If you thought drones were only good for spying on people or filming incredible crashes, you're only half-right. A new Kickstarter wants to turn quadcopters into intelligent tennis balls, badminton shuttlecocks, and even frisbees so players won't need proper courts, line judges, or even decent skills to play a variety of games.
But don't worry, you won't actually be swinging a heavy tennis racquet at the delicate Zyro drone. Players instead use an intelligent wand, either handheld or attached to other sports equipment, whose motions are automatically detected and interpreted by the drone. So swinging the wand at the Zyro DroneBall will cause it to fly off like you've just hit it, even without making actual contact. But other gestures can also be used to instead attract the drone towards you. The days of having to chase down a ball or frisbee after a missed catch are over.
Through the use of accelerometers and advanced software any behaviour can be programmed in to the Zyro, even allowing the drone to behave like a soccer ball or hockey puck if the game requires it.
An accompanying app will let players configure every aspect of their game, even allowing them to set up virtual boundaries so the Zyro drone will automatically know when it's gone out of bounds. And those boundaries can also act as virtual walls, causing the drone to bounce off in a different direction. The idea is to facilitate any kind of gameplay, venue, or court, all through the Zyro's software.
The Zyro's creators are attempting to bring their game to consumers with a Kickstarter campaign hoping to raise $US50,000, and if you want in on the action a donation of $US450 will get you one of the flying DroneBalls and one of the interactive wands when they're finally available. That of course means you can only play by yourself when the game hopefully arrives sometime in June, but that's OK since it actually lets you set up and compete against computer opponents with varying levels of skill. [Kickstarter - Ziro via Coolest Gadgets]