Robotics

Could a drone be your next personal assistant – or dance partner?

Could a drone be your next per...
Falkor Systems has developed a dance piece in which a human dancer performs with an autonomous AR Drone quadcopter
Falkor Systems has developed a dance piece in which a human dancer performs with an autonomous AR Drone quadcopter
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“Pet Drone Pas de Deux” is apparently intended to pose the question, “When we love our robots, will it matter if they are human or not?”
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“Pet Drone Pas de Deux” is apparently intended to pose the question, “When we love our robots, will it matter if they are human or not?”
Falkor Systems has developed a dance piece in which a human dancer performs with an autonomous AR Drone quadcopter
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Falkor Systems has developed a dance piece in which a human dancer performs with an autonomous AR Drone quadcopter

New York City-based robotics developer Falkor Systems is working on autonomous flying robots that could fly alongside extreme athletes, shooting video of their exploits in the process. Beyond that, however, the company envisions a day in which such machines may hover around everyday people, acting as their assistants and perhaps even becoming their “friends.” In a demonstration of how such a relationship could be possible, Falkor recently used an augmented AR Drone quadcopter to take part in a modern dance performance with a human partner.

Known as the “Pet Drone Pas de Deux,” the dance piece was produced in collaboration with the Barkin/Selissen Project, a community that is looking at new ways of exploring the arts.

The AR Drone was able to detect and track the female dancer using OpenCV image detection technology. Simon Fraser University’s ardrone_autonomy software was used to control the actual Drone. Software created by Falkor utilized the Robot Operating System to act as a bridge between OpenCV and ardrone_autonomy, allowing the two systems to interface with one another – OpenCV would track the dancer, then go through the Robot Operating System to get ardrone_autonomy to move the aircraft accordingly.

“Pet Drone Pas de Deux” is apparently intended to pose the question, “When we love our robots, will it matter if they are human or not?”
“Pet Drone Pas de Deux” is apparently intended to pose the question, “When we love our robots, will it matter if they are human or not?”

Falkor is certainly not the only group exploring such uses of drones. A team from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology has turned an AR Drone into a human-jogger-tracking running companion, while tech firm Always Innovating is in the process of creating a US$49 tiny autonomous quadcopter that shoots video of its human user.

“Pet Drone Pas de Deux” can be seen below. In case you just don’t get it, it is apparently intended to pose the question, “When we love our robots, will it matter if they are human or not?”.

Source: Falkor Systems via Dvice

Pet Drone Pas de Deux

6 comments
Marcus Carr
That's right up there as the stupidest thing I've ever seen on the internet. Dance is about emotion - didn't you notice that the RC helicopter lacked it? I don't even know what I was supposed to be looking at. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
Marcus Carr
"In case you just don’t get it, it is apparently intended to pose the question, “When we love our robots, will it matter if they are human or not?”."
Well yes, it will matter. If we love our robots, they will by definition not be human, so of course it couldn't matter. Your question is logically unsound.
Mia Holton
I think the question should be “When we love our friends/companions will it matter if they are human or not?” because as it currently reads, 'whether it's human..' doesn't fit, as a robot is automatically non-human.
warren52nz
I thought it was kinda dumb at first but by the end I realised it wasn't about the copter dancing it was being the cameraman. Perhaps a mechanical gyro would help steady the shots.
Stephen N Russell
to be a Personal assistant drone would need: robotic arms, camera module & voice PA speaker so we can communicate. & possible tray etc
Dan Lewis
Falkor and Co should go with a tricopter for this type of work. A tripcopter offers a much nicer look, especially when panning right and left. Quads are okay for some purposes; Tricopters are best for video/film camera work.