It always starts innocuously, doesn't it? Autonomous drones look like good bets for home security cameras or hands-free versions of selfie sticks. But could they be used to track a person running through the woods, or a fleeing car?
Short answer: Yes. The commercially-available Skydio drone uses six 4K cameras and AI to 3D-map its surroundings and avoid obstacles as it follows whatever object (or person) it's tasked with following.
YouTube science and engineering channel Warped Perception put one to the test in two non-manufacturer-recommended situations, following a person running through the woods and a car in an area with a lot of EMF interference. The results are good for the drone, and bad for future fugitives:
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Jump to a spot in the vid:
00:40?Intro To Drone
01:01?1st Test in The Woods
02:33?Tracking in Woods
03:40?High-Speed Foot Chase
05:11?Extreme Foot Chase
07:11?Tracking Under Steel Bridge
On the one hand, I'd love to have this thing the next time one of our dogs escapes into the woods. On the other hand…this thing is a bit of an ominous development, no?
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