Robotic tracking systems for action cameras are nothing new. Useful and well designed, but nothing new. Similarly, it’s getting harder and harder to find anybody who doesn’t have a drone to strap their action cam into. But what if you could turn your drone into a fully robotic, flying cameraman?
That’s the idea behind the gadget being built by Next Level Aerial Filming. You hook up your drone and your camera, boot up the app, and offer it a few parameters, like how tightly you want the shot framed. Then press a button, get on the bike or boat or board, and get to showing off.
While the team isn’t offering up all the details, it’s likely you’ll be wearing a transponder that allows the camera to track your movements. Then it’s just a matter of actually moving; the drone will follow you around as you do stunts and the like. Once you’re finished, just land the little guy and pull the footage. Remember that most drones can’t stay in the air for a long time, so you’ll have to land it and recharge it. But on the other hand, being able to get the perfect aerial footage without having to worry about the pilot or something going wrong is worth it.
The only thing that’s not clear is how much this system will cost. We’re assuming it’ll be a little pricier than your average robotic cameraman; for one thing, you’ll need a drone and a camera, and for another, there’s going to be a lot of data for this little guy to try and handle when he takes off. But for those who need aerial footage, and those who just want aerial footage, it’ll be a handy system to have set up for when there’s not a drone pilot around.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.