About Graeme Fritz

  • Member Since: April 26, 2016
  • Last Login: July 27, 2017 6:39 pm

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AirDog – For the Action Man, Or Woman.

Airdog Drone

Whether you enjoy running, skateboarding, hiking, biking, motor cross, climbing, skiing, surfing, or any other outdoor activity, you may have wished you had a faithful old friend with you that would follow to heel without question. Well, that loyal companion is now available. Released on open sale towards the end of 2015 is Airdog, a faithful, unquestioning companion that will follow you on command regardless of terrain / danger.

 


First Impressions

Meeting your Airdog for the first time you will notice how colorful your new companion is. Sporting a yellow body and purple legs your Airdog is certainly a unique looker. You will also see that Airdog is a compact little creature with its legs and propellers folded away ready to be tucked away into a small backpack, and at 1.85 Kilos, with its battery and a GpPro camera, your new pet is no effort to carry around to the venue of your chosen activity. Your Airdog has a rugged plastic form and simplistic design which enables it to shrug off rough handling, bumps, and scrapes without flinching, or a visit to the vet! Nothing about Airdog’s appearance gives you any inkling of fragility. Airdog has a single forward facing camera which will lock onto your wrist mounted leash and will not let go until ordered to do so by you. Your leash is light, compact, uncluttered and easy to operate with simple one-touch commands which Airdog obeys immediately.

Out to Play With Airdog

At the site of your chosen activity, you simply unfold your Airdog and it’s ready to go. Airdog will follow you at a range of up to 250 meters, which is above average, and at a maximum speed of 42MPH, depending on wind conditions, and is happy to operate in temperatures ranging from -10 to + 40 degrees C. Fitted with a Go Pro camera Airdog is unrelenting in its pursuit of you. Regardless of twists, turns, ups and the downs your activity may require of you, Airdog keeps you centrally framed and focused for perfect imaging. Your faithful companion will be able to follow you for around 18 minutes, which is above average for devices of a similar price. At the touch of a button on the leash, your faithful friend will return to its starting point, landing to within .25 of a meter. In flight you will need to be aware of the route you are following as Airdog only has a single forward facing camera facility, meaning it is not fully aware of its peripheral surroundings. You Airdog may be just a tree branch away from a nasty stumble.

Airdog Drone for action sports

Is There a Downside to Airdog?

Airdog is not about to win any beauty contest. It’s yellow and purple appearance may not be everyone’s first choice of livery, and as yet there are no plans to offer any alternative choice. Of course, this doesn’t affect performance, and at least your new pup will stand out in a crowd. After initially choosing Airdog as your new companion, you will need to bear in mind the cost of a camera as Airdog doesn’t come equipped with one. Its camera mounting will take the excellent GoPro camera which gives excellent imagery. Airdog’s camera gimbal is restricted to an up and down movement. With no side to side option, this can be limiting. Airdog has no collision avoidance system, this can be a worry. Airdog follows you from above by locking onto the signal emitted from the leash on your wrist. If you are using Airdog for outdoor, sporting activities, for which it was primarily designed, you will have little or no time to be looking out anything that could present a potential hazard to your new friend.

Giving orders to Airdog from the leash on your wrist is simple, but there’s no facility to take a still shot from the camera. Although designed primarily for the active outdoors, some owners may want to use Airdog for more simple aerial photography, in which case the camera restrictions will be an issue. At 1599 Dollars, plus the cost of a camera, some may think that the price is excessive for a cycloptic canine flyer. With more complete drone packages available on the market, for just a little more money, potentially new, loving homes for Airdog may be hard to find.

DJI Phantom 4

DJI Phantom 4

The Phantom 4 Goes That Bit Further

Now on worldwide release is the China-based drone manufacturer DJI’s new leap forward, designed to further enhance their range of quadcopters, with the exciting, new look Phantom 4.

 

Dji Phantom 4

The World’s Smartest Drone

First Impressions

Right from the off, things have improved. Your phantom 4 comes to you in a grey, ridged Polystyrene carry case. Remembering the Phantom 3 which came to you with nothing more than a cardboard box with a carrying handle, which was as durable and long lasting as a chocolate teapot, you have the impression that DJI has given more thought to the real world of, not only owning and flying a drone but to its care and ease of transport.

Phantom 4 sports a more slender aerodynamic design with a glossy livery of white with a contrasting grey underside. Phantom 4s controller is similar to that of the Phantom 3 except DJI have ditched the dull matt surfaces and gone with a high gloss finish to match the drone. The motors now have a shiny metal outer casing which, overall, creates a very attractive “sky Maiden”, by comparison, the phantom 3 now resembles an aging “plain Jane” of the DJI family.

 

What you get with The DJI Phantom 4

 

 

Phantom 4 is a much more stable drone than its predecessor, which could sometimes seem like it had been drinking on the job! This new found stability comes from the addition of another IMU and a doubling of the downward looking cameras. Phantom 4 operates with a good range of speed, in normal flight mode topping out at around 35 MPH. Click in the obstacle Avoidance mode and Phantom 4 returns a very respectable 22 MPH.

For those who enjoy an adrenaline rush, switch to sports mode and Phantom 4 will have you under the control of a 45 MPH drone racer. Phantom 4 is equipped with all that you would expect with its Intelligent Flight Mode, which relies on GPS, waypoint navigation, orbit, follow and track. The Auto Track facility can lock on to a person, vehicle or any other moving object by building its own 3D image of the target and its surroundings allowing it to orbit and track whilst streaming crisp images back to your mobile device.

Phantom 4’s capabilities and new found stability makes for an excellent drone for newbie pilots whilst also being an exciting, and challenging enough platform for more experienced flyers. Phantom 4 has also banished any semblance of amnesia, its improved “return home” function is remarkably accurate, better than that of some of its more absent minded forebears, Phantom 4 becomes a homing pigeon, bringing itself back to within a few inches of its take off point.

Phantom 4 can be used for aerial photography.

Phantom 4’s Obstacle Avoidance system could be accused of having tunnel vision, seeing only in a forward direction with a field of vision spanning 60 degrees, thus giving a turning arc of around 30 degrees. To execute a tighter turn you will need to resort to the control sticks, or tap on the “return home” feature. Auto Track can have a tendency to be slightly myopic, to operate efficiently it wants to be at a fairly close range, around 12 feet or so. At times, it can also lose its target. If a target person moves into a crowd for example, then Phantom 4’s short-sightedness can be a drawback.

Phantom 4 is supplied to you with just a single battery, unlike some other market competitors. With a price tag of around 1,230 pounds (1,400 dollars US), this may seem rather less than benevolent on behalf of the China-based company. As with all technology-based industries, and quadcopter development is no exception, the advances are rapid.

DJI are perhaps pushing the boundaries at a greater rate than any comparable manufacturer at this present time. So you may wonder whether, given the price tag of Phantom 4, whether or not in a years’ time, or perhaps less, DJI may well have a better offering. A new Phantom which doesn’t suffer from tunnel vision and myopia, which will also come better equipped and accessorised, thus making you more reluctant to trade in your sky maiden for a new, more attractive model. But then, maybe DJI would see that as counterproductive to their bottom line and their desire for an ever increasing market share.

Shop for the DJI Phantom 4