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people often ask me why I own a drone, what is it for, and then half of the time they say that I could use it to record weddings and get some cash flowin'

If mention of recording weddings doesn't kill all my will for conversation, I'll say drones are so simple to make these days that I find it hard to justify not owning one. also, at the time there is no regulation and no one ever counts on you owning a flying robot, so its a sweet spot to own one. a drone is a flying sidekick, it can, in theory, do whatever a flying sidekick can do. it can enter through windows and steal jewlery with its tiny robot hands. Sounds ridicilous but technically it is not hard to do. In the following years we'll have to rethink space and what can be done, and before that happens, I get to be a kind of a superhero.

today, drones are very primitive. I'll fix some parts that I care about. and if I make anything useful, Im guessing drone related kickstarter projects would be welcome.

a few ideas,

  • work on being more autonomus, gesture recognition, landing on backpack, automatic charging, simple commands like follow me, land and observe, and such
  • picking up bread in the morning
  • ground locomotion, wheels or legs!
  • stringing a rope somewhere high or for a tyrolean traverse - I can be a very slow batman and I always wanted to string a hammock up between two buildings.
  • guarding a camp spot and scarring bears away
  • looking for people
  • planting and picking up sensors
  • security? (I'm terrified of security robots working against me, I'm excited about security robots working for me - maybe I won't touch this.)
  • obvious things like scouting or mapping, it would be nice to have something that creates a google maps or openstreetmap layer as it flyes around, and it shouldn't be too hard to implement, in theory :)

few concrete things to work on, sorted by priority

  • integrate a real computer (starting with beaglebone in my case, will need to reverse and implement sbus and naza CAN bus protocols)
  • long range modem - something like xbee xtend and/or sim cards for control over gsm
  • transport layer supporting multiple communication channels with automatic fallbacks (sim cards are long range but not reliable)
  • some kind of distance sensors for autonomy - lidar, laser range finders, SLAM?
  • alternative controler - I want to use my cellphone, potentially with a ps controler or something, not a gigant RC
  • even more alternative controler and more autonomy - myo or some other kind of gesture sensing/voice recognition/etc
  • automatic folding, automatic landing and takeoff from a backpack
  • means of ground locomotion - legs! (half of legs would already be done by autofolding system)
  • some computer vision - detection of people, optical flow sensing
  • drawing grafiti on really strange places (half of this is done by optical flow sensing)
  • automatic landing and takeoff beacons (IR?)
  • beacons and universal handles for picking up and dropping things off
  • landing pad with automatic charging station and an automatic cover - could be mounted on a car? could be used as a backpack?

this is a lot of work, but none of it is far fetched and all of this will be done soon, if not by me, then by someone else

if you care about this project, you can follow it at http://lesh.sysphere.org/tagcloud/personal_drone rss @ http://lesh.sysphere.org/tagcloud/personal_drone/rss.xml

Sat Sep 27 2014 22:06:41 GMT+0200 (CEST), 31 months ago