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For winter sport enthusiasts, enter the age of drones

Tuesday, March 08, 2016 - 01:45

Semi-autonomous drones are the latest technology to enter the world of winter sports. Ben Gruber reports.

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STORY: The ability to capture video of your run down a mountain has come a long way. Jason Soll of Silicon Valley based Cape Productions says the future of capturing the perfect digital memory is with flying robots. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JASON SOLL, CEO OF CAPE PRODUCTIONS, SAYING: "So the first time I saw a video shot with drones I knew this was the future of being able to capture incredible experiences." That incredible experience comes with a big problem, figuring out how to make it safe for semi-autonomous drones to fly in close proximity to humans on the side of a mountain. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JASON SOLL, CEO OF CAPE PRODUCTIONS, SAYING: "We build out these safe cinematic flight paths that we call rails that are like virtual wires that travel down the run and that ensures that the drone maintains a proper distance from the ground, proper distance from obstacles like trees, chair lifts, power lines, but also ensures that we get the perfect shot every time." Currently the company, which offers its drone video service at three ski resorts in North America with several more in the pipeline, has a perfect safety record and according to Soll, it's the only one certified to fly around humans by the Federal Aviation Administration. Currently a pilot ensures the drone stays on its flight path and captures the best video angles. But in the not too distant future with more accurate GPS technology just around the corner, these drones may be operating completely on their own in the not too distant future, tracking wearable technology attached to the wrist of their designated human. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JASON SOLL, CEO OF CAPE PRODUCTIONS, SAYING: "So we are working on the next generation of the wearable and will only introduce it once it met the quality level that our pilots currently maintain out in the field." The company plans to expand their drone video services to other action sports in the coming years.

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For winter sport enthusiasts, enter the age of drones

Tuesday, March 08, 2016 - 01:45