The Auto-Follow Upstarts: Hexo+
The other major auto-follow drone is Hexo+, which has been available for pre-order (at $1149) for months, and was also displayed at CES 2015 in a glass case. Squadrone System politely declined to fly the quadrotor even for TV news crews, the one type of media that vendors generally move heaven and Earth to accommodate. But Hexo+ has already racked up $1.3M with its own Kickstarter campaign, and it has one of the most distinctive designs in the entire consumer drone category, using six rotors instead of four. The drone is slated for release this September.
Overall, the auto-follow drone is poised to become a healthy subcategory within consumer drones. The IRIS+ from 3D Robotics is currently available (though backordered as of this writing), and Hexo+ and Trace's quadcopter should also be in the air later this year, dutifully tagging along behind their owners. Even the micro-sized Zano can be leashed to its owner, with a flight mode that tells the drone to follow the operator's phone. By the time AirDog shows up in 2016, the sun might be setting on the private drone pilot.