Nice press for the Hexo+ team from Canadian TV after their $1.3 million Kickstarter campaign. They used Iris to prototype their platform.

MONTREAL -- Like a well-trained dog, the HEXO+ follows you faithfully wherever you go.

But it doesn't walk besides you -- it's airborne.

Developed by a French start-up, Squadrone System, the six-rotor HEXO+ -- which handily totes a GoPro video camera -- is billed as the first autonomous small drone for the mass market.

It's also a prime example of the many ways in which automation will take to the sky as unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, become part of daily life in the not-too-distant future.

Due out in May 2015 with a planned retail price of US$899, the HEXO+ is targeted at extreme sports enthusiasts looking for a way to immortalize their every move.

Users activate it with a smartphone app, then let it fly a few meters (yards) behind them, recording their every twist and turn, up to a top speed of 70 kilometers an hour.

"Making snowboard films is my main activity, so essentially I started using drones a few years ago," said Squadrone System's co-founder Xavier Delerue, a former world snowboard champion.

"At the outset, it was great. It was easy. It was going to change everything -- and then I quickly realized taking good images involved a lot of logistics when it came to using a drone," he told AFP.

 

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Comment by Jack Crossfire on July 21, 2014 at 3:38pm

The extra $300,000 was all in the sweater.

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