Fotokites: Drones on Leashes

Here is one interesting new drone product that is also designed for aerial photography but with a special difference: they are called Fotokites, and are tethered to retractable dog leashes.

These drones on leashes were invented by Sergei Lupashin, the Zurich-based roboticist who presented them at a TED conference in Vancouver, Canada last month. According to Lupashin, the idea is to show that a leash can completely change the nature of a drone. Attaching a leash to an unmanned aerial vehicle eliminates the need for special piloting skills, he says. What’s more, a drone leashed to you suddenly makes it easy to hold you accountable for whatever it’s doing. The tether takes the anonymity out of aerial surveillance. Read more here

Flying a drone on a leash may indeed garner more positive response from the FAA, and the general public still wary of seeing drones flying overhead at random. It is almost like child play because of its size: it weighs only about a pound and three of these can easily fit a small briefcase, as Lupashin showed. It is slated to be out in the market for sales by year’s end.

Lupashin also presented these drones at the Drones and Aerial Robotics conference in New York City last year. The drone acts like a steadicam and does two things very well: fly places where  you probably couldn’t stick a camera and then hover in place, filming. The leash adds stability, anchoring the drone. Read here

Fotokites will be ideal not only for journalists, but for everyone including firefighters and archeologists.


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