Drones

A US$49 personal autonomous micro UAV?

A US$49 personal autonomous mi...
The MeCam is a tiny autonomous quadrotor UAV currently in development
The MeCam is a tiny autonomous quadrotor UAV currently in development
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The UAV is built around the company's ARM Cortex-A9 processor (pictured), and features 1GB of built-in RAM, an SD card slot, and is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled
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The UAV is built around the company's ARM Cortex-A9 processor (pictured), and features 1GB of built-in RAM, an SD card slot, and is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled
The MeCam is a tiny autonomous quadrotor UAV currently in development
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The MeCam is a tiny autonomous quadrotor UAV currently in development
The idea is that when users wanted to shoot videos of themselves, they could just launch the UAV by hand
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The idea is that when users wanted to shoot videos of themselves, they could just launch the UAV by hand
In autonomous flight, 14 real-time sensors and two Linux-based auto pilot algorithms would keep crashes to a minimum
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In autonomous flight, 14 real-time sensors and two Linux-based auto pilot algorithms would keep crashes to a minimum

Imagine if you had your own tiny quadrotor unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that you could control with your voice, that would automatically follow you while avoiding obstacles, and that could shoot and stream video of you using an onboard camera. Now imagine that you paid less than 50 bucks for it. Well, if the hype is to be believed, that's just what tech firm Always Innovating is promising with its MeCam.

Not be confused with the unrelated MeCam wearable video camera, the MeCam UAV is currently still in development, but reportedly could be commercially available by the beginning of next year. San Francisco-based Always Innovating doesn't plan on producing the device itself, but is instead looking at licensing the technology to commercial partners.

The UAV is built around an ARM Cortex-A9 processor, features 1 GB of built-in RAM, an SD card slot, and is Wi-Fi and Bluetooth-enabled.

Although it's hard to say what's actually operational at this point and what's still conceptual, the idea is that when users wanted to shoot videos of themselves, they could just launch the UAV by hand. It would then hover in front of them, streaming video to a paired iOS or Android mobile device.

The idea is that when users wanted to shoot videos of themselves, they could just launch the UAV by hand
The idea is that when users wanted to shoot videos of themselves, they could just launch the UAV by hand

If the user wanted it to move, such as going higher or lower, they could get it to do so using voice commands. If they wanted it to follow them as they moved about, it would do so autonomously. In that mode, 14 real-time sensors and two Linux-based auto pilot algorithms would keep crashes to a minimum, while a video stabilizing algorithm would keep its shots smooth. A real-time sound filter would remove the whine of its motors from the recorded video.

The company is suggesting that the UAV would retail for US$49. That'd be nice, but ... we'll see.

More information is available in the video below.

Source: Always Innovating via Liliputing

Always Innovating MeCam

26 comments
Racqia Dvorak
If this happens, it'll be a break through
Terry Hope
this is such a nice little start to personal hovering drones
Kevin Cloete
Too cheap. Triple the price and you'll have a quality product.
donwine
Kevin - If the price is tripled, people might think it was made in the US!
Frank Fain
price doesn't dictate quality. there is a lot of pricy crap on the market it looks like $49 would be enough for this particular design and the simplicity involved. I would like to see it use some sort of sensor that could be clipped onto the user to maintain a set distance above and behind/in-front of the wearer. Then you wouldn't need to worry about voice commands to follow but could use them to 'land' or retrieve it
Red Bike Master
Dear Santa...
Jon Austin
As always, battery life is key. A UAV that can stay in the air for 15 minutes or less is a toy.
dfk288
I am so ready for one of these great devices... how handy is that??!!!! I do agree a distance sensor integrated in the device would be great..... but hey, if without keeps the price down, leave it out.
wle
ok i want that can it follow me on my bicycle? what about wind, can it handle any or does it have to be inside all the time? how long does it run? wle
Tony Loro
http://www.xheli.com/walkeraheli-ladybird-v2-devo4-rtf-oem.html In a 10,000 unit order I can see it at $79