AirDog first arrived in the market 3 years ago, and it was one of the best drones used for auto-tracking technology, commonly known as the ‘follow-me’ mode. This year, AirDog is back with its AirDog ADII that keeps the follow-me tech as its centrepiece, working to improve their strengths and adding more features like bells and whistles to gain competitive advantage and hopes to rise above its rivals.
AirDog’s successor bears a strong resemblance to the original, implementing the fold-away arms for easier transport. The drone also emphasises on hands-free flying, not needing a remote to fly it and only depending on the built-in GPS system and obstacle avoidance system – features similar to the original. Rather, the AirDog ADII takes it cues from a special watch-sized device that is strapped onto the user’s arm, wrist or leg and connects to the drone via Bluetooth, called the Airleash.
Drone pilots can control takeoff and make quick flight adjustments using buttons on the device, but the idea is that the drone trails and focuses on the leash as the user tears down mountain, across the water and along the trails. Targeting extreme sports enthusiasts, the idea is to reduce hand controls to the bare minimum and have the drone follow you wherever you go and capture every move you make.
A new feature installed in the drone is the collision avoidance system, supported by a built-in LIDAR sensor. This works with an air pressure sensor, accelerometer and GPS to track elevation changes and hopefully to keep the drone from crashing into the ground tor to trees as the user moves across uneven terrain.
Another feature is the 3D-Line Mode, which allows users to set custom waypoints for an automated flight path at different altitudes. This complements a set of present flight modes designed to best capture different sports, such as Behind a Boat, Snow Park, Wake Cable and Trail, plus a scenic capture mode for landscapes.
The drone also has a redesigned gimbal, which works with a GoPro and features new dampening mounts that the company says should remove vibrations and jitters for smoother shots. The drone has a flight time of 10 to 20 minutes, depending on things like wind conditions and flight speed, which has an impressive maximum speed of 45 mph (72 km/h). The Airleash is said to be able to connect to the drone at a range of 500 feet (150m).
The AirDog ADII is currently for sale up on Kickstarter, where the company is looking to raise US$250,000 of fund for its production. The drone is selling at an early-bird price of $1,099 and will start shipping around August 2017 if the campaign runs as planned.
You can check out their video below: