Parrot has now incorporated a follow-me mode into its Parrot Bebop 2 unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). According to the company, the new feature (within the FreeFlight Pro app) combines visual tracking with a smartphone’s GPS and barometer.
Available only on smartphones equipped with a barometer, the feature uses visual-tracking algorithms – designed to act like the human eye – to isolate colors and shape differences of the subject against its environment.
The smartphone’s GPS determines the position with a precision of up to 5 meters as the barometer optimizes the vertical tracking of the subject, says Parrot.
Once the UAV is airborne, pilots can use the app to set the flight altitude, distance from the subject (5 meters as a minimum) and video angle. Once the settings are locked, pilots no longer need to use their phone: The Bebop 2 will fly itself, follow the subject and keep it in the center of the frame. In addition, a climb mode adjusts the flight altitude in real time (suitable for rock climbers or mountain bikers).
The follow-me feature is available with iOS within the FreeFlight Pro app or as an in-app purchase for EUR 14.99 (after a 15-day free trial). Parrot says an Android version will be available in December.