Tim: This year CES, no surprise, was heavy on drones, from tiny and cute to ominously big. Most of the ones that were on display had cameras built in, but beyond that, the main thing they have in common is simply that they can fly. Their range, communications options, add-ons, speed, time aloft these all vary along a scale reflected in their prices, from stocking stuffer to national defense budget.
Tim: You are holding the AirDog.
Cody Collier: Yes, I’m holding AirDog. Man’s best friend.
Tim: Explain it.
Cody Collier: It is an autonomous drone, non-dependent on a pilot or a cameraman, it works very simple. See, I’ll give you a scenario, so I get to the skate park, my buddy is not there, he didn’t show up or no one wants to be the cameraman, I have this in my back. Blow it out.
Tim: Is it fixed or is it okay.
Cody Collier: Drop, drop, Battery, test, in, always going to be the center point of focus is this leash.
Tim: Now does it work with the GoPro?
Cody Collier: Yes, they work with the GoPro.
Tim: Are they are other cameras that are compatible?
Cody Collier: Yes it is not GoPro proprietary and also any functions that your camera has can be done independently. The drone does not inhibit anything like that. So say, hey, I’ve done skateboarding and I’m done – our batteries running low, I don’t want to hot swap the batteries which you are able to, I’m done filmingfor the day. Battery out, drop, drop, drop, drop. In to the bag, and I’m off for my day.
Tim: What are the materials used to make this?
Cody Collier: This is a final prototype and it is made with the 3D printed material, but after CES, the production models are going to be hard injection plastic, like the GoPro durable case. This whole thing is going to be hard injection plastic.
Tim: What does it weigh right now?
Cody Collier: It weighs about 4 kilos with the battery and the GoPro.
Tim: What does it cost?
Cody Collier: Cost pre-sale right now is $1,300 American. No camera because also you can use whichever camera you like, but the Gimbal is part of the catalyst. So after January 31, it goes up to $1,500 *As of 2/11 their site still shows $1300* and with that package you get the drone, the leash, charger, battery and apparel.
Tim: Talk about the capabilities, range, how far can it be from your leash?
Cody Collier: Good to go, this has a maximum range of 1,000 feet and it communicates via Bluetooth 3.0. It has a minimum range of 12 feet and then it’s not going to come and dink you in the head unless you set it at land mode. You can catch it as so, obviously not tangled up like this, and the motors will stop. It has a maximum speed of 45 miles an hour and if you are operating at its maximum speed of 45 miles an hour, you are going to get 10 minutes battery life. Other than that, you get 15 to 20 stationary or following.
Tim: How long does it take the charge to those batteries?
Cody Collier: Each battery, it takes 45 minutes to charge, they cost $70 if you want to get extras. They’re hot swappable. Their motors aren’t going to burn out from continuous use.
Tim: And are the blades carbon fiber?
Cody Collier: These blades? I’m not sure what they’re going to be on the finished product, but right here, it’s just the 3D printed material as well, it’s all prototype 3D printed.
Tim: You’ve used it yourself?
Cody Collier: I have actually had the strap on yes, I played – have skated the mini ramp in the back – behind the Gibson guitar tent it was a good time. It’ was a great time.
Tim: And you just won a CES award for it.
Cody Collier: Yeah, we won best drone and drone of the year at CES, I think what sets us apart, is it’s actually you don’t need a cameraman. It doesn’t have an opinion and you don’t need a pilot, it’s man’s best friend...