The Living Aerial Bot (LAB) is a drone with a twist, in that it uses your smartphone as its brain and face. The handset connects to the drone using Bluetooth or a wired connection, likely depending on the phone, delivering commands to the UAV’s on-board hardware. In addition, the related mobile app can also be used to display a “face” for the drone, such as an owl’s face or, depending on the situation, a live video feed used to give remote directions, such as in medical emergency situations.
For those interested, there’s the LAB API for integration purposes, and the ability to create one’s own “brain” app for the drone, though there will be two official Android apps to start with, one for first-person flight and one with different features like GPS-assisted indoor navigation.
As for the drone itself, it is able to accommodate smartphones that measure up to 165mm x 90mm x 10mm. There are vibration buffers and the front arms are positioned to protect it from sliding free if it loosens during flight — still, if your aerial skills are lacking, you probably don’t want to use your main phone for this.
LabRomance, the company behind LAB, is seeking $50,000 USD to fund the project on Kickstarter. So far it has raised about $1,800 USD and has 23 days remaining. The Early Bird unit is available with a pledge of $239 USD, which includes the LAB frame kit for building your own Living Aerial Bot. The shipping is estimated to start in August of this year.