The Best Follow Me Drones 2021: Drones That Follow You Automatically

Last updated: 1st January 2021
DJI Mavic Air 2

DJI Mavic Air 2

Autel Robotics EVO

Autel Robotics EVO

Potensic D88

Potensic D88

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More than just simple flying machines, drones have evolved to become intelligent companions.

The one type of quadcopter that never fails to amaze us here at Dronesvilla – ‘Follow Me’ drones. With it, your UAV becomes a drone that follows you automatically and captures your every moment without you needing to control it.

They don’t just follow where you’re heading, either. You can use various recording options meaning they can orbit where you’re positioned, they can fly in and out — the Follow Me feature continues to develop and become more advanced.

Now, if you’re planning to try this feature out, stick around. We’ll round out the best Follow Me drones that showcase this fantastic technology.

But first, let’s look at the feature a little closely.

What is a Follow Me Drone?

Follow Me is a radical technology that allows the drone to follow you around autonomously. It was first introduced by DJI back in 2015 as a feature of its Phantom 3 drones. Since then, It has become a standard feature even in entry-level drones.

The technology is great because it allows you to take photos of yourself without the need to fly the drone manually.

You can skate, surf, rock climb – basically do anything, and still be able to take excellent shots of yourself using your drone.

It’s like having your very own buddy taking videos and photos for you. Very cool, indeed!

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What is the Best Drone That Follows You Automatically?

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Released in mid-2020, the DJI Mavic Air 2 is a revolutionary drone that follows you automatically with a variety of features.

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$799.00
DJI Mavic Air 2
  • Flight Time: 34 minutes
  • Weight: 1.3lbs / 0.59kg
  • Camera: 48MP with 4K/60FPS video
  • Range: 10km / 6.2 miles

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We absolutely love the DJI Mavic Air 2 as a drone that follows you.

DJI have long been at the forefront of the drone industry, and their Follow Me technology is more advanced than the majority of — if not all of — their competitors.

Calling this a self-following drone is a huge understatement. The quality of the build and its smart flight features like obstacle avoidance make it a truly stunning professional video camera that follows you.

Not only does this offer quality, but it can do it in quantity too — it has one of the longest flight times that are possible in consumer-level drones; it can fly for over half an hour in a single flight.

The camera is truly impressive. With 8K hyperlapse, 4K video and 48MP photos, along with all of its object-tracking features, this truly could be the best drone that follows you automatically.

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+ Pros

+ Long battery life
+ Intelligent flight options
+ Stunning photos and video

- Cons

- Doesn't work with DJI goggles

The EVO is one of the only follow me drones that can compete with DJI’s quadcopter roster.

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$1,200.00
Autel Robotics EVO
  • Flight Time: ~30 minutes
  • Charge Time: ~210 minutes
  • Range: 7050m / 4.4 miles
  • Remote Controller: WiFi 2.4GHz (included in the set)
  • Camera: 3-axis gimbal 4K 60fps camera with 12MP
  • Live Video Transmission Range: 7000m / 4.3 miles
  • Weight: 863g / 1.9lbs
  • Carry Capacity: N/A
  • Working Temperature: 0°C ~ 40°C
  • Rated for outdoor use

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The Autel EVO is a waterproof drone that follows you. It’s not fully waterproof to the point where it can swim, but it’s water resistant and splash proof — meaning it will still survive in rainy conditions or if it accidentally landed in a puddle.

The EVO uses Autel’s Dynamic Track technology to firmly cement its place as a contender for the best quadcopter that follows you.

Dynamic Track uses a combination of sensors, data and AI to enable automatic flight features like person and vehicle tracking, with following, rotation, obstacle avoidance and more. Obstacle avoidance is one of the more important features when you’re looking for a high-end Follow Me drone.

The EVO contains three different modes to follow and track its subjects. The regular Follow Mode will track and follow a target from a fixed distance. If the target moves in a certain direction, the drone will mimic that movement. Secondly there’s Tripod Mode, which won’t follow a target but will instead rotate around one — this is often called Orbit by other drone manufacturers. The final mode is Parallel Mode, which is similar to Follow Mode but will track a subject moving horizontally instead of vertically.

This drone backs up its incredibly smart follow features with a high quality 4K video camera and an easy-to-use transmitter, making it easy for anyone to record film-quality footage.

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+ Pros

+ Follow Me modes are great for taking awesome looking shots autonomously
+ Stunning video quality thanks to the powerful 4K camera onboard
+ Sensors and safety features like obstacle avoidance keep your drone and others around you safe

- Cons

- Can be tricky for beginners to pick up straight away

Potensic make more budget-friendly drones. This isn’t the cheapest follow me drone in our list, but it does offer great value for money.

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$279.99
Potensic D88
  • Follow Me Method: GPS
  • Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Camera: 2K resolution camera
  • Weight: 5.25 pounds

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Potensic is known for providing high quality, feature-packed drones at a fraction of the price of big names like DJI or Autel. And it continues this trend with the D88; one of the more high-end models in their lineup.

It’s not just the features that make this is a good Follow Me drone, but the accessories too. It’s easy to make it follow you everywhere thanks to its included aluminum case and folding design!

Potensic are definitely more beginner-friendly and are designed to help people get into the hobby. It’s easy to hover this drone thanks to its combination of optical and altitude sensors.

When it comes to intelligent flight modes, the D88 has plenty. The Follow Me Mode works by tethering to your mobile phone’s GPS transmitter, creating a stable link. This makes the drone follow you around accurately and effortlessly.

Other flight modes you can do with the D88 include Waypoint Flight, allowing you to plot pre-determined paths you set in the app. Points of Interest Mode allow you to set a target subject, which the drone will orbit around for stunning 360-degree shots of people, buildings or landmarks.

You can access and control all of these features via the included remote controller, which also allows first-person viewing (FPV) via your smartphone’s screen.

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+ Pros

+ 2K resolution camera at a 1080p pricetag
+ Stable flight thanks to its built-in sensors
+ Intelligent flight modes for easy operation
+ Included carry case and 2-port charger

- Cons

- Some users have reported battery issues

The Alter Aerial Outlaw is an all in one follow me drone with 20 minutes of flight time accompanied by built-in 1080p camera.

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Altair Aerial Outlaw SE
  • Follow Me Method: GPS
  • Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Camera: 1080p HD built-in camera
  • Weight: 2.8 pounds

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The Altair Aerial Outlaw SE is one of the most budget and beginner-friendly drones on this list.

At just 2.8 pounds, the drone is extremely portable regardless of whether you are going to explore near your home or need to take it on a plane abroad without costing you a fortune.

With high wind-resistance tech on board, you can use the Outlaw SE to follow you around on your journeys in the most extreme of weather conditions.

If you are a beginner, landing your drone without any damages is quite the challenge. However, thanks to the built-in technology, if the drone has followed you for long enough, you can bring it back to you with the one-touch return feature.

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+ Pros

+ GPS flight gives excellent flight stability even for beginner flyers
+ Follow Me mode is quite accurate
+ 1080p HD camera gives great footage

- Cons

- For a beginner drone, the lack of prop guards might be concerning

Take your Go Pro footage capturing experience to a whole new level with the 3RD follow me quadcopter.

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$495.00
3DR Solo Quadcopter
  • Follow Me Method: GPS
  • Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Camera: none; supports mounting of a Go Pro camera
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds

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This follow me quadcopter model was engineered with the idea to provide you with seamless compatibility for your Go Pro cameras.

If you are a fan of Go Pro’s and are bored of tripods when capturing exciting footage, going the extra mile and getting a Go Pro dedicated drone to follow you around is as good as it can get.

At just 3.3 pounds, this portable drone can follow you around with extreme accuracy for up to 20 minutes in extreme weather conditions because of its integrated GPS tracking technology.

Besides, it requires zero flying experience to make the most of it, meaning it’s extremely beginner-friendly.

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+ Pros

+ Works seamlessly with your Go Pro camera
+ Lots of autonomous flight modes that go beyond just Follow Me
+ Requires zero experience and skill to fly properly

- Cons

- Works only with Go Pro camera owners

The Holy Stone HS110G is the cheapest follow me drone on this list.

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Holy Stone HS110G
  • Follow Me Method: GPS
  • Flight Time: 13 minutes
  • Camera: 1080p HD camera
  • Weight: 2.5 pounds

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The Holy Stone HS110G is the perfect drone for beginners that are after a seriously good follow me drone without having to spend hundreds of dollars.

At just 2.5 lbs, this portable follow me drone can record while following you with very high-accuracy.

Whether the drone is following you closely or from high above, the 110 degree field-of-view 1080p camera can capture some seriously amazing footage for over 13 minutes at top speed.

So, if you are a newbie and are afraid of crashing your first follow me drone, before you invest a serious amount of money in a high-end product, you can’t go wrong with the Holy Stone HS110G.

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+ Pros

+ Fantastic features for the price
+ Easy to fly
+ Intuitive flight controls
+ Numerous safety features

- Cons

- Not suitable for use in any wind

The second cheapest on the list is the H501SS X4 follow me drone by Hubsan.

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$150.00
Hubsan H501SS X4
  • Follow Me Method: GPS
  • Flight Time: 20 minutes
  • Camera: 1080p HD camera
  • Weight: 4.6 pounds

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Despite being known for building relatively toy-like drones, Hubsan have completely changed the game with the H501SS X4 follow me drone.

Having being attributed with some pro follow me features, the 4.6 lbs design can accurately follow you around for over 20 minutes thanks to its integrated GPS technology.

So, next time you want to capture some seriously good footage, you can easily rely on this inexpensive drone as it can fly relatively well in different weather conditions while using the built-in 1080p camera.

Besides, you can never lose track of the drone while it’s following you because of the LCD screen.

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+ Pros

+ Easy to fly
+ LCD screen controller

- Cons

- Controller takes some getting used to
- Not a premium feel

Vooco X-Star by Autel Robotics, you can enjoy 25-minute follow me flight time with just 90 minute of charge time.

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Autel Robotics VOOCO X-Star
  • Flight Time: ~25 minutes
  • Charge Time: ~90 minutes
  • Range: 2000m / 6560ft
  • Remote Controller: WiFi 5.8GHz (included in the set)
  • Camera: 3-axis gimbal 4K camera with 12MP
  • Live Video Transmission Range: 1935m / 6349ft
  • Weight: 1420 g / 3.13lbs
  • Carry Capacity: 150g / 5.29oz
  • Working Temperature: 0°C ~ 40°C
  • Rated for outdoor use

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Autel Robotic’s Vooco X-Star model is the most suitable follow me drone for the casual user, even if you are a complete beginner.

Behind its 3.13 lbs design, this drone can accurate follow you around for up to 25 minutes in the harshest of weather conditions up to 2km away.

Once the battery runs out, in just 90 minutes, you can take off again and use the 3-axis gimbal 4K camera to capture some more incredibly smooth aerial footage.

Thanks to the amazing GPS technology, the X-star model can follow you around with pretty decent accuracy.

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+ Pros

+ Follow Me works well, with lots of autonomous flight modes
+ Above-average flight time makes for more extended missions
+ 4K camera captures crisp, stunning footage
+ Water-resistant

- Cons

- No built-in collision avoidance

The HS720 by Holy Stone is the best value for money drone on this list.

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$246.49
Holy Stone HS720
  • Flight Time: ~26 minutes
  • Charge Time: 5-7 hours
  • Range: 800-1000m / 2624-3277ft
  • Remote Controller: 2.4GHz transmitter included
  • Camera: 2K HD (2048 x 1152) with shock absorption
  • Weight: 459g / 1.01lbs
  • Rated for outdoor use

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The biggest benefit of the Holy Stone HS720 is its ability to follow you for over 26 minutes thanks to the amazing battery and brushless motors.

Despite the 5-7 hour charge time, in the half an hour that you have, you can capture incredible aerial footage using its shock absorption 2k HD camera.

All this can be done while the drone is accurately following you around thanks to the GPS-assisted intelligent flight.

Another amazing feature is its performance in a range of different weather conditions, despite weighting just 1 lb.

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+ Pros

+ Foldable for handy transportation
+ Premium feel at an affordable price
+ Staggering battery life

- Cons

- Slow charge time
- No spare parts

This is undoubtedly our number one pick as the best video drone that follows you.

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DJI Mavic 2 Pro
  • Flight Time: 30 minutes
  • Range: 7 kilometers
  • Camera: 4K resolution at 30 fps; 20 MP stills
  • Weight: 1.64 pounds
  • Gimbal: 3 Axis

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The most premium auto-follow drone in our list, the Mavic 2 Pro from DJI is an option for anyone looking to create the highest quality video content.

Whether it’s YouTube videos, social media clips or even feature-length films, the 4K / 20MP camera, equipped with a Hasselblad L1D-20c and a 1-inch CMOS sensor, along with a 3-axis gimbal, is truly in a league of its own. This comes at a price, but for those with a budget that exceeds $1,000, this is arguably the best choice you could make.

Despite being a drone that can fly for miles over half an hour, the quality of photos and videos still exceeds many professional SLRs and DSLRs. This isn’t a small drone, but it’s certainly compact and portable for such a high quality drone camera that follows you.

The omnidirectional obstacle avoidance system will alert you if it’s about to encounter an obstruction and will even brake automatically to prevent crashes.

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+ Pros

+ Incredible photo and video quality that has to be seen to be believed
+ Tight controls and intelligent flight modes make it a breeze to fly
+ Robust obstacle avoidance system makes it one of the safest drones to fly even for inexperienced pilots

The original Mavic Air model still offers great value as one of the best Follow Me quadcopters.

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$679.00
DJI Mavic Air
  • Follow Me Method: visual recognition using DJI ActiveTrack
  • Flight Time: 21 minutes
  • Camera: 4K video at 30 fps, with support for 32 MB panoramas and HDR photos
  • Weight: 15.16 ounces

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The Mavic Air is DJI’s take on an ultra-portable, take-anywhere drone. It combines the power of its more powerful older brother, the Mavic, with the portability of the Spark.

For one, it’s exceptionally compact at less than a pound. It folds nicely into a package that you can easily fit into your backpack. And when action calls, simply unpack and launch.

Now let’s talk about this drone’s Follow Me mode. The Mavic Air uses a much-improved version of DJI’s proprietary ActiveTrack technology. It’s capable of actively tracking up to 16 subjects simultaneously, with a higher degree of precision. Even when your target is zipping and zooming around, the Mavic Air seems to be able to lock on to it.

Within ActiveTrack, you have further options on how you want Follow Me to work. For instance, you can try Trace mode, which maintains a fixed distance between the drone and the target.

The cool thing about ActiveTrack is that it also includes obstacle avoidance. If it detects an obstacle while in Follow Me mode, it will change its altitude until it stays clear of the obstruction. After that, it will continue to keep on track and follow the subject.

Overall, the DJI Mavic Air has one of the most advanced Follow Me features in the market. This is on top of its excellent camera quality, durable construction, and tons of flight options.

The Mavic Air is indeed the ultimate travel drone that’s meant to be taken to the roughest of trips, like hiking or mountain climbing.

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+ Pros

+ Excellent flight time and range
+ ActiveTrack technology is one of the most accurate and precise Follow Me methods in the market
+ Ultra-lightweight and foldable design makes this extremely portable

- Cons

- One of the more expensive drones in the market
- The smartphone app can be frustrating to use

How Does Follow Me Work?

There are 2 ways in which drones make use of Follow Me technology:

GPS Technology/GPS Beacon Tracking

This is the most straightforward way to program a drone to stay on your tail and follow you. GPS beacon tracking involves putting a tracking device on the person or object which you want your drone to follow.

Different manufacturers use different approaches to enable this effect. For example, some use a WiFi connected phone; others use waterproof wristband trackers.

GPS Mode technology works so well in transforming your device into a drone that follows you because it gives the drone a specific target to aim for.

A GPS follow me drone would be great for filming action sports and other activities that require quick, sometimes sudden movement. So long as you are wearing the wristband, the drone should be able to keep up, effectively keeping the subject in the picture at all times.

Machine Vision Tracking/Recognition Technology

This is the technology that you would find in most higher quality drones found on the market today. DJI, Skydio, Autel, Yuneec, Walkera — you name it, they’re all using this method.

A drone that follows you through this system is equipped with sophisticated software that tries to recognize the object that it is supposed to be tracking.

As you can imagine, this technology was fraught with problems at its inception.

Making sure your drone stayed on your tail was often hit and miss and sometimes a simple shadow would throw your drone off its target and have it chasing something else. But that was a long time ago.

Today, the technology has advanced so much that a drone that follows you using recognition technology is able to even predict where an object will reappear if it disappears behind another object.

Machine vision even comes now with the spatial sensors that can detect objects in 3D space and prevent drones from crashing.

Follow Me Drone Software

The software that enables these follow drones to work effectively is usually built into the overall drone application or system. A lot of these applications are proprietary, with each manufacturer owning theirs.

Some other manufacturers program their follow me mode software into the Ground Station Controller instead, enabling the pilot to be followed in the click of a button.

In both cases, the software makes use of sophisticated algorithms to track the object and keep it in view at all times. Most pieces of software even allow the pilot to program the gimbal and camera with preset distances, heights, and angles that fit with their cinematic vision and perspectives.

Follow Me Maximum Distances

Each drone manufacturer assigns different distance ranges with their follow me technology. You’re best off checking on the packaging or within the instructions to find out the maximum distance for your device.

However, you probably want to keep the distance short while you are still getting used to your drone. Putting too much distance between you and your transmitter would increase the risk of both losing connection.

Flight Safety

To avoid your drone crashing into an obstacle and causing your grief, you want to activate the Follow Me mode while you are in a great, open, outdoor space so that there can be no breaks in the GPS signal.

It would be advisable to plan your route in advance, and be mindful of any obstacles on the way which could possibly damage your drone or obstruct the signal. If you can’t do that, you can program your drone to fly over these obstacles and film you from the air.

And also, when you activate the follow me function, make sure to keep one eye on your battery. It’s easy to get carried away with filming yourself in follow me mode that you forget about the batteries. The last thing you want is to be reminded when your drone powers down and lands from the sky.

Advantages of Follow Me Drones

Follow me drones are used for capturing a wide range of fast paced activities. They give you the ability to free your hands so that you can enjoy the moment, while assured that the best bits are captured in high-resolution.

Some of the recent models also come with 360-obstacle avoidance that functions even at high speed. This means you don’t have to keep one eye on your UAV as you film.

Unlike other drones that can only ever enable you concentrate on the environment around you, follow me drones allow you become the star of the show. And that is something that millions of people consider worth paying for.

Round-Up

The Follow Me feature has evolved much since it was first introduced with the Phantom 3. Now, it’s pretty much a standard that most quadcopters will be categorized as an auto follow drone.

That’s why it can be harder to pick the right one out of the bunch.

But if we had to choose one quadcopter as the best follow me drone, it would currently be the Mavic Air 2 or the Mavic 2 Pro, depending on your budget. 

These models use the latest, most sophisticated version of the already fantastic ActiveTrack technology.

They make for pretty accurate tracking even without a GPS signal (using visual recognition instead). This is on top of their ease of flight, portability, and fantastic cameras.

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DJI Mavic Air 2

DJI Mavic Air 2

The Mavic Air 2 is a groundbreaking development in the mid-budget range. Almost no other drone compares for the price.

Autel Robotics EVO

Autel Robotics EVO

A 4K drone with a 12MP camera that folds up for handy portability. It's water-resistant, too!

Potensic D88

Potensic D88

A feature-packed drone that gets rave reviews from hundreds of happy customers.