The AirDog is a quadcopter with rotor-arms that fold away for easy storage when it is not in use. It’s said to be fully autonomous, needing no remote control in order to fly. Users can input the basic flight settings using the device’s “AirLeash,” a dedicated beacon for the AirDog that’s worn on the wrist or helmet and is tracked by the drone.
Users can also download the AirDog smartphone app to configure more advanced flight modes, record footage and share video clips online. A manually controlled flight-mode is also available should users prefer.
There are six basic modes from which a user can choose. In the auto-follow mode, the quadcopter will follow the user while maintaining the position and altitude that the user has set. Relative-position mode will ensure that the drone keeps its position in relation to compass direction from the user and follow-track mode allows the user to run through a certain track and have the drone then repeatedly follow it. Additional camera angles and controls can be set in the follow track mode.
The hover and aim mode has the Airdog maintaining its position in one location while tracking the user with its camera, and the circle mode allows the user to set an area and radius around which the drone will circle. Finally, in the the look-down mode, the Airdog can be trained over one particular place with its camera pointing directly down. This can be used over skate-ramps or jumps, for example.
The AirDog weighs 3.9 pounds (1.7 kg), can fly up to to a speed of 40 mph (64 km/h) and has a flight time of 10-15 minutes between charges, depending on how it is being used. It uses a GoPro camera (sold separately) for filming and a 2-axis gyro-stabilized gimbal in order to keep videos stable.
Features for video quality include auto-pitch and yaw camera follow, horizon alignment and vibration isolation. The device has been designed to shut down its motors in the event of collision, and be easily repairable should it ever be damaged. Helico says it’s durable and can be used in sub-zero temperatures, wind up to 23 knots, and in rain, sleet and snow.