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Drones are sort of creepy. They certainly look cool and have awesome capabilities, but they’re also able to pretty much stalk anyone. Drones have GPS capabilities, camera capabilities, and endless other capabilities. They are the robots of the sky and will probably be more and more commonplace as time passes.
People are using drones for a variety of purposes. One of the most creative ways, though, is how they’re using them at the Burning Man Festival.
This year, drones are being sent out to Burning Man attendees who purchase 3D statues of themselves. Sounds a little weird, right? But 3D printing is all the rage nowadays, so it’s not surprising.
People interested in having their own 3D statue of themselves go to ReAllocate’s “dome” and enter a photo booth. The photo booth has Kinect cameras that capture the person’s appearance with 3D software. Instead of waiting around for the statues, the people can leave the dome and walk around the festival. They’re given a GPS transponder that the drones can detect.
Once the statues are ready, the drones are prepared and then sent out to find the statue owner.
After the owner is found, the drone hovers above them and sends out a message to the GPS transponder, making it buzz and glow. Once the drones alert the person of their presence, they drop the 3D printed statue. Then the drones return to ReAllocate.
It’s a very interesting project, not only because it involves 3D statues, but because it draws attention to the less-creepy abilities of drones. In fact, the Burning Man drone project is actually part of a larger art project called Project: Blue Sky.
The dome at the Burning Man festival is made of shipping containers which will eventually travel to economically depressed areas around America to provide resources and mentoring to local entrepreneurs. The experts at ReAllocate, along with a team of designers, innovators, technologists, and engineers, plan to have the dome be an “innovation hub” for launching sustainable businesses during a 10-week stay in each community.