Two weeks ago part of our AirDog team went to the Swiss Alps for some tests (we’re always looking to improve upon what we’ve done so far). The main goal was to test AirDogs's following ability when the altitude of the subject is rapidly changing. Sounds easy. But it isn't.
It's a challenge to get this right. AirDog is the only drone created for consumers, able to follow you downhill efficiently while staying close to you and the action. This is perfect for snowboarders, skiers, and mountain bikers. Without the tech we have in AirDog and in AirLeash, you're limited to flat terrain and the shots you want will also be limited because of the distance.
Sophisticated algorithms based on sensor fusion enable high performance in AirDog and AirLesh. Giving both the ability to be precise in various altitude and terrain changes at high speeds.
The Nitty Gritty
Altitude following is maintained with barometric sensors, which are super sensitive and able to detect atmospheric pressure differences as little as 4 inches (10cm). These sensors are in AirLeash and in AirDog.
Accelerometers is something else we’re putting to use, it determines the speed and velocity you’re moving at, again AirLeash and AirDog both have accelerometers.
Last but not least, we use LiDAR (which is basically a laser that detects the distance between AirDog and the terrain). AirDog is the only drone for consumers that has LiDAR. While in the Alps our initial algorithms for LiDAR were on track, but not performing at the pace we had hoped, minor adjustments were made and voilà they were fixed. When making random altitude changes without LiDAR, your flying companion has a greater risk of crashing. Accelerometers, barometers and GPS (we didn’t mention GPS as another data source) alone can’t reduce this risk.
Easy Control with AirLeash
While developing AirDog we wanted users to be able to focus on their performance while in action. Engineering a dedicated device with loads of sensors gives AirDog the power to follow you with precision no matter the terrain. That’s why we have abandoned the idea of using a smartphone during the development process and why AirLeash is waterproof and super easy to use even while wearing gloves.
Follow Modes in Action
So we talked a bit about the tech and now it's time to see what AirDog can do. In this video we're showcasing some of the follow modes we tested while in Switzerland. Note that in some of the shots the video is speeded up, also, our guys aren't MTB pros, AirDog's performance is the focus here :)