A New York designer by the name of Jeff Meyers recently released a video on Vimeo that shows his dog being walked by an AR drone around the neighborhood. The sweet-natured golden retriever occasionally appears a bit bewildered about its strange, hovering leash-handler, but overall the walk goes pretty smoothly. The dog seems content just to be out and about. Human passers-by can be seen gawking at the bizarre scene, however.
You can view the video yourself here:
Meyers, who likes to experiment with product design and interaction design, made the video as a test to see how the dog would respond. A camera mounted on the drone also helps to keep an eye on the pooch, which Meyers was able to watch from his computer back home.
The project was as simple as programming the drone with a dog-walking route and tying a leash to it, though it's easy to imagine how things could have gone wrong, too. For instance, Meyers' dog is extremely good-natured, but other dogs may not have responded so well. It's doubtful that the drone used in the video could have kept a worse-behaved dog from dragging it wherever the dog wanted to go. The route Meyers chose for the video was also conveniently absent of cross traffic or any unanticipated obstacles.
There's also the issue of cleaning up after the dog, which the drone is obviously incapable of doing. (Perhaps a companion pooper-scooper drone will need to be invented for that.) Even so, the video does suggest something inevitable. Namely, that technology to make our lives more automated is just around the corner.
The technology is still a long ways off from the promise of all-purpose robot maids, but it's at least a step up from the Roomba, right?
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