Dronies, one of the latest projects to release on Indiegogo, are more than just flying toys for kids.
Dronies are flying quadcopters that can fly and move in formation, dancing in sync with music played by a base station smartphone. Produced by Drovionics these are the world's first production level autonomous dancing drones.
Dronies are capable of indoor formation flying without the aid of any external sensors or on-board infrared sensors. The creators of the drones intend them to be the first step in developing the core technologies to "humanize" civilian drones and to enable them to navigate indoor spaces and carry payloads.
There are several features that will attract users who wish to use them for fun. They look cute, wear headphones and sunglasses and have a smile. They can fly together around humans. But there is a serious side to this concept.
Drone avionics are becoming a must-have for many industries. Amazon is investigating using drones to deliver parcels, Airdog can track and follow you wherever you go and air drones such as Skycatch aerially inspect damage to pipelines and buildings.
Drones flock together autonomously. Drovionics say that it is imperative that drones can "operate independent(ly) of continuous human supervision".
Becuase Dronies are designed for indoor flying, the 2.4 GHz transmitter signal strength extends up to 30 metres. The recommended "dancing" distance from the controller is between 2-10 metres.
You can manually choreograph the dancing and control the Dronies' flight if you are an experienced radio control pilot who is skilled at 6-axis aerial acrobatics.
David Bell, co-founder of Drovionics, says that at the present time the preferred Dronie color is yellow, but if the company reaches its next stretch goal, the options will include black and yellow.
You can choreograph your own dance moves but you cannot physically change the drone itself. The slightest body alteration may affect the Dronies' balance and interfere with flying.
The Indiegogo project has already raised over a third of its $10,000 target which will enable it to move to the next stage of development. There are distributor packs and licences available for serious investors.
With their co-ordinated flying and navigation abilities, it will not be long before small drones carrying payloads inside your place of work will become the norm. Watch this space. Dronies and their evolutionary offspring could be part of our every day life in just a few years.