Update 17/08/17: After DJI labeled this "extremely dangerous" and made clear it did not authorise the modification of its drone, Drones Direct then changed the brand to Proflight. But, after Dogs Trust aslo said it was an irresponsible idea, the company have admitted it's a PR stunt and removed it from sale. Original story continues below…
Drone's Direct has just announced a new version of DJI's Phantom 4, specially adapted to walk dogs, and we're not sure if it's a joke or not (we've reached out for comment).
Drones Direct claim the dog drone "allows for hands free walking, so owners can text or sit on a park bench, whilst observing man’s best friend on their daily walk."
You can simply set the desired walking route via your smartphone and set off on a stroll - the drone will expertly follow your set GPS route and return home on its own.
It comes complete with DJI Phantom 4's collision avoidance and auto altitude hold, with the addition of a retractable lead to attach to your beloved pooch.
We've seen several issues with this:
- You probably shouldn't have a dog if you don't want to walk it
- A dog is either going to be scared of the drone (mine is) and run away from it, or attack it, either way, it won't end well
- The drone may avoid people or obstacles, but the lead won't, and could easily get tangled in something, or even garrote someone
- It's illegal for the drone to go out of view
- What happens if the dog doesn't want to walk with the drone, or stops for the toilet, will the drone just drag the dog along the ground
- It's double the price of a standard Phantom 4, the only addition is retractable dog lead
- It's only available in Huddersfield, according to its site
If you still think it's a good idea, you can buy one for £1999 from Drones Direct.