Autonomous drones are incredible, they take all of the difficulty out of piloting, allowing users to concentrate on what they’re doing. While a relatively new subset of the drone field, these autonomous devices are quickly becoming major players in the sports footage world. The AirDog Action Sports Drone is an autonomous drone made to capture outdoor sports footage. The purpose of this review is to show how well the drone fulfills its purpose – and to figure out for whom it is best suited.
AirDog Action Sports Drone Main Features & Specs
The AirDog Action Sports Drone is definitely a big change for those who are used to directly control their own drones. The sheer amount of unique technology included in the device is astounding, especially for those moving into this tech space for the first time. Being able to essentially put the drone in the air and forget about it, is amazing.
Even when the drone isn’t flying, it’s still a neat bit of construction. Incredibly light and easy to store, it’s meant to go into the field with you. It’s one of the few drones of its caliber that can easily fit in a backpack, with a unique folding design that keeps all the important parts protected while being stored.
While the drone is definitely of a high quality, some of the best features are related to the AirLeash and AirDog app. AirLeash can be worn on your arm so you can interact with the drone on the go – even from a distance. This is a great device for those who are trying to get sports footage and don’t want to waste battery power while they’re setting things up.
The AirDog app, on the other hand, is one of the best drone apps on the market. The sheer amount of in-flight customization you can do with the app is amazing. A few quick button presses will allow you to set following distance, height, and help the drone track you to get the perfect footage. Another autonomous drone you can use for amazing footage is the Autel Robotics X-star Premium drone.
AirDog Action Sports Drone Specs
|15 min||Outdoor sports||No, compatible with GoPro Hero 3, 3+ and 4||LiPo||50 min||4.1 pounds||24.7 x 24.7 x 5.4 inches||250m|
Arguments: Pros & Cons
- Cool design;
- Sport-specific modes;
- Easy to set up and use;
- Relatively light and easy to carry.
- Camera not included;
- Hard to find in stock;
- Customer support isn’t great;
- Short battery life.
AirDog Action Sports Drone Remote Control & Set-up for First Flight
As an autonomous drone, Airdog doesn’t have a traditional controller. Instead, it makes use of the AirLeash device to make adjustments on the fly and to work with the drone’s settings while in motion.
The AirLeash definitely takes some getting used to for those who typically directly control their drones, but it’s a useful tool for those who will take the drone out for sporting activities.
There is also an app that can be used for the phone, simply titled AirDog. AirDog gives users a great deal of control over how the drone functions. The app allows users to adjust the following settings:
- Follow mode;
- Drone distance;
- Forced home landing;
- Landing mode;
- Start follow after takeoff;
- Return to home altitude;
- Follow terrain.
Flying the Drone
Putting the drone in the air for the first time is quite a process. You don’t so much fly it as you allow it to follow you, which is a big change for most drone pilots. For our first flight, we were outdoors and simply allowed the drone to follow us as we walked. It was a strangely low-key test, but it yielded some impressive results.
You’ll begin your first flight with a bit of setup. The good news is that most of the pieces simply snap into place – even the rotors are self-tightening, so you won’t need to use tools for the process. Once you extend the legs, the landing gear, and have the rotors ready, you can insert the battery to prepare for flight.
Once you’ve got the drone set up, you’ll start the calibration process. This drone is a high-quality unit, so you’ll end up spending some time making sure it’s precisely calibrated. There are a number steps to the process, which is, unfortunately, a bit more difficult than one might expect. However, when you’re done, you’ll never have to calibrate the device again.
As specified in the manual, we started the AirDog Action Sports Drone from a level spot on the ground. Takeoff required making sure that all the sensors were set to go, but the process was relatively painless. Once it was in the air, it kept an easy pace and could be adjusted on the fly. Definitely try your first flight in the open, as it will give you a better idea of what the drone can do.
What’s in the Box?
Most of what’s included in the box deals with charging and with flying the drone. What is included is as follows:
- The AirDog Action Sports Drone;
- AirLeash control unit;
- AirLeash strap;
- LiPo Battery;
- Battery charger;
- USB wall adapter;
- MicroUSB cable.
Compatible cameras: GoPro Hero3, 3+ Black, Silver, White (in slim housing) and Hero4 Silver, Black (in Standard Housing), Adapter for GoPro Hero5 available as an accessory
Airdog is definitely a drone that fits the needs of a very specific part of the population. Therefore, if you’re looking for something that will give you great aerial footage and will follow you on adventures it’s a perfect fit. This drone is a perfect example of how the drone market will eventually splinter into more specialized products. At some point, it won’t be necessary to look at drones that do everything for everyone. Instead, the future will be with drones like this, which fulfill a single function very well.
AirDog Action Sports Drone Review