SkyCall, which has been built by MIT research group Senseable City Laboratory, is a drone designed to help Harvard students find their way around MIT’s campus. Lost visitors can summon it using a custom app, and this use of the technology shows how drones can help us better understand our own environments.
The quadcopter tour guide can efficiently locate, communicate with, and show visitors around the campus, along predetermined routes or towards user-determined destinations. A SkyCall app enables visitors to make specific requests, and it helps the drone locate and wirelessly communicate with them.
When the user presses the ‘call’ button, SkyCall instantly accesses the GPS location of their phone and relays spatial coordinates to the nearest available drone. The quadcopter utilizes onboard autopilot and GPS navigation systems with sonar sensors and wi-fi connectivity, enabling it to fly autonomously and communicate with the user via the app.
The drone integrates an onboard camera as an information gathering system and it can also be manually controlled by the visitor from the app. You can check out SkyCall in the video below: