Hover 2 AI Camera Drone Flies Itself So You Won't Have To

Artificial intelligence is permeating almost every electronic product today, from consumer electronics all the way up to cloud services and, of course, software. Most of these consumer AIs are designed to take the drudgery out of things we should be handing over to computers rather than doing them ourselves. Two years ago, Zero Zero Robotics brought that idea to the field of camera drones and now it's back with the Hover 2, now smarter than ever and an extra pair of eyes to keep an eye on the target while not bumping into trees and posts.

Using drones to capture footage from angles impossible for any regular human isn't exactly new. But almost all such drones have to controlled and positioned manually. That's OK if you're the cameraman, not so much if you want to be the star of the show. The first Hover camera drone, later sold as the Hover Camera Passport, removes the need for hand-holding and lets AI do the flying for them.

Hover 2 steps up the game with two new things. One is Optical Radar, which is a swiveling stereo sensor on top of the drone that gives it depth perception. So while the drone's main 4K camera is focused on you (or whatever subject you directed it to), the Optical Radar is focused on the direction of movement.

Hover 2's new AI works hand in hand with this new sensor and a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor to avoid obstacles like trees and posts. The drone also features intelligent tracking that keeps its "eyes" on the target even when the target goes out of its line of sight briefly. Just tap on your phone what you want Hover 2 to keep track of a and the different modes you want to use while tracking.

Like the first Hover AI-powered self-flying camera drone, the Hover 2 is flying over Kickstarter first. Given the success of its predecessor, it's no surprise really that it has blasted through the funding goal with more than a month left to spare. The early bird price for one is $399 but expect the retail price to be nearly twice that much when the crowdfunding period ends.