Gear Spotlight: Hexo+ Autonomous Drone
Posted on March 19, 2015 by
Every time I think of cool idea for a product, it never fails that someone shortly announces the launch of the same idea. Get out of my head! Or, at least put me on your board. The latest product stolen from my brain is the Hexo+.One of the coolest uses for drones, UAVs, or whatever else you want to call them, is for action sports. They are rapidly showing up in all sorts of places - competitions, promotional videos, TV broadcasts, you name it. Traditional camera setups require expensive equipment in mostly fixed positions. Drones offer a bird's eye view and unique shots without needing such equipment and the freedom to move around easily. Portable action cameras mounted on drones provide decent enough video quality for even professional use. But, until now you still needed a cameraman who was an experienced pilot to get you that footage. Enter Hexo+, an autonomous drone that follows you around and keeps you in the frame.
Using the included Hexo+ app, you plan the flight path and camera angles. Hexo+ handles the automatic takeoffs and landings. The current battery is good for only 15 minutes of flying, so it isn't quite ready to cover your bigger runs or long-duration efforts. But extra fresh batteries (at $25 each) can be reloaded to continue recording.
Collision avoidance is not available in the first generation Hexo+, but is being developed along with other emergency scenarios such as lost power or GPS signal. You have to account for obstacles in your flight plan. Emergency landings and a return to home feature is included. Manual control is possible, but you have to provide the compatible controller and receiver.
Co-founded by French pro snowboarder Xavier de Le Rue, Hexo+ recently won the BRANDNEW Accessories category at ISPO, an annual sports design award recognizing innovative new companies and products. Following the trend of other products lately, it also had a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign, raising over $1.3 million.
Hexo+ will be available in September 2015. At $1,199 USD, it will come with the Hexo+ drone, a 3D gimbal with GoPro mount, and the Hexo+ App "The Director's Toolkit." A GoPro is not included.
>> Visit Hexo+ site