HEXO Plus 101: What We Know About This Autonomous Aerial Camera Drone

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HEXO Plus 101 What We Know About New Autonomous Aerial Camera Drone

KEEP IN MIND: HEXO Plus Drone Looks Pretty AWESOME! Discover How It Works, Features, Flight Time and USER FEEDBACK with Photos and Videos!

What if there was a way to film live-action sports in a remote location without any piloted helicopters and cameramen? This was the original dream of the HEXO Plus creators, and thanks to their Kickstarter campaign, this dream is now a reality.

This autonomous drone tracks, follows and films subjects at amazingly high speeds and in ridiculously high quality.

What is the HEXO Plus?

It all started out as an idea for a solution that would make aerial filming in remote locations easier and more accessible. Before the HEXO Plus, the only option filmmakers had was a helicopter and a cameraman, which can be difficult to sync up with the action going on below.

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When the creators started really contemplating the idea of creating an autonomous aerial drone, they realized that it was really a game-changer for traditional and action-sport filmmakers.

The HEXO Plus was really designed with filming action sports in mind, but it can be used for any type of filmmaking.

With just a few simple clicks, it will track and film your subject without you having to do a thing. As your subject continues to move, the drone will follow and provide you with a continuous shot of the action. The revolutionary design will take action sport and Hollywood filming to new levels.

How Does it Work?

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For a high-end model, it is surprisingly easy to use. The autonomous features eliminates the need to learn how to fly the drone, although you also have the option of flying manually as well. Here’s how it works:

  1. Use your smartphone to frame your shot. You can film from the side, front or back of the subject.
  2. Press start. Once you’re finished with your filming settings, you can press the start button and the drone will automatically take off and start flying towards the location you specified.

The aircraft will hover in place until your subject starts moving. There’s no pilot needed and no cameraman. The drone does it all.

It will continue following your subject and filming as they move. It automatically repositions itself to match the filming specifications you set.

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The app’s UI uses a trajectory anticipation algorithm to predict the subject’s next move. The smartphone and the drone also communicate with each other to let the hexacopter know of the subject’s relative position.

The best part? While it is expensive ($949 on average), it’s not out of reach for the everyday consumer like some other high-end models. Action sport enthusiasts, indie movie makers and anyone else who loves being creative can use the HEXO Plus. It’s so easy to use that even inexperienced “pilots” can use it.

Features

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The HEXO Plus is unlike any other drone, quadcopter or multirotor copter on the market today. Let’s take a look at this new UAV’s features:

Autonomous and Smart

You don’t have to tell the device where to go. It automatically follows your movement and allows you to maintain your framing with ease.

No matter what you’re filming, the HEXO Plus will take care of capturing the footage while you work on something more important.

Super Easy to Use

The HEXO Plus is surprisingly easy to use. Just set the framing on your smartphone and let the UAV take care of the rest.

Fast Flight Speed

This one can fly up to 45mph at top speed to track fast moving subjects. The machine has even been wind tunnel tested to ensure the best performance possible.

Lightweight and Portable

This is a lightweight machine with a foldable frame and legs. When folded, you can easily pack it in your backpack or carry-on bag.

Video Capturing Capabilities

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This machine uses a hexacopter design along with either a 2D or a 3D brushless gimbal. This allows for smooth and stable filming. The drone is also compatible with GoPro cameras for high quality video capture.

It comes with a Director’s Toolkit, which is a Garageband-like app that allows for filming scenarios. It offers combinable camera movements and drag and drop features.

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The machine comes with GPS and built-in sensor position tracking to lock onto subjects and film them as they move. The GPS works in conjunction with the MAVLINK protocol to follow the action and film it. What’s most surprising is the quality of the aerial shots, which rival even professional camerawork used in Hollywood films.

Safe to Use

The drone comes with safe fail software and hardware features, like six propellers, to allow for a safe landing if a problem arises.

Various Flight Modes

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The HEXO Plus allows you to switch between autonomous and manual flying for a customized flying experience.

The manual flight mode will allow you to take full control of the flight if something should go wrong, or you can use this mode to create your own flying path.

This makes it a versatile drone that can be used for action sport filming or aerial photography when no subject is present.

Flight Time and Distance

The HEXO Plus comes with a flight time of 15 minutes with the gimbal, GoPro and a 3S battery attached. Extra batteries can be purchased to extend the flight time, but 15 minutes is still a longer flight time than many models on the market offer. According to the manufacturers, the drone can fly as high as 2km from the GPS, but you should respect your local regulations.

Specifications

  • Hexacopter design
  • 30 degree tilt propellers
  • Up to 45mph flight speed
  • 2.2lb weight

What Others Are Saying

The HEXO Plus is not yet available to the public, although the company is taking pre-orders. However, the creators of the project have discussed the performance through their testing and development trials.

One of the biggest concerns that users have is the drone’s performance during harsh weather conditions, like wind and rain. The developers have stated that they were able to fly it in 15 mph winds without any issues. This is because the hexacopter has 6 motors, an aerodynamically designed shell and a tilted frame.

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This machine will also perform well in light rain, but not in heavy rain. They do note though that the heavier the wind gusts, the more power the drone will require. This will reduce the flight time significantly.

The HEXO Plus will be available for between $299 and $999. The price will depend on whether or not you want a GoPro included or if you want to 3D print the drone. At this point in time, it’s scheduled to be released in May of 2015.

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  • shaun wright

    So wait, there is no control for this, it just does it all on its own? That is one of the coolest features I have ever seen on any rc model. That would be perfect for action shots when you have no one else around and you want a better angle than a GoPro strapped to your helmet can provide.

  • Britanica

    3D print? I have heard so much about these printers but they are going to start selling printed objects like this in 2015!? Wow, I must be behind on the news! lol I love the idea behind this one. No controller and I can get one for $299? That is a very good deal. I don’t want to spend more than $350 for my first drone.