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Airlango has unveiled a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign for Mystic, its $500 AI-powered drone. In doing so, the company hopes to play a part in ushering in a new era of autonomous robots that serve users’ needs through advanced perception and neural processing.

Beijing-based Airlango has created Mystic so it can recognize and autonomously follow its owner, obey gesture commands from the ground, and take high-precision photos without user interaction. It is available now on Kickstarter, starting at the super early bird price of $460.

Airlango’s drone includes neural computing-based AI functionality and flight control on the same chipset.

“The goal with Mystic is to create an advanced drone with integrated, never-before-seen features,” said founder and CEO Yinian Mao, in a statement. “These features are meant to give users more opportunities to use drones in their endeavors, whether it is for work or for personal projects, with fewer tech restrictions than existing drones on the market.”

Mystic uses a Snapdragon 820 processor for higher efficiency, faster performance, and stronger Wi-Fi, a 12-megapixel camera with hybrid image stabilization, and 30 minutes of flight time. Mystic is light and folds up to be compact.

Mystic uses technologies that are also used in self-driving cars, including stereo vision, object detection and tracking, visual positioning system, obstacle detection and avoidance, and navigation and planning algorithms.

The drone comes with four different modes, each with unique functionality.

Using a combination of AI and machine learning, Safari Mode allows the drone to slowly fly itself along a user-defined route and autonomously take pictures of interesting scenes and objects. Gesture Interaction Mode allows users to take control of the drone using hand gestures. Mystic supports up to six gestures with the fastest response rate to date. Users can use preset gestures or define and assign their own gestures for a specific task.

Owner Recognition Mode automatically syncs the drone to recognize and lock in on its owner and respond with a unique reckoning. This gives users the ability to control the drone using only gestures. Finally, the Autonomous Follow Me Mode leverages Airlango’s 3D tracking approach and lets Mystic autonomously follow an object while avoiding obstacles.

“With Mystic, we’re giving users the opportunity to know what it’s like to use a drone without having to worry about constantly maneuvering it,” Mao said.

Mystic is available today on the Kickstarter platform, with an estimated delivery date of November 2018. The regular price will be $500.

Airlango was founded in 2015.

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