Hexo+ Follow-me copter finishes at $1.3 million

Congrats to the Hexo+ team, whose Pixhawk-powered follow-me copter just finished its Kickstarter campaign at an amazing $1.3 million!

Hot on its heels is Airdog, another Pixhawk-powered follow-me copter, which is at $930,000 with nine days still to go. 

I've backed them both!

Views: 2254

Comment by Darrell Burkey on July 16, 2014 at 3:12am

Impressive projects. Has anyone addressed the legality of totally autonomous copters in the sky? I'm not so sure it's a good idea to let these things loose on their own. Just another step closer to SkyNet? :-)

Comment by Stefan Gaasbeek on July 16, 2014 at 4:39am

Awesome, impressive too!

Only bad thing is the flight time, hope this will get better in the future.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on July 16, 2014 at 4:41am

Ah, I hope the picture they are now using as the header for the video is indication they've already designed a better frame.  The original one was pretty terrible looking. Twin-spar arms shake like hell.

Comment by Roberto Navoni on July 16, 2014 at 5:18am

I visit the guys yesteray in Grenoble ... only 4 hours far VRX HD they are doing great job :)  I'm assist a some test of their platform at the field and help in the setup ... It was a very nice day that guys are great :) 

Comment by Rob Thompson on July 16, 2014 at 5:34am

New and inexperienced users will without a doubt put these into situations that will be beyond their skill level causing great harm to others. They are selling under the guise that they are "autonomous" what happens when adventure people travel out loose a signal with the vehicle following them? Who is liable in this situation the user or manufacturer?

Comment by Roberto Navoni on July 16, 2014 at 6:19am

Hi Rob ,

in any kind of autonous system that use APM core system normally the pilot have in his hand the RC Trasmitter and can retake the control of the drone . 

The auto function need "only" for follow better the target.



Comment by Jethro Hazelhurst on July 16, 2014 at 8:22am

It is interesting to see that Grenoble is becoming a hotbed of drone innovation in France! However my reservations about the hexo+ remain: This thing depends 100% on GPS which is not reliable plus you can't go to manual mode if anything goes wrong.

Comment by BayAreaCrasher on July 16, 2014 at 9:09am

@roberto  don't think that is what these guys are selling right?  I believe the premise here is that you are going to operate the product without an RC transmitter around.

Comment by Rob_Lefebvre on July 16, 2014 at 9:23am

Exactly.  They're selling this thing as something that a single person would use to film himself with.  No RC Controller at all.  Full-auto.  Program it using a tablet and then press Go.

So not only do they not have any manual control, but they don't even have any situational awareness at all as they'll be too busy skiing or surfing or whatever.  After their run, many will look behind them and realize the hexo is gone.  Where did it go?  No idea.  Maybe it's in a tree, or it flew off with a GPS glitch or accelerometer problem, or had a battery problem and fell in the ocean...

Comment by Gary McCray on July 16, 2014 at 11:03am

The technical barriers to implementing this are significant.

The legal, practical and safety issues as it is presented are probably insurmountable.

You could pull it off on a copter that weighed less than 4 ounces because it wouldn't represent a significant safety issue.

But on the one shown it is just a whole bunch of disasters waiting to happen.

And on our safety at all costs planet, this project is unlikely to thrive.

Airdog too, 

I believe this is exactly what the FAA is afraid of.

Dangerous toys in the hands of completely inexperienced people who have no idea at all how to handle them safely or responsibly.

So far the Phantoms have already done a pretty good job of demonstrating the dangerous potential of that combination.

We have a lot of challenges to face and my personal thought at this point is that it is only going to be tiny intrinsically non-hazardous quadcopters that are going to save us.

Within a year we could easily have a competent 5 or 6 ounce indoor outdoor capable quadcopter with a 1080P stabilized camera and FPV included with 20 minutes flight time using lithium batteries.

And the FAA would have an impossible time trying to regulate it, simply because it isn't at all dangerous.

That is where our development efforts should be expended.


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