Best Follow Me Drones

Which follow me drone is the best?

Drone technology is accelerating at a truly breath-taking pace. 4k Ultra-HD and pocket-sized UAVs continue to push the boundaries of the industry. The last few years have seen a push for autonomous drones that are capable of flying with little or no manual control from the pilot. Currently, there’s several high-end drones on the market that have the ability to automatically follow you as they fly. An auto follow, or follow me drone, is ideal for filming a subject as they engage in fast-paced activities such as extreme action sports. They don’t require manual control, and capture footage from fantastic aerial angles even as the subject continues to move.

Drones That Follow You
3DR Solo
Time: 20 minutes
Camera: N/A, GoPro
3DR Solo ReviewCheck Price
The AirDog
Time: 18 min
Camera: N/A, GoPro
AirDog 2 Drone Follows YouCheck Price
Yuneec Typhoon H
Time: 25 min
Camera: 12.4MP, 4K
Typhoon Follow DroneCheck Price
Yuneec Typhoon 4K
Time: 25 min
Camera: 12MP, 4K
Yuneec Typhoon Q500 4K ReviewCheck Price
DJI Inspire 2
Time: 27 min
Camera: Up to 20.8MP, 5.2k
Inspire 2 Follow Me DroneCheck Price
DJI Phantom 4
Time: 28 min
Camera: 12.4MP, 4K
DJI Phantom 4 Drone Follows YouCheck Price
DJI Mavic Pro
Time: 22 min
Camera: 12.4MP, 4K
DJI Mavic Follow DroneCheck Price
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
Time: 31 min
Camera: 20MP, 4K, 100mbps
dji mavic 2 pro reviewCheck Price
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom
Time: 31 min
Camera: 12MP, 4K, 4x zoom
dji mavic 2 pro reviewCheck Price
DJI Spark
Time: 16 min
Camera: 12MP, 1080p
DJI Spark Mini DroneCheck Price

 

What Are Follow Me Drones?

To put it simply, “follow me drone,” refers to a drone that follows you. Follow me drones are designed to work without being manually controlled. Several drones on the market include this feature, and commonly refer to it as “follow me mode,” which can be turned on and off.

Follow Methods: GPS vs Recognition

Currently, there are two main methods that drones can to follow you: GPS transmitters and recognition technology.

GPS & Transmitter

This technology allows the drone to connect to and follow a GPS signal. The pilot or subject uses a ground station, smartphone, tablet, or wearable transmitter that emits a GPS signal. The drone receives this signal, locks onto it, and follows it as it moves. In previous years, this was the main technology behind follow me drones, but its use is declining as recognition technology becomes more effective and popular. The AirDog and the 3DR Solo, which we review in this article, are examples of drones that utilize GPS and a wearable transmitter to enable their ability to follow you.

Recognition

Over the last few years, many popular drones have adopted recognition technology. As the algorithms behind the technology have significantly improved, new drone models have become exceptionally good at recognizing, identifying, and following people or subjects. These drones have the ability to follow a person as they walk or run along a complex path. In fact, using deep learning, many of these drones can effectively predict where a subject is going to move to next.

 

The Best Drones That Follow You

As with any new technology, the market has seen dozens of drones equipped with this feature emerge over the last year or so. But by providing you with a little bit of knowledge, we can help you to determine which follow me drone is the best one for you. Here’s our breakdown:

3DR Solo

3DR Solo Follow Me DroneThe 3DR Solo Quadcopter a very affordable, high-quality follow me drone. The affordability is due in part to the fact that it does not come equipped with a camera. The Solo does however, come with a solid gimbal attached to it. The 3-Axis Solo gimbal can mount the GoPro HERO3+ or the HERO4, which are both high quality action cameras.

The 3DR Solo is powered by small twin computers, and is currently the only drone that can stream live videos directly from the GoPro camera to android and iOS devices. In addition, you have in-flight control over the GoPro through the 3DR controller and app. The follow me mode operates by tracking the GPS of your mobile device.

At around $300, it’s definitely one of the cheapest drones in this quality range.

  • Camera: N/A, but the included gimbals mount a GoPro HERO3+ or HERO4
  • Flight Time: 20 minutes with GoPro attached
  • Max Speed: 55 mph

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Ehang Ghostdrone 2.0 AERIAL

Ghostdrone Follow Me Quadcopter

The Ehang Ghostdrone 2.0 Aerial is one of the most unique drones on the market. The drone is fully controlled by your phone. Piloting is not done through the touch screen, however, it instead mimics the movement of your phone. So, if you were to hold your phone flat (horizontally), this would represent the drone in the air. A tilt of your phone to the left would move the drone in the left direction; a rotation of your phone would rotate the drone. Very cool.

As if that didn’t make it easy enough to fly, the Ehang Ghostdrone also comes with a great follow me mode that locks on to the location of your smartphone. The drone provides 25 minutes of flight time per battery charge, and is capable of about a half mile of flying distance. It’s capable of mounting EHang’s own action camera, as well as a GoPro3, GoPro3+, or GoPro4.

Also worth noting – the Ghostdrone comes with a 1 year no-hassle warranty, where North American customers can have their drones repaired for free.

  • Camera (EHang Camera):
    • Video: 4k – 24fps, 2.5k – 30fps, 1080p – 60fps, 720p – 120fps
    • Photo: 12 megapixels
  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Max Speed: 25 mph follow mode, 43 mph manual mode
  • Notable Features: Controlled by mimicking your smartphone’s physical movement. Can Mount EHang camera, GoPro3, GoPro3+, GoPro4.

 

 

The Airdog AD20 ADII

AirDog Follow Me DroneThe AirDog AD20 ADII Auto Follow Drone is an autonomous quadcopter drone built specifically to capture action sports. It’s not only one of the most awesome autonomous drones, but it’s also one of the most portable – it’s foldable and small enough to fit into a backpack. The AirDog mounts almost all GoPro models and comes with a GoPro gimbal attached to it, but the GoPro itself is not included. AirDog works by connecting with and following a wearable, waterproof device called an AirLeash. This is the definition of a follow me drone.

The AirDog is fully automated, including take-off and landing. It comes with a specific sport mode for each extreme adventure sport, such as surfing and wakeboarding. Depending on the sport, these modes use different algorithms to calculate the best method to film. The Surf mode, for instance, anticipates the quick changes in direction that surfers often use during surf techniques.

  • Camera: N/A, but includes a GoPro mount
  • Flight Time: 18 minutes
  • Max Speed: 42 mph
  • Notable Features: Fully autonomous flight, with specific modes for each sport. Foldable and portable.

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Yuneec Typhoon H

Typhoon Follow Drone

Setting it apart from the rest of our favorite follow me drones on this list, the Yuneec Typhoon H is a hexacopter. This six-motored beast comes with a mounted 4k Ultra-HD camera. With 12.4 megapixels, the camera is capable of capturing 4k video at up to 30 fps, and 1080 HD footage at up to 120 fps. In addition, the camera rotates a full 360 degrees. The Typhoon has a flight time of about 25 minutes, and is equipped with several flight modes including a follow me mode and a selfie mode. At this point in time, this one of very few hexacopter follow me drones on the market.

The Typhoon H also comes with Intel’s RealSense and Atom technologies implemented. Together, these two advanced systems allow the drone to actually build a 3D model of the world it sees, and then avoid colliding with any objects in any direction. This state of the art technology is used while the drone’s follow me mode is activated, so you can be confident that the drone will grab those insane shots while still remaining safe.

Another outstanding feature is the Typhoon H’s included controller: the ST16 Ground Station. A step above the controllers of the competition, the Typhoon’s controller comes with a 7-inch HD touchscreen built right into it. The integrated screen displays flight parameters, allows you to access features, and streams a live feed from the drone’s camera.

ST16 Ground Station

  • Camera:
    • Video: 4k – 30fps, 1080p – up to 120fps
    • Photo: 12.4 megapixels
  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Max Speed: 43.5 mph
  • Notable Features: ST16 Ground Station controller, with a 7 inch integrated touchscreen. Intel Atom powered obstacle avoidance system.

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Yuneec Typhoon 4K

Typhone 4k Follow Me Drones

The Yuneec Typhon 4K is Yuneec’s ready-to-fly 4k quadcopter. The 4k Typhoon comes with an attached Ultra-HD 4k camera that’s capable of 4k footage at up to 30fps and 1080 HD footage at up to 120 fps. It comes with two intelligent flight modes, including a “follow me” mode and a “watch me” mode. With follow mode enabled, the quadcopter will follow the pilot who is holding the ground station controller (we’ll get to this awesome controller in a minute). With watch me mode enabled, the camera will continue to point at the pilot regardless of which direction the aircraft is flown.

The Typhoon 4k comes with an included ST10+ Ground Station controller – which is just downright awesome. In addition to the expected controls of a high-end drone, the ST10+ controller has a built in 5.5 inch HD touch screen. The screen displays flight parameters and allows you to access the drone’s camera controls as well as a few other features. This is great since it means you aren’t required to have a compatible iOS or Android device like many other drones currently on the market. We love Yuneec’s UAVs and hope that the Typhoon is able to gain more popularity, especially as a follow me drone.

  • Camera:
    • Video: 4k – 30fps, 1080p – up to 120fps
    • Photo: 12 megapixels
  • Flight Time: 25 minutes
  • Max Speed: 17.9 mph
  • Notable Features: ST10+ Ground Station controller, with a 5.5 inch integrated touchscreen. Intel Atom powered obstacle avoidance system. 360 degree camera pan rotation.

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DJI Inspire 2

Inspire 2 Follow Me Drone

In terms of overall features and quality, the DJI Inspire 2 is likely our number one drone. Unfortunately, unless you’re a professional photographer or videographer, it’s very expensive. This drone is amazing, but it likely strays away from the consumer/prosumer market and enters into the realm of professional photographers and cinematographers.

There’s multiple cameras available for the Inspire 2, several of which have interchangeable lenses. The Zenmuse X5S is currently the best available, and it records at an astonishing 5.2k 30 fps and 4k 60 fps, which is absolutely insane. Although small, the cameras available for the Inspire are much closer to cinema cameras than they are to GoPros.

The Inspire 2 has all of the features you’d expect – GPS, obstacle avoidance, numerous intelligent flight modes, and more. Aside from the main camera, there is a small FPV camera which can be used for TapFly mode, where a simple tap on the screen navigates the drone to that location. There’s an ActiveTrack mode where the Inspire recognizes and follows a chosen subject – even if they are not holding the controller.

Like the Inspire 1, the Inspire 2 allows for dual pilot control, where one pilot controls the drone while the other pilot operates the 360 degree rotating camera. However, a new feature in the Inspire 2 is the “Spotlight Pro” flight mode. This mode is insane. It can track a subject by rotating the camera, no matter where the drone flies or the direction the drone faces. You can even begin tracking an object before it even enters the frame by selecting the position it will enter in.

A regular follow me mode just seems boring at this point.


Great video review of the DJI Inspire 2.

  • Camera (With Zenmuse X5S):
    • Video: 5.2k – 30 fps, 4k – 60 fps, 1080p – up to 120 fps. Raw & ProRes formats
    • Photo: 20.8 megapixels
  • Flight Time: 27 minutes
  • Max Speed: 45 mph
  • Notable Features: 4.3 mile range. Multiple very high-end camera choices. Raw video recording. Dual pilot control. 360 degree camera pan rotation. Most advanced follow me features currently available.

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DJI PHANTOM 4

DJI Phantom 4 Follow Drone

The DJI Phantom 4 is possibly the most popular follow me drone currently on the market. Like the Inspire 2 listed above, it offers several very intelligent flight modes. One mode is TapFly, where a simple tap on the screen will fly the drone to the location you tap on. Another is ActiveTrack, where the Phantom 4 has the ability to recognize and follow a chosen subject – regardless of whether or not they are holding the controller.

Another cool feature is the Phantom’s sport mode, where agility and speed are increased for quick maneuvering. There’s also an Atti mode where the altitude position is locked, allowing smoother cinematic movements.

The Phantom 4 has a camera that is capable of 4k at 30 fps, and 1080p up to 120 fps. The battery lasts around 28 minutes of flight time, which is very impressive when compared to other drones on the market.


Great video review of the DJI Phantom 4.

Check out our review of the DJI Phantom 4.

  • Camera:
    • Video: 4k – up to 30 fps, 1080p – up to 120 fps
    • Photo: 12.4 megapixels
  • Flight Time: 28 minutes
  • Max Speed: 45 mph
  • Notable Features: 3.1 miles of range. Numerous flight modes: Sport, TapFly, ActiveTrack, and more.

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DJI Mavic Pro

DJI Mavic Follow Drone

The ultra-portable DJI Mavic Pro is one of our favorite follow me drones. This thing is awesome. It records 4k video at 30fps, and 1080 HD at 96 fps for smooth HD slow motion. The range is ridiculously impressive, with a maximum distance of 8 miles (13 km). It’s small, foldable, and very portable – perfect for traveling with.

While it retains many of the great features from the other professional DJI drones, particularly the Phantom 4, the Mavic Pro simplifies the technical aspects. Flying a drone and creating awesome, high-quality art is easier than ever before.

Like the more expensive DJI drones, the Mavic Pro has a “follow me mode” and an “active track mode”. Follow me mode works by utilizing the GPS, while Active track uses the front camera of the Mavic to track the subject as it moves. The active track mode is awesome – it analyzes the area and can automatically track and follow a person who is not holding the controller. The Mavic also has the TapFly mode. In this mode, all the pilot needs to do is tap on the screen where you want the Mavic to fly to, and it will automatically head to that location. Smooth aerial videos have never been this easy to capture.


Great video review of the DJI Mavic Pro.

Check out our review of the DJI Mavic Pro.

  • Camera:
    • Video: 4k – up to 30 fps, 1080p – up to 96 fps, 720p – 120fps
    • Photo: 12.35 megapixels
  • Flight Time: 22 minutes
  • Max Speed: 40 mph
  • Notable Features: Max controllable range of 8 miles. Foldable and portable. Advanced flight modes like Active Track and TapFly.

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DJI Mavic 2 Pro & DJI Mavic 2 Zoom

dji mavic 2 pro review

Summer 2018 saw the release of the highly anticipated DJI Mavic 2 Pro and Mavic 2 Zoom. Let us tell you — these two drones are awesome. The two new models are a huge improvement from the DJI Mavic, which we also love. The pro model features a 20 MP Hasselblad camera with a 1 inch sensor, while the Zoom model’s camera features a 12 MP 1 /2.3” sensor that is capable of 4x zoom at 1080HD. Both models record video in 4K with an insane, professional-quality bitrate of 100 Mbps.

Both the Mavic Pro 2 and the Mavic 2 Zoom utilize DJI’s ActiveTrack 2 technology. ActiveTrack 2 allows the Mavic the ability to sense and differentiate 16 different subjects at any given time. Through the app’s interface, you can then just tap on which subject you want the camera to track. ActiveTrack can then predict the trajectory of the object and continue following it, all the way up to 45 mph (72 km/h). The Mavic 2 provides 3 different tracking modes for you to use: parallel mode, spotlight mode, and trace mode.

  1. Parallel Mode – The drone will track the subject and remain at a constant distance and angle from it, adjusting to all of the subject’s movements.
  2. Spotlight Mode – The drone will keep the subject in the frame of the camera, continuously adjusting to the Mavic’s movements as well as the subject’s movements.
  3. Trace Mode – The drone will track the subject and keep it within the camera’s frame while also maintaining a constant distance.
  • Camera: 4K UHD, 100 Mbps Bitrate. Raw DNG Photo quality. Pro model features 20 MP Hasselblad Camera. Zoom model features 12 MP Camera with 4x lossless zoom.
  • Flight Time: 31 minutes
  • Maximum Speed: 45 mph (72 kph)

SEE THE MAVIC 2 PRO ON AMAZON

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DJI Spark – The “Selfie Drone”

DJI Spark Mini Drone

The DJI Spark is the most affordable drone from DJI, the kings of the professional drone world. For only a few hundred dollars, the Spark is packed full of awesome features. The Spark comes equipped with a 12MP camera that records video in 1080HD. This little guy is dubbed, “the selfie drone,” since it will take off directly from your palm and use its face aware follow technology to frame you perfectly within your selfie picture. As you move your hands, the Spark tracks the movement and flies according to your gestures.

The Spark drone comes equipped with some awesome flight modes that incorporate the “follow me” technology:

Gesture: Gesture mode with the spark enables a few awesome features. The drone can take off from your palm, land back in your palm, and follow your hands movements during flight. Once the Spark is in flight, you can instruct it to capture a selfie by making a “frame symbol” with your fingers, waving your hand, or raising your arms. Aerial selfies, baby!

Dronie: Dronie mode instructs the spark to fly backward and upward while keeping the camera fixed on the subject.

Circle: Circle mode tells the spark to circle around the subject while keeping it in the camera’s frame.

Helix: Helix mode allows the spark to spiral around the subject while ascending upward, while still keeping the subject within the camera frame.

  • Camera: 12 MP. 1080HD, 24 Mbps Bitrate
  • Flight Time: 16 minutes
  • Maximum Speed: 31 mph (50 kph)

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That does it for our in-depth review, we hope we’ve helped you narrow down your search for the perfect follow me drone. Make sure to check back soon, as this technology is quickly advancing – new features are sure to emerge!

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