Helicopter parent: Techy dad builds drone to hover over kid (+video)(Read article summary)
The helicopter parent can now stay cozy at home on those cold winter days and still hover over the kids on the way to school – with a helicopter drone. The techy dad who built it says his son loves it ... and we kinda do too.
Parents going along on their kids’ job interviews is so 2012. The new helicopter parent is way cooler.
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.”