The Guinness Book of Records “Il mio primo drone” Project

Plan, Build and Pilot a Professional Drone with Ated4Kids - We're in! 🙂

Just before christmas I signed up for a course I will be doing together with my youngest son. We are going to build a drone. It's going to be a mega drone, not like the toys you can buy in the shops :-). We are talking professional drones with artificial intelligence (I think).

So, the point is that I'm really excited because it's going to be a great and memorable experience between father and son, and I will get to be a kid again, along with all the other fathers on the course I expect. We are going to build our own drones, learn how they work and how to use them, practice and compete in flight tournaments and at the end, in September, we will enter the Guinness Book of Records for the highest number of drones in contemporary flight. This is serious business. We will even be starting our first flights in simulators! .. like real pilots. I believe that as of today there are already 78 families and more are still enrolling.

This is where I will be saving and sharing some of the experience.

In the meantime here is the link to the website with all the details ... including how to enrol.

N.B. The following is just one of my (real) stories, there is no product for sale.

Why I'm extra-excited about building and learning to fly a professional drone ... Meet ... "The SkiAngelDrone"

I am also extremely happy to be embarking on this exercise because I have spent time thinking about drones lately and I have even played, together with a delightful cross functional distributed team called Droney McDroneface.

As students of the Digital Skills Academy we were given the task of coming up with an innovative idea around the following;

How drones are used to make the world a better place.

The purpose of the exercise was actually about UX, team building and online collaboration so the drone idea was supposed to be fun, and it was. The brief specifically encouraged a "No-limits" attitude ... 

Our approach was based on Reimagining.

What problems does SkiAngelDrone solve?

Learning to ski is not easy, and it seems the older we get the more difficult and daunting the challenge becomes. The SkiAngelDrone, designed to prevent people from falling as they learn to ski is the perfect solution for anyone with a desire to ski but who for any one of a range of reasons cannot afford to fall down during the learning process. Small kids typically take naturally to the ski slopes and have no fear of falling as they learn but if you are an adult who didn’t have the privilege of learning to ski at a young age the fear of falling is probably very real, to such an extent that you may have resigned yourself to the idea that you will never be able to ski. Now you can learn to ski at any age and not worry about hurting yourself or breaking your artificial implants. This technology will also have an important role in search and rescue activities.

Our drone product name: SkiAngelDrone

If you avoid skiing for fear of injury then SkiAngelDrone is for you. If you do Search & Rescue you need this.

(This is not actually a product, it was an exercise in online collaboration)

Parents, ski instructors, ski rescuers, newbies to skiing, people with implants and other conditions that make skiing more risky, with applications in other extreme sports such as rock climbing and ice skating.

Stabilizers for Novice Skiers & Seek, Find, Retrieve

The SkiAngelDrone is comparable to the stabilizers (trainer wheels) we all used when we were small kids learning to ride our first bicycle. The Drone stabilizer is actually made up of a team of four drones equipped with special sensors and artificial intelligence that enables them to not only communicate with each other but also to know exactly when they are needed, and when to remain in the background so as not to interfere with the skier’s progress. The SkiAngelDrone’s principal function therefore is to guarantee that the skier does not lose control, tumble or collide with solid objects while at the same time leaving enough space and freedom so as not to be even noticed as the skier descends the ski slopes.

The four interlinked drones will create an extremely flexible and agile safety suspension system powerful enough to completely elevate the skier in a matter of milliseconds hence ensuring the timely removal from potentially unnatural positions (bent limbs or spine) and avoiding any kind of collision, be it with objects or people. This state of the art technology can also be used for a range of other purposes and includes features such onboard 3D video cameras, first aid kits including space biscuits and brandy and meteo sensors to detect weather changes and risk of avalanches and can of course be used to rescue skiers who are in danger. The SkiAngelDrone can also replace helicopters for rescue missions in high risk weather conditions. User generated content: The SkiAngelDrone will provide real time updated information on geographic conditions / ski slope mutations / danger zones.

Possible additional modules: Bicycle riding, Skating, (figure) Ice-skating, Hoverboarding, Rock-climbing, High-rise window cleaners/labourers/construction-workers.

The SkiAngelDrone User Interface Wireframe

The SkiAngelDrone delivers operating data and is controlled via a heads up display (HUD) attached inside the user's goggles. The user can interact, make changes/adjustments and navigate the interface by using their hands in front of them. The behaviour of the user's hand is monitored by the HUD and selections made by ‘finger taps’ in mid-air in front of the user.

Our wireframe (created using Pidoco at

Functions included in the interface:

  • Autopilot Vs. Parent/Instructor controls
  • User weight settings
  • Skiing proficiency (beginner to advanced)
  • Choose your ski slope (Worldwide GPS/Google Maps)
  • Video recording
  • First aid kit delivery (including defibrillators)
  • Weather forecasts / Danger levels x avalanches
  • S.O.S., Social sharing, Heart rate monitoring

The interface will also provide useful information about surrounding/nearby slopes graded by difficulty levels and providing for possible advertising space for local stores and restaurants.

This was a fun project, now we get to play for real ... it's time to build a drone, or more precisely an army of drones 🙂

We learned a lot about cross functional distributed online collaboration thinking about drones and we took the "No limits" in the brief literally. Now I look forward to getting started with this new project, meeting new people and being part of a Guinness World Record. You can still sign up if you read this before 29.01.2017.

What do you think about SkiAngelDrone?

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