial mapping, more industrial use cases.

We realized we are missing something when we do these extreme sports.

And since we were building the drones, we came up with the idea -- why don't we build one that automatically follows us and shows us a go pro camera?

You can hold up the drone you have got there, so you can give us a look.

Obviously, that is 3.5, 4 feet.

You have to give it the stability and the maneuverability to follow you when you do your kite surfing.

Basically, it weighs around 3 pounds.

1.6 kilograms.

It is not the challenge to make an airframe that will handle wind.

It would be capable of flying.

The challenge was to make technology and algorithms that could calculate your motion, predict it and keep track of you, so that we keep the rider all the time in the picture, in the frame.

That is the biggest challenge.

We start with a simple concept.

We wanted to make it follow a smartphone.

When we started testing that, it did not work out that well as we expected.

It kind of detects -- it cannot detect altitude changes well for a downhill sport.

We developed a dedicating tracking device.

I think it was visible in the video.

With the dedicated device, we are achieving much higher precision.

It is easy to strap on your wrist and go surf in the water.

It is easy to operate when you are in a glass, snowboarding, in a cold winter.

That was the biggest challenge, to make the technology work in the extreme conditions that we have to meet in different sports.

It has a gyro stabilizer.

It can reach speeds of 40 mph.

You have already raised nearly half $1 million on kickstarter to fund this.

What is next, and what does it cost for people to get involved?

Next will be one of the biggest challenges, to mass produce this product.

We already signed the contract with the factory back in europe that will be doing this.

We will be delivering the drones november of this year.

We are getting ready for mass production of airdog.

What about the air leash?

This is obviously the sort of wireless tether, so the drone actually follows the user around.


That is the tracking device you can attach to a helmet or strap on your wrist, or your surfboard.

Whatever you want it to attach to.

People obviously attach these to their wrist.

Is it possible you can attach this to your pet, your dog, to make sure you know where your animal is?

Sure, the way you can use this is limitless.

We can only imagine how people will use it.

You can track anything.

Put it on your dog and let it run on the beach.

It will follow it.

What kind of distance does this work with?

What is the biggest radius?

We are going for a distance that will be somewhere between three and four, maybe 500 meters.

That is the distance achievable between air leash and the drone.

For example, when you go surfing, very often you will be at least 300 meters from the shore.

When you need to stop shooting, there has to be radio communication between the leash and the drone.

A few seconds, it is ready to

This text has been automatically generated. It may not be 100% accurate.


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