Drones are cool. Quadcopters are cool. Watching your kid to the bus stop is also very cool. Paul Wallich over at ieee spectrum decided to put them all together and make a DIY drone to track his kid on the way to the bus stop.
Sensors, radios and batteries
It takes a bit to make something like this happen. Wallich explains that there are a number of limitations. He had to start with something that worked, and build on it. He went through a number of iterations of the product as he built:
”Using a quadcopter, Wallich quickly hacked on the necessary components to make his wish come true, including sensors, radios, and batteries. The original idea made use of RFID tags to track his son, but the power requirements proved to be too high. Instead, a GPS beacon was set up that allowed the quadcopter to maintain a fixed distance from the source.” – The Verge
The little device can make the quarter of a mile in good weather, but struggles in windy conditions.
You may think of this as an increase in the quality of parental supervision. Ian Chant thinks that’s not the only thing it is:
Frankly, having a homemade helicopter that dad built in the garage follow your kid to the bus stop every day sounds like about the best way we’ve ever heard to ensure that your kid is regularly stuffed into a wide variety of lockers since severe acne.
Sounds pretty much accurate to me. Cool, and very, very nerdy. If you’re on this blog, I know you like nerdy.