Wow, that is quite an invention. Personally, I'm not sure my life is interesting enough for this sort of thing (although I guess that depends on your definition of "interesting") but I am sure the new generation of young people who are comfortable sharing every detail of their life with their friends online will love this product. It's like a flying Go-Pro on steroids!
Al, I'm interested in what else it could be used for as a design platform. Although it's small and cheap, there are reasons for this. First, Parrot's iPad-controlled flying video game AR.Drone 2.0 http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1392&doc_id=238273 costs about $300 and is well-loaded with cameras, accelerometers and gyrometers, and WiFi communication. Second, many of the flying robot prototypes http://www.designnews.com/author.asp?section_id=1386&doc_id=249645 the military and others are investigating are based on hobby machine platforms, the volumes of which have driven down component price/performance ratios. And third, quadrotors, also called quadricopters or ornithopters, have been adopted as a design platform for a wide range of tasks, often performed in swarms by devices that don't look much bigger or more accomplished than the MeCam.
Chuck, that sounds like a much better idea than a flying paparazzo...I was thinking also that a military application might be good, or other types of surveillance (although not where they might be people around, as they would probably notice a flying camera buzzing about!). And what Ann said about it being a design platform for other applications actually makes more sense than what it was actually designed for. Although I'm sure some people will find this quite cool to have their personal paparazzo shadowing them. :)
Chuck, Maybe I'm caught up in the marketing hype but I like the idea of this as a consumer product: the MeCam. I can definitely see this flying around the house or office, "spying" on friends, family and co-workers. At $49, the price point is not that bad especially if it flies well. The military market is already full of this kind of equipment and they only want the best.
Lets be realistic: Youtube is full of ox-droppings, and this can only contribute more of the same. In the real world, this device won't be used for serious purposes. The first place I would expect this gimmick to be put to use is in the womens locker room.
One way to keep a Formula One racing team moving at breakneck speed in the pit and at the test facility is to bring CAD drawings of the racing vehicleís parts down to the test facility and even out to the track.
Most of us would just as soon step on a cockroach rather than study it, but thatís just what researchers at UC Berkeley did in the pursuit of building small, nimble robots suitable for disaster-recovery and search-and-rescue missions.
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