Child Copter

Parents can be unnerved by the thought of sending their children off to school by themselves. In the past, that usually meant walking the child or following close behind, diving behind bushes to avoid embarrassing the tot. Now, it involves something else — a quadcopter, a GPS signaler and a little know-how.

Paul Wallich rigged a drone with a camera and then stashed the GPS unit in his son's backpack. Using navigation software, he made sure the copter would stay a certain distance behind the child as it followed the kid to the bus stop.

In concept, it's a brilliant stroke of hi-tech parenting that allows Wallich to keep an eye on his son remotely. But as a real-world safety measure, it's questionable. It's one thing to make sure dangerous strangers don't approach the boy, but it's another when the surveillance/tracking copter makes him a target for bullies.

[Via Geekosystem, IEEE Spectrum]