As of right now, the Aire drone is still an ongoing project on Kickstarter. While we do have some impressive footage and a fairly convincing promotional video from the campaign’s site, we haven’t actually seen the drone operate in-person. However, according to The Verge, the Aire is actually all it claims to be—and that’s really impressive.
The Kickstarter campaign describes the Aire as a “self-flying robotic assistant for the home,” which essentially means that as of right now, it can navigate narrow territory thanks to a sophisticated set of cameras and sensors, can stay upright, and is quiet enough not to be more of a nuisance than a tool.
The Verge notes that the Aire also has a built-in speaker and microphone, and can be remotely piloted using your smartphone. You can actually ask this thing to take a photo of you using a voice command through Amazon's voice assistant, Alexa. If the photo you’re trying to take requires some repositioning of the UAV, that’s not a problem. You can simply grab it, move it around, and let go. It’ll simply keep hovering, stabilized and securely. That’s pretty cool. Not only that, but the Aire is reportedly much quieter than the typical drone, which lets out an unpleasant whirring sound.
The technology here is comprised of logical and creative combinations of parts. There’s a 3-D camera as well as several sonar sensors for Aire’s obstacle avoidance, and a camera on the bottom for positioning. All of that data is processed by the Aire’s Nvidia TX1 chip, which, according to The Verge, was “the first mobile chip to exceed 1 teraflop of throughput" in 2015.
This is a really exciting look at what everyday drones might look like in the future. It’s essentially a hovering home assistant, in ways that haven't been explored up until now. It’s a stereo that can follow you around the house, for example. An assistant you can ask questions while you’re working in your living room. This thing could patrol your house all night and relay any unusual activity to your smartphone thanks to its recording abilities.
This is still in its early stages, of course, but the Kickstarter campaign is aiming to ship the Aire in December 2018 with a retail price of $1,499 (If you’re ready to commit immediately, though, that price drops to $749.)
Let us know what you think below! Is this as exciting for you as it is for us? The Aire conjures a huge array of childhood images of the future, where robot assistants are common, and flying ones even more so. Stay tuned as the Aire nears completion.