Stratasys Ltd., a provider of 3D printing and additive manufacturing solutions, says the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) start-up company Helico has introduced AirDog, an automated quadcopter that was 3D printed entirely by Stratasys.
Stratasys says the vehicle is the world's first automated drone designed to track and record video of outdoor sports and activities.
Aimed primarily at the consumer market, AirDog accommodates a standard GoPro sports camera and operates via a tracking device worn on the wrist. Users can automatically capture live aerial video footage and still photography of themselves, having set distance, speed and height levels for AirDog to follow.
Helico is specifically targeting the outdoor, extreme sports market and expects AirDog to be of particular interest to recreational participants of freestyle BMX, motocross and skateboarding, as well as water sports such as surfing, kite surfing and wakeboarding.
The UAV was 3D printed using Stratasys' ULTEM material, chosen because of its strength and durability but also its lightweight characteristics important for take-off and in-flight maneuverability. The accompanying AirLeash tracking device was developed using Stratasys' PolyJet multi-material 3D printing technology.
A 3D printed version of AirDog is previewing this month, as Helico executives begin a month-long promotional roadshow in the U.S. to generate interest among end-users within the extreme sports industry. If successful, and pending contractual agreements with relevant manufacturers, Helico expects to commercially introduce AirDog to the market at the end of October.
Video footage of the AirDog can be found here.