Xavier De Le Rue Kickstarts World's First Autonomous Drone

Is this the future of action sports filming?

Everyone and their dog seems to be creating their own follow-me drones right now.

You probably caught a glimpse of this amazing follow-me drone footage on Whitelines a few months ago.

But it’s pro snowboarder Xavier de le Rue that claims to have invented the world’s first autonomous drone system, the Hexo+, for you to buy this year.

In case you weren’t sure, ‘autonomous drones’ basically mean the drone automatically follows your movements remotely without having to be controlled manually.

So, how does it work?

It looks totally simple. Strap your GoPro onboard. Frame the shot using an app on your iPhone and press start to fly into position. It will automatically follow you as you ride around the park or mountain. When you press stop, it’ll land itself on the ground nearby.

It boasts smooth camera movements, perfect continuous framing and Hollywood-style aerial shots – all controlled via your smart phone.

The Hexo+ automatically tracks your every move. Photo: Hexo+
The Hexo+ automatically tracks your every move. Photo: Hexo+

Who’s behind it?

Pro snowboarder Xavier de le Rue is known for venturing into the back and beyond – from Alaska to Antarctica – to ride the most remote locations in the world. He worked together with Squadrone Systems to create a package called Next Level Aerial Filming which produced the Hexo+.

What makes it different from other follow-me drones out there?

Squadrone Systems argue it’s the first drone to follow you around without a dedicated pilot and provide quality footage.

It’s got six propellers as opposed to three or four, therefore it’s arguably more stable and less crash sensitive than other prototypes.

But above all, it’s simple. There are no complicated control panels or high-tech remotes to battle with.

It’s also got support from a tonne of pro riders including Ralph Backstrom, John Jackson, Nate Holland and more. Plus it’s made by action sports athletes for filming – so you know it’s got the right people thinking about the right things behind it.

Whether this will all prove to be the case, only time will tell.

hexo + ambassadors

What next?

They reached their Kickstarter goal in a crazy 37 minutes. Now with over $200,000 in the pot, they’re well on their way to making this contraption a reality.

Fancy bagging one for yourself? The cheapest still on offer is US$699, so better get in there quick if you’re keen to be one of the first owners.

The Hexo+ Kickstarter campaign was a huge success and has now been funded. Find out more details about the Hexo+ on their website here.

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