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Old Nov 30, 2014, 08:53 PM
Flyin My Quad in SoCal
United States, CA, San Bernardino
Joined May 2011
46 Posts
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Follow Me Quads - What Are The Current Options?

Hey All,

I am overwhelmed by the quad options out there, despite trying to read through appropriate threads.

What I'm looking for is fairly simple, I think:

Quad platform
Good battery life (10+ minutes flying time)
At least 2-axis gimbal (I will be using GoPro cameras)
FPV option, at least 1km range but preferably more
Portability - fit in a reasonable backpack that I can take on short day trips, back of my motorcycle or mountain bike, etc.

Follow me - I want the quad to be able to follow me, both in horizontal and vertical planes. I plan on using the follow me function to follow me dirt biking on trails (usually no more than 30 mph), mountain biking, etc.

So far, the only 'follow me' drones I've heard of are the IRIS 3D+ and PlexiDrone.

I see that the IRIS 3D+ is out, but I haven't seen any consumer videos showing the follow me.

PlexiDrone is still in crowd funding (ends tonight actually), and it seems there are a lot of skeptics.

Are there any other options I can look into?

Thank you to all for your time and input.

--Eric in CA
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Old Nov 30, 2014, 09:11 PM
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Joined Aug 2014
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InlandEmpireFlyr View Post
Hey All,

I am overwhelmed by the quad options out there, despite trying to read through appropriate threads.

What I'm looking for is fairly simple, I think:

Quad platform
Good battery life (10+ minutes flying time)
At least 2-axis gimbal (I will be using GoPro cameras)
FPV option, at least 1km range but preferably more
Portability - fit in a reasonable backpack that I can take on short day trips, back of my motorcycle or mountain bike, etc.

Follow me - I want the quad to be able to follow me, both in horizontal and vertical planes. I plan on using the follow me function to follow me dirt biking on trails (usually no more than 30 mph), mountain biking, etc.

So far, the only 'follow me' drones I've heard of are the IRIS 3D+ and PlexiDrone.

I see that the IRIS 3D+ is out, but I haven't seen any consumer videos showing the follow me.

PlexiDrone is still in crowd funding (ends tonight actually), and it seems there are a lot of skeptics.

Are there any other options I can look into?

Thank you to all for your time and input.

--Eric in CA
Walkera Scout X4

You can also build one using an APM Copter compatible flight controller (APM or Pixhawk)
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Old Nov 30, 2014, 09:23 PM
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Hexo+, it is opening pre-order now.
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Old Nov 30, 2014, 09:30 PM
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Joined Sep 2014
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The only other "follow me" Quads I can think of are;
1: the Walkera Scout X4 which with some tweaking would meet your requirements.
Maybe a little large for a back pack though.
http://www.walkera.com/en/showgoods.php?id=2742

2: the Airdog, https://www.airdog.com/products
You may have to Add FPV to this, otherwise looks like it would do what you want.
https://www.youtube.com/user/airdogchannel
AirDog.com is now on Kickstarter! Watch the video and click on link below (5 min 13 sec)


Hope that helps.
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Old Dec 01, 2014, 01:07 AM
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3DR IRIS+ will do everything you asked and then some.
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Old Dec 01, 2014, 01:51 AM
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Joined May 2014
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I have the Iris+ and the follow me works great. I can have be it above,front,side, leash or orbit me or an object. It is cool to watch the gimbal move to focus on you without having to do anything. If it stops raining here I will post a video of the follow me mode.
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Old Dec 02, 2014, 02:00 AM
Nerding Out
United States, CA, San Jose
Joined Apr 2010
6 Posts
Iris

The Iris in my opinion is better then the Phantom. It is ridiculously good out of the box. I have three quads and this is by far my fav. Spend the extra money and get a gimbal for it too. I will say in GPS mode it is a little slow but the then again standard mode is far better then DJI. As already stated the "follow me" works awesome so does the mission feature. Good Luck in your purchase.....get the Iris!
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Old Jan 30, 2015, 09:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilmc View Post
Walkera Scout X4

You can also build one using an APM Copter compatible flight controller (APM or Pixhawk)
I'm building an FPV tri with a APM 2.6 controller. What would I need to make it follow? I know some can link to a smart phone. Will the APM 2.6 do that?

I'm going to use it for long range FPV so I want the APM board as a fail safe if I run out of radio or video range. But, the follow me mode would be a cool option to have.


ETA:
Disregard! Did a bit of searching - looks like I just need the app and the telemetry radio plugged into my phone. Not sure if I'll utilize the follow mode, but happy to know it's an option with the APM 2.6
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Old Jan 30, 2015, 04:48 PM
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United States, MD, Annapolis
Joined Jun 2013
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+100 for IRIS +

3DR Iris + is the only way to go for what you are looking for and they can be purchased ready to go almost out of the box..
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Old Jan 30, 2015, 04:51 PM
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34Ford's Avatar
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Joined Sep 2005
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Or you want to build your own and have the capability of the Iris, just get the Pixhawk controller. http://store.3drobotics.com/products/3dr-pixhawk
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Old Feb 05, 2015, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by stealthop1 View Post
3DR IRIS+ will do everything you asked and then some.
I must disagree and bear with me because this might seem small to everyone else but I think this will be very relevant to the original poster.

SIZE! This thing will NOT fit in a backpack.

You said you want this to follow you dirt biking. I do motorcycle adventure riding and am looking for a quad for the exact same purpose. The IRIS+ looks like a perfect quad but it is almost 31" wide!!

I am looking into safe ways to ride with this on the bike and have been looking at pelican cases. You are eventually going to drop the bike doing something and it would be a shame if you trashed your quad in the process.

The case that fits IRIS+ is the Pelican 1650 - 32" x 21" x 13" Clearly this is not going to be a compact carry.

So to any of you that might say the size is not that big of a deal I would say it is enough of a deal that given how awesome everything else about it is I have still not bought one.

Looking for a better option and may have to wait until the next follow me quad comes out that is AS awesome as the Iris+ but slightly smaller.


Also..... If Airdog actually ever manages to ship a product THAT will be the one you want. It even folds up and fits in a back pack. Designed for your exact requirements.
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Old Feb 05, 2015, 04:33 PM
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Steadidrones have Pixhawk controllers, and fold up fairly compactly (long and skinny).

Spendy, though.
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Old Feb 05, 2015, 04:36 PM
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One more quick note. You might want to expand your search to fixed wing UAVs if you think you might be able to go without a hover mode. I haven't found anything ultra compelling yet but as a category they generally offer much longer flight times, will still "follow me".
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Old Feb 05, 2015, 04:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeremy Sebens View Post
Steadidrones have Pixhawk controllers, and fold up fairly compactly (long and skinny).

Spendy, though.

Oh wow, Spendy indeed!! That's up in the DJI Inspire price range and puts it further down the list for me.

I'm looking to stay under $2G and that's gotta include quad, gimbal, fpv (would buy used to save on this one) and taxes. Maybe a few batteries wouldn't hurt either but Iris+ batteries are relatively cheap compared to other quad power packs.
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Old Feb 05, 2015, 05:45 PM
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United States, AZ, Tucson
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I would love the Plexidrone if it had no issues when released. So we'll see what happens when it finally comes out.
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