Personal Angel

Open source personal assistance multicopter designed to exemplify the social good that can come from the use of drone technology.

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Personal Angel is an open source hardware and software multicopter project designed to provide personal assistance coverage of cities, university campuses, business parks, and suburbs through a mesh network of Personal Angels.

You've ended your shift at work at 3am, and are walking home. There's a person walking behind you that's creeping you out. You can't call family as it's 3am, and you can't call the police either because nothing's happened - it's just someone else walking on the street at this point. But if something does happen, and the situation escalates, it'll be too late to make that call.

This is where Personal Angel shines. You place a request, and the closest Personal Angel in the mesh network is sent to your location to monitor you. If the situation does escalate, it calls police or family to get you the assistance you need - and otherwise it just provides a reassuring presence, and deterrent to anything happening in the first place.

As the projects primary design goal is to exhibit social good uses for autonomous multicopters, there are a few very important implementation details directly related to this goal:

- No video cameras, nor video/audio recording or transmitting.
- No direct user control of the multicopters. A Personal Angel goes to the users location only, and monitors them.
- Personal Angels will maintain a safe distance (20-30m+). This both avoids harassment issues, and makes obstacle avoidance largely a non-issue.

  • First public discussion

    Richard Sim06/09/2014 at 16:18 0 comments

    This past weekend was the first time I've discussed this project publicly, at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. It went well, and was well received by almost everyone - a lot of good, productive discussions happened, and some interesting design ideas came out of the discussions that may make their way into the project in the future.

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Ken Meyer wrote 07/08/2014 at 08:05 point
I like the concept, but it seems odd that the system wouldn't include a video camera. The system is supposed to "monitor" you and presumably deter an attacker, but the most effective documentation of what happened from a drone's perspective is likely going to be video! A 30-second video clip of what happened before and after you yelled "Help!" could help to identify assailants and establish exactly who's story is accurate, whereas a text message or even an audio clip only really verifies that something happened.

I'd strongly advocate for the video camera for this application, even though that brings up other sorts of privacy concerns.

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PointyOintment wrote 07/24/2014 at 19:38 point
I don't think it would be a privacy problem. Everyone who'd be recorded would be in a public place.

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Mike Szczys wrote 06/11/2014 at 22:26 point
Hi Richard, thanks for entering this in The Hackaday Prize.

When you sent your submission you mentioned that the 'Description' field is limited too much to share technical details. This is better used for an overview. You can put as much as you want in the "Details" part of your write-up.

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