Quadcopters – follow function?

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  • Quadcopters – follow function?
  • Premier Icon smogmonster
    Subscriber

    Im thinking of getting a quadcopter for filming and general messing about. Do any of them have a follow function – so you can set it to follow you at say 20 or 30 feet away and just follow you? Does such a thing exist?

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    The CIA probably do, it would explain the buzzing sounds I keep hearing.

    Most I’ve seen are operated by someone, there would be a few issues with trees and power lines for a blind follow.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    MysteryMachine wrote:

    Im thinking of getting a quadcopter for filming and general messing about. Do any of them have a follow function – so you can set it to follow you at say 20 or 30 feet away and just follow you? Does such a thing exist?

    Yes
    http://3drobotics.com/2013/08/iris-press-release/
    http://www.arducopter.co.uk/iris-quadcopter-uav.html

    londonerinoz
    Member

    Unsympathetic OH: “So what you’re saying is that you want to buy a really expensive remote control helicopter to go with your really expensive video camera to make videos of yourself riding one of your really expensive bikes?”

    You: “Yes, it will look really cool, be lots of fun, and I can afford it.”

    Unsympathetic OH: “What, so this is going to make all the difference to those boring videos of you riding slowly on some flat path and sometimes getting a foot into the air? You don’t even bother taking the camera out with you anymore because you said it takes too long to film from different angles.”

    You: “Yes, but this will make all the difference, it’s going to look so pro, like a movie.”

    Unsympathetic OH: “We’re still talking about you riding your bike here?”

    You: “Yes, I just want it ok, it’s cool!”

    Unsympathetic OH: “Your definition of cool is VERY different to mine. When are you going give up all these toys? They’re all a bit geeky rather than cool.”

    You: “I’m going for a ride! And I’ve already bought it anyway.”

    Conceptually, that was a lot shorter in my head! I’d love one, but it is serious boys toys territory.

    Rockhopper
    Member

    Bear in mind the limited battery life once you start hanging cameras and gimbals underneath. My DJI Phantom with GoPro manages about six or seven minutes (more if you fly gently).

    bencooper
    Member

    Mikrokopters will do this – but the limited flight time (15-20 mins) and cost mean it’s probably not all that practical for bike riding.

    There was a company launching one specifically for road cycling, dunno how far they got with that.

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    And that Iris is only follow the thing wearing a

    GPS antenna and one of our 3DR telemetry/control radios.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    Could you achieve the same thing by tying a kite to your seatpost?

    And watch out for trees. The aerial footage of Southampton Bike Park is shorter than planned because the guy flying it was following the bikes using the goggles to see through the camera and failed to see the branches the bikes rode under. 🙁

    IA
    Member

    People flying using POV cameras and not direct line of sight, or autonomous flying in public with no pilot ready to take control- naughty naughty.

    I do wonder whenever I see drone footage a) if the person did it legally and b) when we’ll first see someone prosecuted (say you film something mucking around, then sell the footage later – not currently legal)

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    IA wrote:

    People flying using POV cameras and not direct line of sight, or autonomous flying in public with no pilot ready to take control- naughty naughty.

    Indeed – but I don’t think most of the owners of quadcopters actually have any idea about the law on this, let alone have any insurance.

    bencooper
    Member

    I think this is the big reason I built a bunch of Mikrokopters a few years ago, and it’s died off completely – not many people want to go through the whole CAA approval thing.

    I did some flying around Peckham a few years ago – that was pretty dodgy.

    They did have a second guy spotting but didn’t quite get the words out quick enough.

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    WorldClassAccident wrote:

    They did have a second guy spotting but didn’t quite get the words out quick enough.

    Which doesn’t make it legal. The pilot in charge is supposed to have normal direct visual contact (if you want to fly FPV you’re supposed to be on a buddy box).

    I had similar thoughts about a quadrocopter/ gopro combo, then I figured that something similar could possibly be achieved (in true Heath Robinson style) with a small helium balloon.

    trail_rat
    Member

    Helium balloons – long string and a gimble.

    – tie string to bike , float go pro on gimble below the balloon and go ride…..

    Premier Icon chief1409
    Subscriber

    A company providing one of these ‘copters for this very function was recently on kick starter. Looked very very good and they smashed their target a zillions times. Think they got near a million dollars when they were looking for something like 35 grand…. It was called Pocket Drone.

    D’oh! Just spotted HandyAndys post above….

    Premier Icon slowoldman
    Subscriber

    Oh God I’ve seen the future. The sky black with personal drones like Philip Pullman’s daemons.

    Aaaaghh. Runs away screaming and hides head under pillow.

    STATO
    Member

    I thought these things were pretty much illegal to fly in the U.S. ??

    I know for flying comercially in the UK you need a licence, wonder how many bike film companies actually have this, especially given every new MTB film seems to have a quadcopter segment?

    Premier Icon richmars
    Subscriber

    I thought these things were pretty much illegal to fly in the U.S. ??

    Overturned last week, but subject to appeal:
    DP Review Link

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