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Helicopter parent: Techy dad builds drone to hover over kid (+video)

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(Read caption) A helicopter drone similar to this one – being tested in this video – was built by a Vermont dad to follow his child to the bus stop.
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Parents going along on their kids’ job interviews is so 2012.  The new helicopter parent is way cooler.

Think drones

RELATED: Are you a Helicopter Parent? Take our quiz!

The new trend (OK, it’s not a trend yet, but maybe it should be) started in Vermont, where a tech-savvy dad, fatigued by the frigid walk to the bus stop with his grade-school-age son, built a helicopter-like drone to do the job instead.

Dad Paul Wallich wrote about his efforts this month in the technology magazine “IEEE Spectrum,” where he is a contributing editor.

“Last winter, I fantasized about sitting at my computer while a camera-equipped drone followed him overhead,” he wrote. “So this year, I set out to build one.”

He collected a quadcopter design airframe, some motors and propellers, built legs to cushion the machine’s landing and gathered a whole bunch of equipment for the main control board that I believe he put together himself.  (I say I “believe” this because although I have read his explanatory paragraph about this about 10 times now, I don’t get it.  I might be shut out of this fad.) 

He installed software that helps fly helicopters (in the making for several years, he wrote, by open-source enthusiasts) and worked to create a GPS beacon that “could fit unobtrusively into my child’s backpack.”

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