HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » Dad's homemade drone foll...

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:43 PM

Dad's homemade drone follows kid to bus stop

Helicopter parenting? Dad's homemade drone follows kid to bus stop



Paul Wallich, like any loving dad, dutifully walks his grade-schooler son to the bus stop each morning. He does find the quarter-mile hike to be a drag, occasionally. His solution? He built a camera-equipped drone that helps him fulfill his parental obligation.

It's those Vermont winters that provided motivation for the project. "If I am walking my kid to the bus stop in December and January, I would really rather not be doing that," Wallich told NBC News.

The drone is a quadcopter that he built from store-bought parts. He strapped on a smartphone with a video-chat app so that he could watch his son from the comfort of his warm home.

The trick was to get the drone to follow his son. After exploring a few possibilities, Wallich put a GPS beacon in his sonís backpack, and employed navigation software that tells the drone to stay an arbitrary distance from the beacon.

It worked ... up to a point.

"Vermont, as it turns out, is a really bad place for doing this kind of thing because you have hills and you have trees," Wallich said. "Hills mean that the altitude control gets a lot more complicated and trees mean you have to do obstacle avoidance.

http://www.nbcnews.com/technology/futureoftech/helicopter-parenting-dads-homemade-drone-follows-kid-bus-stop-1C7356195

33 replies, 3324 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply Dad's homemade drone follows kid to bus stop (Original post)
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 OP
Renew Deal Dec 2012 #1
Earth_First Dec 2012 #2
Kolesar Dec 2012 #3
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 #4
Kolesar Dec 2012 #9
Fawke Em Dec 2012 #23
cali Dec 2012 #18
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 #28
Brickbat Dec 2012 #5
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 #11
cali Dec 2012 #19
Brickbat Dec 2012 #20
gkhouston Dec 2012 #30
Brickbat Dec 2012 #32
X_Digger Dec 2012 #6
woo me with science Dec 2012 #7
gkhouston Dec 2012 #31
Javaman Dec 2012 #8
Liberal_in_LA Dec 2012 #10
Arkansas Granny Dec 2012 #12
dixiegrrrrl Dec 2012 #14
Nay Dec 2012 #33
Javaman Dec 2012 #15
Blue_Tires Dec 2012 #27
HiPointDem Dec 2012 #13
hootinholler Dec 2012 #16
Terra Alta Dec 2012 #17
surrealAmerican Dec 2012 #21
cali Dec 2012 #22
surrealAmerican Dec 2012 #25
tridim Dec 2012 #26
Skidmore Dec 2012 #24
Old and In the Way Dec 2012 #29

Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:45 PM

1. Is it armed?

It should be.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:47 PM

2. Follow up story: Son shoots down drown with paintball rifle

News at 11

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:53 PM

3. So, if a mountain lion drags junior off into the woods, he'll put his boots on and walk up there?

Is that what the helicopter does for him?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Kolesar (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:56 PM

4. I had the same thought. Isn't the point of walking a little kid to bus stop to provide immediate

protection?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:03 PM

9. A dutiful German Shepherd would be what a kid would want for the walk

Plus, he can smoke cigarettes on the way

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Kolesar (Reply #9)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:50 PM

23. The kid? Or the German shepherd?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:50 PM

18. It's Vermont. Dad just wants to build gadgets

When my kid was in grade school, he had a hike of close to half a mile to the bus. I sure didn't walk him down the road. I did drive him in bad weather, but on nice days he walked.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:08 PM

28. Los Angeles - every kid is driven to school, schools have traffic jams. no one walks

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 03:57 PM

5. Why was he walking the kid to the bus stop in the first place?

Let the kid walk, spend your time doing something else, problem solved.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brickbat (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:05 PM

11. depends on age of kids. "grade school" = 5 to 12.

At 12 years old the kid can walk alone. But not age 6.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:51 PM

19. Of course they can. Mine did.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #11)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:57 PM

20. The majority of children, with obvious exceptions, should be able to walk to school or bus stop at

age six. If the kid can't walk by himself at 6, he shouldn't have a drone, either.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Brickbat (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:16 PM

30. Because the kid enjoys it?

My daughter hated being dropped off in the carpool lane when she was in elementary school, so much so that, "if you don't pick up the pace, we'll have to use the carpool lane" was an effective motivator on those mornings when she was dragging. She liked it when we parked a short block or two from the school and walked up. My husband and I thought she'd decide that being walked to school by a parent was "not cool" after a year or two, but it never did--even though she never wanted to be walked to her classroom after her first day of kindergarten. She's in middle school now, and we still walk her to the bus stop about a half-mile away and stay and chat with her 'til the bus comes.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to gkhouston (Reply #30)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:22 PM

32. I'm thinking that's not the issue.

You've described a very nice exception.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:00 PM

6. I'll have to remember that excuse the next time I want a new toy..

(Not that we have kinds, but still.. I'm sure I can come up with something similar *grin*)

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:00 PM

7. I am trying to imagine

how the other kids at my bus stop would have responded to a flying camera pointed at all of us.

I think the response might have been creative, to say the least.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to woo me with science (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:17 PM

31. When I was a kid? We would have mooned it, then tried to bean the camera with a rock. n/t

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:03 PM

8. Okay, so wait...

his son walks to the stop alone because the dad is too lazy to walk with him, because he "find(s) the quarter-mile hike to be a drag"????

a quarter of a freaking mile???????

Now that's a healthy Father-Son relationship.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Javaman (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:04 PM

10. a "hilly" quarter mile with trees!

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Javaman (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:11 PM

12. Hey, it's a quarter mile back to the house, too.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:19 PM

14. and hilly, both ways.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to dixiegrrrrl (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 10:11 PM

33. Always snowing too, with those damn ice pellets. nt

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Arkansas Granny (Reply #12)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:27 PM

15. ...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Javaman (Reply #8)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:04 PM

27. He must *really* love his SportsCenter in the morning...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:16 PM

13. a quarter-mile walk is a drag? it's 15 minutes out of your life round-trip.

 

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 04:55 PM

16. He could have bought one for a couple of hundred

Already assembled with 2 cameras, one forward looking and one downward looking.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 05:12 PM

17. The dad is incredibly lazy.

Won't even walk a friggin' QUARTER-MILE with his kid? The father should suck it up, and walk the kid himself. He would at least be spending some quality time with his son, time that can never be replaced.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:42 PM

21. He's teaching his son ...

... that exercise is something to avoid if at all possible, and that he's not interested in spending time together. Somehow, I don't think those are lessons he really wants his son to be learning.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to surrealAmerican (Reply #21)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:48 PM

22. or maybe he just likes tinkering and making shit

that's another conclusion. For all you know, the guy is an avid sportsman. Look, I live in Vermont. I brought my son up here and by the time he was six he damned well straight was walking alone to the bus stop on most mornings. He most certainly didn't grow up thinking that exercise was something to avoid because I didn't walk him to the bus and neither did his dad. We started him downhill skiing at 2, x-county at 5, sculling, ice climbing, swimming, sailing, etc. But I was damned if I was going to walk the sturdy little bugger to bus stop.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:54 PM

25. I like building gadgets too ...

... but I don't use them as substitutes for spending time with my kids. If he thinks his child is old enough and capable enough to walk to the bus stop by himself, he should tell him so - with no drones required.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to cali (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:01 PM

26. If he's anything like me, yea just a DIY'er gone wild.

I've built lots of planes with cameras on them. It was fun for a week or two, but I prefer flying while looking at the plane.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 06:51 PM

24. I'm sure that drone will be able to protect that kid

if someone tries to assault him or grab him. Dude needs to get off of his butt and walk his kid to the bus stop.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2012, 07:09 PM

29. I wonder if the NRA would argue that the individual has a constitutional right

to weaponize a drone? This type of technology opens up whole new vistas of con law....do we all have the right to airspace over private homes you don't own?

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread