Sorry, dog-lovers. The position of your best friend may soon be compromised. Meet the Pet AR. Drone. Unlike a traditional pet, the robot is capable of doing much more for you. It will be able to follow you around, post to your Facebook, take photos and video of you, and even remind you to get milk when you’re out. And for those of you who prefer cats? Any feline attitude that the drone may posses can be disabled with the click of a button.
Using the technology behind the Parrot AR. Drone remote controlled quadrotor, Sameer Parekh originally envisioned his "pet" drone to act as an extreme sports photographer.For example, if you were to bungee jump off of a cliff, the drone would follow you to record the entire experience for you to view and share with your friends and family later (assuming that you survived the experience). Parekh has created some open source software that works with the drones to track users to make it into something more than a remote controlled toy. "I want to build flying robotic pets," he said. "The robot would follow you everywhere, take pictures of you and your friends, tweet for you, carry your keys and do other stuff for you."
The current prototype for the Pet AR. Drone uses artificial intelligence algorithms to track its user, follow from a safe distance, and take photos and video. "This technology has the potential to change the way we live and enrich our lives," Parekh said.
The Pet AR. Drone recently collaborated with dancers from the Barkin/Selissen Project to demonstrate the drone’s tracking abilities. In the film below, you can see the robot form a relationship with the dancer as it flies autonomously and dances with its human partner. The video asks the question, “when we love our robots, will it matter if they are human or not?”
It's Parekh’s hope to provide a next-generation companion for anyone who wishes to use it. Think of the possibilities. These drones could replace service animals for the disabled or provide companionship to those who are unable to have pets due to allergies or other restrictions. Or they could just really be the cool piece of tech you have to fetch your newspaper in the morning.