Xavier de le Rue is founder of Palo Alto-based Squadrone System and an action sports filmmaker, and his company is currently raising money on Kickstarter for the HEXO+, a drone designed to autonomously follow you with a video camera for the sake of getting great (and otherwise expensive) aerial footage for your video projects.
The project was born out of necessity, and it’s already crushed fundraising goals, raising over six times its $US50,000 goal — he and his crew “needed a solution that would make aerial filming possible in the most remote places: on mountains, in the snow, and in all sorts of unpredictable situations that were quite a pain to deal with when trying to sync a drone pilot, a cameraman and a rider.”
The drone operates by tracking your iPhone, communicating with it using a protocol called MAVLink (that’s “micro air vehicle link”). An accompanying app lets you tell the drone how to frame the shot relative to your body, and all that’s left to do after that is zoom off on your motorcycle or snowboard.
It can fly up to 45 miles per hour for 15 minutes per fully charged battery, and can track the subject it’s following from over 150 feet away. They’re offering a DIY kit to build your own HEXO+ at $US300, or you can buy a pre-built add-your-own-camera system for $US600.
Here’s what the drone looks like up close, and Squadrone System’s full Kickstarter pitch video is below that.