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MAKE’s 2013 Hardware Innovation Workshop is set for May 14-15 and one of the exciting parts of the line-up of events is the “pitches with prototypes” contest.  A dozen companies have submitted hardware projects and workshop attendees will vote for the most interesting and innovative ideas. The winner will receive a slot on the Maker Faire Innovation Stage to present their prototype the following weekend.

In the run-up to the Hardware Innovation Workshop, we’ll be introducing these aspiring companies and makers. First up is the Falkor System’s Pet AR. Drone. The product is still in development, but CEO Sameer Parekh imagines it as a personal AR. Parrot drone for extreme sports photography. Doing a little BASE jumping? Let your drone follow you down while the camera rolls. He calls it “out of body” recording. It would be like giving your GoPro wings.

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“The robot itself is an extension of your personality with even greater freedom,” says Sameer in his TEDx talk linked below.

Falkor Systems has developed open source software that works with recreational drones to track users interactively and autonomously. The drones are programmed to follow you as you descend a mountain or fly off a ramp. Assuming you survived the jump, the footage would then available for viewing and sharing. Actually, if you didn’t survive I guess the footage would be still be available.

Sameer imagines other, less extreme uses, too.

“I want to build flying robotic pets,” he told Wired UK. “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.”

Check out the pitch he sent for the Hardware Innovation Workshop’s prototype contest. Would you back him? Is this drone application ready to take off?

Fly over here to register for the Hardware Innovation Workshop.

Stett Holbrook

Stett Holbrook is editor of the Bohemian, an alternative weekly in Santa Rosa, California. He is a former senior editor at Maker Media.

He is also the co-creator of Food Forward, a documentary TV series for PBS about the innovators and pioneers changing our food system.


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