The drone is easily piloted by you, connected to an “air leash” that sends a signal to keep it circling you. It records as you do just about anything you can think of. It will even stabilize the footage and keep you within frame, so you don’t have to worry about lost images or shaky shots.
It uses three separate parts for all of this. First is the AirDog itself, which is a little helicopter with a camera with four spinning propellers on its “legs”. The front has a small camera, That moves and adjusts. All of it is controlled with the other two parts; one is the wrist strap Airleash, that you can also attach to your helmet; second is the mobile app to live stream to your phone.
There are different follow tracks you can set, such as auto-follow to replicate your trajectory and movements to capture everything you do, or follow-track, which lets you program a route with a single lap, then follows it exactly to stay around you. This avoids the obvious pitfalls of airborne obstacles. Several other follow types are available.
Originally, they were looking to make $200,000 in funding. But with two weeks left, they have already brought in an incredible $789,312, as of this writing. That comes from 852 backers.
You can still get on board as a contributor, starting as low as $10, up to $2045. Surprisingly, 117 people have already done the full amount to receive two kits.
Stories like this show the true power of crowdfunding campaigns. If you have a good idea, and a way to deliver on that idea, people are happy to help you get off the ground. It takes the power out of the hands of major investors, and puts them into the hands of consumers.
Kickstarter and other customer-driven funding projects mark a change in the way products are created and manufactured. It seems like a good change.
Hopefully, AirDog won’t end up another Oculus Rift story, where the founders pull the rug out and sell to a major organization.